Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hudson Valley (NY)
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Mamaduck, I've been wondering the same thing.
We have been playing some of the cooperative games, but while we all enjoy them, I have found the type of strategy used in them different than what is used in some more traditional games. Of the several we have played, none have required as much thinking ahead. I think my 5-year-old can benefit from what she learns from certain traditional games. She certainly enjoys them.
I just try to play down the competitive aspect of the games, and if it starts to get too much, we stop playing them for a while and only bring out the cooperative ones. So far it's been working! We also talk about sharing and cooperating and how the game's the thing, not winning.
There are also some competitive games that we play relatively cooperatively, but those usually aren't ones that require stratgegy -- i.e. bingo type games.
In terms of the war aspect, perhaps one can find chess pieces that aren'ts so warlike (we haven't gotten there yet)? However, I personally as a kids saw it as very medieval and thought it was cool. It never occurred to me that we were simulating war. I don't remember battleship so well so I can't comment on that.