Make a resolution to have fun with kids!

Life gets hectic and it's hard to keep up sometimes, so it's important to stop and soak up the energy and spirit of kids. Not only will they appreciate it, their energy will help brighten your days as well. With the winter months ahead of us, a great way to have fun with kids is to play board games. Board games offer a unique opportunity to give positive feedback and teach valuable lessons to kids while they are entertained.

While playing these games, look for opportunities to praise kids.


Younger kids:
• "Wow, I didn't realize how good you're getting at math! You have no problem counting how many spaces you need to move! Good job!"
• "Great job reading the instructions on your card!"

Older kids:
• "I had forgotten how strategic you are. You're always one step ahead!"
• "You are so determined to win… I see why you're doing so well on the soccer field!"

At the end of the game, always encourage players to shake each other's hands and say, "Good game." It's important for kids to understand that even if they lose, they should congratulate the other players. It's equally important for kids to realize that when they win, they need to be respectful of their opponents.

You can also add a step by exchanging and completing the following phrase with each handshake. "I liked playing this game with you because ______________"

For example, "I liked playing this game with you because you kept making me laugh by telling silly jokes while we played."

February is a great month for Family Game Nights (You may not want to call it this with the older kids). Try picking one day a week where the entire family plays a game together…..and stick to it even if everyone is busy!

Just a few great family games:
Younger kids: Candy land, Chutes and Ladders, Spunky Monkey, Memory
Older kids: Yahtzee, Skip-Bo, UNO, Battleship

“Our children may learn about heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves architects of the future.”

— Jomo Mzee Kenyatta

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