Customer Question: “I’ve never heard the term “cooperative play game”. What does that mean?”
Our Response: In a cooperative play game all players are playing together as a team, so if the game is won, it is won by everybody, not just one person. When you play (or watch children play) a cooperative game, you will notice a difference in the energy in the room. Everyone is excited, cheering each other on, and nobody is worrying about losing the game. It doesn’t mean that the players always “win” the game, but even if the team doesn’t reach their goal, they still have fun because they are in it together. It’s even fun to groan in unison as the raven reaches the cherry tree (when playing the Haba Little Orchard Game ), for instance)!
Our favorite cooperative game is The Yoga Garden Game. The goal is to plant all of the flowers in the garden before nighttime falls. Players take turns moving the bumblebee along the path, and if they land on a flower, they can plant one of the flowers. If they land on a star, they place a piece of night in the center of the earth. If they land on a sun, they choose a yoga card and do the yoga pose (which are perfect for young children). Plus, there are a couple of bonus spaces. We play this game with our sons a lot, and we all enjoy playing it (and getting the physical benefits of the yoga poses).
Although we have several games that are designated as cooperative games, with a little creativity many games can be turned into cooperative games. They are wonderful for families, and are great to break out when a touch of sibling rivalry hits.