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How to Build Leadership and Teamwork Skills Through Family Game Night

Playing games together promotes bonding, laughter, and positive memories too. With some thoughtfulness, both parents and foster carers can intentionally leverage game night to nurture critical interpersonal abilities.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.com

Setting aside dedicated time for family game night can provide wonderful opportunities to build important life skills like leadership, teamwork, communication and problem-solving.

Playing games together promotes bonding, laughter, and positive memories too. With some thoughtfulness, both parents and foster carers can intentionally leverage game night to nurture critical interpersonal abilities.

Choose Games that Require Collaboration

Cooperative board games where players work together towards a common goal are ideal for encouraging teamwork. Pandemic, Forbidden Island and Escape the Room games prompt players to share knowledge, divide tasks, support teammates, and identify collective strategies. These games replicate real-world cooperation, showing children how pooling resources and perspectives achieves better outcomes than going it alone. They learn that success depends on listening, participating, and caring about the whole team’s progress. Trying different cooperative games keeps the gameplay fun and engaging.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels.com

Assign Roles to Build Leadership Skills

During team-based games, give each child a role like “leader”, “fact-checker” or “encourager”. The leader can guide strategy, fact-checker can verify rules and encourager can motivate teammates. Rotating roles exposes children to leading, following, and supporting. It also prevents bossy behaviour by showing that everyone has value to contribute. If you foster children with orangegrovefostercare.co.uk, they may be used to fending for themselves; in this case, they will learn they can rely on others. Other children will learn how to uplift those who lack confidence. Letting kids switch roles frequently keeps them engaged and responsive.

Model Good Sportsmanship

Parents and foster carers should emphasise that while winning feels great, how you play matters more. Reward children for helping struggling teammates, respecting opponents, fixing mistakes fairly, recovering from disappointment, and congratulating winners. Model polite conflict resolution if arguments arise. Use losses as opportunities to build resilience and praise effort over outcomes. Supporting each other in defeat builds empathy, mental toughness, and conflict management skills. Celebrate good sportsmanship as much as victory.

Take Turns Choosing Games

Letting each child pick a game periodically builds flexibility, compromise, and open-mindedness. When children defer to a foster child’s game choice, it communicates acceptance. Playing a foster child’s preferred games shows love for who they are. Trying new games expands perspectives of what’s fun. Children also practice adapting to activities outside their comfort zone. Make sure everyone gets a turn, so no child feels left out.

Discuss Lessons Learned

After gameplay, have a group discussion about what went well and what could be improved next time. Ask questions like “What did we learn about teamwork?” or “How did we handle conflicts?” This reinforces key lessons about leadership, collaboration, and sportsmanship. Children can share their unique perspectives on group dynamics. It also enables parents and foster carers to provide guidance that is customised to each child’s needs. Let each child share at least one reflection.

Dedicated family game nights provide enjoyable spaces to nourish leadership, teamwork, communication, and emotional intelligence in kids. But intentional parenting strategies maximise these opportunities. Leverage game time through role assignment, sportsmanship modelling, taking turns, and reflecting on lessons learned. In foster families especially, interpersonal skills developed through gaming can transfer powerfully into real-world resilience, empathy, and mutual support.

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