To raise confident kids, teach them to cooperate early and often.
By Curious World on November 8th, 2016
Little boys and girls sharing wooden toys

Getting along with others and learning how to collaborate are important life skills, and it's never too early to learn. We all want our children to be happy, and are hopeful they will make friends and be included during playtime. As both an educator and a parent, I was uniquely aware of how children create situations and activities that foster positive social relationships. However, nothing can be more heartbreaking than seeing a child who struggles with this ability.

Developing positive relationships in childhood is a predictor of success in school and later in life. Learning to cooperate and collaborate helps children build social-emotional skills such as self-confidence, social awareness, and the ability to take risks. One way to help your child learn how to collaborate is through playing games together. There are many games available for every age and ability that help build these skills that are fun to play, too! Here's a list of 5 tried-and-true favorites:

1. Puzzles 

Puzzles are a great way to learn about taking turns and solving problems together. Work with your child on which pieces go where, ask each other for help, and encourage your child to try pieces in different positions.

2. Get Crafty

Get out used toilet paper rolls, stickers, tape and construction paper. Ask your child to help you build something. Discuss what you will build, who will do what, and which materials to use. For some inspiration, why not check out the How To Make series in the Curious World App? Sign up today and get 20% off your first year with code CW_20!

3. Hide and Seek 

Team up to play this classic game. Children can plan with other family members or friends where they will hide together. When they are found, they determine who will be "it" next.

4. Parachute 

Using a sheet or a light blanket, work as a group to toss a ball with the parachute. How high can you get it the air without having it fall out of the chute?

5. Keep It Up! 

Similar to playing with the parachute, the goal of this game is to have everyone work together to keep a balloon in the air. This can also be played with a light ball. Add another challenge by using two balloons and creating teams. Which team keeps their balloon in the air the longest?

While all of these games help teach collaboration and social-emotional skills, most importantly, your child will be engaging with others in playful activity.