Third in the playground games series (anytime)

August 12, 2008

Several months ago I read an article about EnTeam, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that advocates modifying traditional competitive games to a win-win format where cooperation is the only way players can achieve a successful outcome. The founder, Ted Wohlfarth, gave a great interview about why and how cooperation should be introduced into sports. It really made an impression on me, and I thought of it again last week, when M. attended a bowling party where not only did the kids on each lane compete against one another to “win” or “lose,” but they also kept track of the bowlers on the next lane to see who was winning and losing over there. M. didn’t win, and his sad reaction made me sad too, because I wanted him to focus on the fun of the special outing, not the final scores.

I’m no Pollyanna, but I do think kids can benefit from learning cooperative game strategies — it’s the same reason adults hunker down for team-building retreats, right? If you agree, check out the EnTeam homepage, which has tips on setting up games (and debriefing kids afterward to make sure the lesson sticks) for academic settings, physical sports and social settings. Anyone up for cooperative poker?


2 Responses to “Third in the playground games series (anytime)”

  1. Kathy Says:

    I wonder if we could learn some cooperative sod-buster pinochle. (Maybe we all pool our cards and THEN see how much meld we get.)

  2. mom22kids Says:

    I love it!

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