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Game Time!

Playing games with your children may feel like a chore at times. Explaining rules, kiddos getting frustrated they aren't winning, maybe even some pieces go flying. However, playing games with our children is an excellent way to bond and create shared memories while promoting their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Here are some tips to make the most out of gaming with kids:

1. Choose age-appropriate games: Children have different abilities and interests, so pick games that are easy to understand, fun to play, and relevant to their age and stage of development. For example, young kids may enjoy simple board games or matching games, while older ones may prefer more complex games that require higher level thinking.

2. Encourage cooperation and communication: Games can teach children how to work together, problem-solve, negotiate, and express themselves. Encourage them to take turns, follow rules, show empathy, and communicate in healthy ways. Celebrate their successes, offer feedback and support, and avoid being overly competitive or critical.

3. Use games to teach new skills: Games can be a valuable tool for teaching children new concepts, such as math, language, geography, or science. You can create your own educational games, adapt existing ones, or invite the child to design their own. Make it playful, interactive, and relevant to their interests.

4. Make it a regular activity: Playing games with children should not be a one-off event but a regular part of your routine. Set aside a specific time for gaming, such as after dinner or on weekends. Allow children to suggest games, pick the rules, and contribute to the setup.

5. Have fun: Finally, remember that playing games with children is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for both parties. Avoid putting pressure on the child to win or achieve a specific goal, allow for some spontaneity and creativity, and enjoy the shared experience. Laugh, relax, and enjoy the time spent together.

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