It is natural that when kids tell you they want to play video games or want to go outside to play- although this is something we see lesser nowadays- we are naturally concerned, worrying about how it could spoil them and divert their attention from academic studies and grades- things that our society unfortunately holds dear. But, what we forget is that games and sports are important aspects that facilitate the wholistic growth of our kids.
In the modern world, the importance of leadership has been significantly accentuated; it is not just sufficient to survive anymore. Efficient leadership is a necessity that the world clearly lacks in and something that it yearns for. Being the torch bearers of the next generations, it is imperative that our children develop into responsible leaders. Vince Lombardi once famously said: “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” There can be no doubting the words of the former head coach of the Green Bay Packers; history proves him right.
So, if you aspire to make your kids leaders too, then you have to start engaging them in some leadership games. Games, in essence, teaches us all some important things- striving for a goal, working with others to achieve it, the confidence in success, the wisdom in failure and much more. Letting the kids be a part of this at an early stage allows them to be better prepared for the life that they must inevitably lead by themselves. Here are some of the games that you could try with your children or recommend to their teachers.
1. A Blind Touch
Separate a group of kids into two groups. Blindfold one of the groups. At the same time, fill a table with random items like ball, toys, cubes etc. Now, pair one blindfolded kid with a non- blindfolded kid and ask the non-blindfolded kid to help the blindfolded one in deciphering the objects through touch of the objects. The kid who’s not blindfolded should not talk and should guide the other kid’s hands onto the objects on the table and help him figure out what it is. This is challenging for both the kids, as they will realize how to make use of their other senses too.
2. Tug of War
This is a highly challenging game. Divide the group into two teams and present them with only one long rope. A line must be drawn on the floor between the two teams. The teams must start pulling on the rope and try and get the other team over the center line. The team managing to do so wins. It is certainly a misconception that this game is just all about brawn and not brain; the game requires hardwork, cooperation, teamwork and- believe it or not- strategy to be successful.
3. Silent Artwork
This game is best played in a classroom, although it only requires a place to draw at the end, and hence if you have a paper and pencil, you are set. Split the kids into groups of two. Ask them to line up in two straight lines, with each person standing behind the first kids. Now, hand the two kids standing at the end of both the lines, a piece of paper with the same drawing on it. Ask them to silently draw the picture on to the back of the person standing in front and carryon as such until the kid standing in the front. This kid now has to come and draw it on the classroom board. The group which draws the drawing most accurately to the one on the paper is the winner. This game promotes attention to detail and understanding- important aspects of being a leader.
4. Animal Guessing Game
Take one kid and stick a picture of an animal on his back; do not let him see what picture it is. Now, let the other kids have a look at the picture on the back. The objective of the kid with the picture is to find what picture it is. He can ask the other kids about it, but not directly. He must ask indirect questions that will eventually lead to the answer like: Does it have horns? Is it four legged or two legged? Does it fly? Etc. There has to be a limitation on the number of questions that he asks in total. The sooner he finds the answer- without asking many questions- the better the points he receive. This can be repeated on each and every kid; the one with the greatest point wins. This game is designed to promote communication, reasoning, builds confidence and cooperation.
5. Obstacle Path
Here divide the group into two teams. Now select two leaders from the two groups and place them at some distance from their groups, at the finish line. The gap between them and the teams have to be filled with books, tables, chairs and other obstacles. The group members are now blindfolded. Now, they are to be guided through the obstacle path by their group leaders. The team that reaches the finish line with the least touches with the obstacles wins. This is a fun game that requires a great skill and composure from the team leader as it will be difficult to instruct and control all the group members. If the number of children present is too large, then divide them into the appropriate number of groups as needed.
There are of course sports like basketball, football, soccer, baseball etc. that promote team work and leadership. They are important for both the physical and mental growth of children. There are also many other leadership games other than the ones mentioned here that ensure your child’s leadership growth. Get to know these games and incorporate them into his/her daily activity.