As you can imagine, our 2-year-old is very interested in being included in all the games we play. If it’s a Treasure Hunt, she’s right there with the pack, trying to follow the map. If S. and his friends are ninjas, then she is too. And if it’s a game like checkers or chess, she wants to be involved, using the real game pieces and game board. It can be challenging to figure out ways for her to participate in a meaningful way, without ruining the game for her older brother.
Sometimes I’ll take extra game pieces or cards, and let her play on the side, while S. and I are playing. Another strategy that’s working pretty well is to give her lots of time to mess around with the game pieces when we’re not playing an official game. Right now she’s especially interested in putting checkers on the board and in putting the little pegs in the Battleship board, of course.
Logistically, it’s not that hard to include everyone who wants to be included. The difficult part is convincing S. that it’s okay for his sister to play in a different way. He’s just beginning to appreciate rules and taking turns, so her way of playing can truly offend him. But we work through it, again and again. And it’s worth it, again and again.
How do you include your whole family (or classroom, if you’re a teacher) in the games you play?