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3 Toys that encourage cooperative play

Miniland Educational: Playing today, for tomorrow

By Miniland

October 23, 2018

8 Minute read

The ability for society to evolve relies on our ability to be creative, and work together to solve daily challenges of increasing complexity. These skills are most effectively developed through cooperative play and are learned in childhood. They’re also recognized by authorities, such as the NEA, as essential to successful 21st-century living.

However, they’re easily overlooked in the fast-paced school day. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to create educational toys that help you meet the demands of your prescribed curriculum, without neglecting this essential set of skills development. We share how three products from our catalog of Miniland Educational Toys help you facilitate cooperative play in your classroom, and develop creative and collaborative skills in the ECD and elementary years.

Imagination ensures evolution

Imagination is the ability to conceive of things as other than they are. Creativity is the ability to bring your imagination to life. Without it, human society would never have progressed beyond the point at which we began. Imagination, therefore, is a muscle worth exercising, and nothing stimulates the imagination more than a good story.

Big Foot

Miniland’s Follow the Big Foot is a great way to give both your children’s psychomotor skills and their imaginations a run for their money, as they adventure through imaginary jungles and navigate obstacles to find a mythical bigfoot you’ve hidden around the classroom. In order to be successful in finding the bigfoot, they’ll also have practice in working together as they help each other through sticky situations (like jungle swamps) on their quest.  

Communication is key

No amount of imagination and creativity can make a change in the world unless it’s communicated. Without the ability to share our experiences with each other, and to empathize, children are unable to integrate effectively into 21st-century society. One of the trickiest things to communicate, and empathize with, is an emotional experience. Working with emotions is a learned skill. We designed BBQ Emotions! especially to help you grow this form of intelligence in your classroom. In this game, children have the ability to build a giant kebab using ten “ingredients” that are all visual representations of different emotional states. You could either ask them to recount an experience from their weekend, or you could build a skewer together by reflecting on the emotional journey of a heroine in one of the stories you share from your curriculum. Working in this way, your class begin to learn about each other, and ways of working constructively to understand and communicate mindfully with each other without being negatively affected by overwhelming emotions.

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Practice makes perfect

Successful teamwork means children are able to cooperate towards a purpose they all share. Like most things, “practice makes perfect.” Miniland’s Dictate & Shape is a wonderful opportunities for your class to apply all the contributing skills that make for meaningful collaboration. This visual dictation game asks them to form complex figures from simple pieces by following instructions drawn from game cards. This allows them plenty of opportunity to apply their imaginations (strengthened by Follow the Big Foot) in interpreting the visual instructions. They’ll also be able to practice mindful communication (rehearsed in BBQ Emotions!) when building the collaborative picture. In this way, working together in your daily class experience creates an observable difference in their lives.

Your possibilities aren’t limited to these three toys though — take a dive into our catalog to explore all your options in the Miniland range.

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