|Some new games arrive in time for our games day...|
The Smith Family here in Shepparton run a mixture of after school learning or homework clubs at a collection of schools. Over the last two years we have worked with them to provide a games club, which has been a fantastic thing, catering for between 15 and 25 students.
Firstly, games are about enjoyment; they are a form of participatory entertainment that engages people socially and mentally in a commonly defined activity.
|CooCoo The Rocking Clown...|
|The Amazing Labyrinth...|
Now, I'm obviously biased, but I think games are a great activity for kids and adults alike to participate in, because by their very nature they are a socially engaging thing, of course I also think they challenge players to think, to problem solve and to use a variety of other important skills whether that is adding points, spelling words or whatever. But some of the most important experiences with games, for me at least, reside in the fact that they involve a range of players, who may or may not typically be friends, and encourages them to sit around a common activity, to plan together, to compete, to talk, and to generally interact.
This term I've been particularly impressed, kids in the club are really delving into some of the games. There is a group of kids who have fallen in love with Ticket to Ride, and I had the pleasure of playing a game with them the other week which turned out to be one of the best and most enjoyable games of it I have played. The kids strategised, bluffed, smack-talked, encouraged each other and played a really good game. It was a blast. We've also been playing some whole group games of Wits and Wagers, Say Anything, Word on the Street and others... and they've been exhausting, but fun.
I think any extra-curricula activity in a school is a good and positive thing, it encourages kids to find and engage with a hobby or passion, with a small group of people who can become something of a community around that shared activity. Ours being a game based club it also encourages and provokes thought and a spirit (I hope) of fun. All in all our games club has been a blast to be involved with. Now to turn my focus to finalising the preparations for our games day... it should be fun!
|The Piggy Back pigs used in a dexterity contest...|