As individual skills are developed, opportunities to include more fun and challenging games emerge. In order to introduce games, children need to listen to and understand the rules of engagement. For this reason, rules should be simple and focus on high level principles rather than detailed regulations. Also, positive reinforcement should be used for attempting to follow rules (not to say that creativity should be stifled if it benefits all). Game concepts include understanding the objectives of the game and how they need to work together as a team to reach those objectives. Improving the understanding of game concepts is a learning process and care should be taken that kids are on the same page as to what they want to accomplish.
When children play without adult supervision they often come up with their own games with their own set of principles. This should be encouraged by helping kids think about how everyone can participate. You will be amazed by the ingenuity they will come up with. In the end, it's not the memorization of the rules that matter but how kids work together in increasingly more complex and structured situations. It is also important that this is just one small piece of play that doesn't impact the fun factor.
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