GOAL: To inspire a deeper interest in other people.
MOTIVATION: Imaginary play, trophies / awards / medals.
PREPARATION: Take in any props you have in a safari / exploration theme (e.g. binoculars, old phone, hats, ropes, backpacks, pictures of animals, etc) and make a map of the territory you will be exploring. Make a “Reporters Notebook” with questions you have written as prompts for your child. These will be questions s/he will ask you as you pretend to be the different characters (e.g. “What’s it like to live in a swamp?”).
INITIATING THE GAME: Excitedly show your child the map and explain that a local newspaper wants you to report back to them on the exotic animals / dinosaurs / aliens / people (whichever you think will be most motivating for your child), who live there. Start the game by giving your child a simple, physical way to participate, for example, hold the map, drive the jeep, look through the binoculars for giraffes, etc. Let your child know that when s/he returns to report to the newspaper s/he will receive an “Intrepid Reporter” medal or trophy.
BUILDING THE MOTIVATION LEVEL: As you travel through the terrain you have created use your Three E’s * to grow your child’s level of excitement for the game. Pretend to be one of the animals (or aliens, etc.) and introduce yourself to your child. In character tell your child excitedly about yourself, answering the questions written in the “Reporter’s Notebook” without your child having to ask you these questions.
REQUESTING: Once your child is invested in the game with you, begin to ask him/her to take over the role of the reporter more fully. Encourage him/her to ask you the questions written in the book while you act out the different characters you meet along your journey. Do this with a few of the characters with little help from you, then up the challenge by introducing the idea that the reporter most likely to win the “Intrepid Reporter” award is the reporter who thinks up new questions to ask. Encourage your child to ask the characters something that is not already written in the “Reporters Notebook”.
* Green Light: After child has been exclusive s/he will signal availability to social interaction through a “Green Light”. There are three types of Green Light: Eye contact; Language; Physical contact.
Back to Games
1. Puzzle Hunt
2. Surprise Chase
3. Sentence Fishing
4. Intrepid Reporter