source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
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A game reveals the character - a figure of speech

In this proverb hidden lays a lot of truths. Playing is something that is inevitably connected to our childhood, where you have learned to play (at least most of us).

"Go and play outside," play with friends on the playground, play games in the kindergarten or the youth group.

At Christmas, birthdays, we often received games. In the later years, games moved more to the background. Only occasionally did we meet to play and play a game together.

Everyone knows that playing is very important. It is here where we learn to deal with each other; learning skills that are useful later on in life. Skills, which give us a certain perspective on life. Your attitude, your character, both will be crucial as you go through your life. I do believe that particular character traits become obvious while playing.

What are the essential characteristics that become obvious while playing?

  • First I will list some positive characteristics that can be seen while playing in a children's group. However, they also can be observed in teenagers: honesty, fairness, team-oriented, reliable, helpful, creative, selfless, self-confident, cooperative, and inspiring.

  • But you can also observe those negative character traits: Lazy & spoiled, annoyance, selfish, gloating & arrogance, silly, undisciplined, aggressive, disregarding rules, shy and indecisive, timid, quickly discouraged.

Depending on the experiences the child has made, the way it has learned to deal with other children, how it deals with challenges, those are the different character traits that you then can observe while the child is playing. What one child has already learned, might be new for another child and still has to be learned.

While playing, while dealing with other children new skills can easily and playfully be learned and added to the child’s repertoire. This is only one of the reasons why games have to be varied and appropriately selected. There is always one or the other positive trait that can be learned or strengthened.

Two features are particularly important: learning to lose and consideration for others. Those characteristics promote a positive character, which leads to strengthened self-confidence. You cannot start playing early enough; it is never too early for positive and negative experiences while playing so the child can turn them into positive character traits.

After all, what can be learned while playing, you learn for life. At the same time, while playing, the child displays what it has already learned. – In positive and the negative character traits.

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