Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Sportsmanship?

Let's start with the good part of this story. I bought an UNO deck at the grocery store the other day and we sat down as a family to play. I always enjoyed UNO, so unlike certain other children's games (Candyland), I was looking forward to playing.

We had never played a card game before. I introduced the terms dealer, dealt, hand, deck, and shuffle. They loved watching me shuffle the cards and had a blast helping me count as the cards were dealt until we all had seven cards. Since it was their first time we just all played with our hands face up and focused on learning the mechanics of the game. Everyone had fun. They easily caught on to matching either color or number and enjoyed learning about reverse, skip, and wildcards. Michael and his dad even joked and laughed when Michael was skipped about three times in a row.

However, things ended on a sour note when I won the game. They seem so young to be upset that they didn't win. However, even at the ages of two and four, I got crossed arms, pouting faces, turned backs, and the complaint, "But I wanted to win!" All of this was followed by a refusal to play a second time.

Obviously this is something we need to address. I think I'm going to start playing games with them often. I'll play at least once with them during the day, and we'll play as an entire family a few times a week. Before we even begin I'll say that we're going to play at least twice no matter who wins. I'll discuss (briefly and age appropriately) that we play together because it is fun and model nice things to say to the winner and nice things for a winner to say.

Does anyone have any other ideas about how to teach good sportsmanship to preschoolers?

1 comment:

  1. In my family (when the kids were young) and with my students, we always continue to see who will be the "second winner" and the "third winner" all the way to the "last winner". There is lots of time later in their lives to learn about losing - when they are young it's time to learn about playing and having fun together.

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