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Great Group Games for Kids: 150 Meaningful Activities for Any Setting Review by Marisa Corless

Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor
Search Institute Press
The Banks Building
615 First Avenue NE, Suite 125
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Great Group Games for Kids is a follow-up to the best-selling book Great Group Games, also written by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor. It is a great resource for any adult who has occasion to interact with a group of kids who might need a quick game to either get their focus, keep their focus, or get them playing together. There are 150 games listed, and they vary from icebreakers to relay races to art games to large space games and even games with water balloons or marshmallows. Some games, like Kick the Can, are classics while others are not so well known.

Each game has a title, an approximate time required to play, a list of supplies, and instructions. Following each game, there is a set of discussion questions that the adult leading the group may use to accomplish the authors' goal of presenting games to "play with a purpose" and facilitate growth in the children through that play. The discussion questions are followed by a list of "asset categories" the game utilizes. These assets are the learning objectives, and they include support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. Each asset category is discussed in detail at the beginning of the book.

While not written specifically for the homeschooling parent, Great Group Games for Kids could be used at a park day, during a cub scout meeting, or with a co-op as an opening activity or a transition activity. There are many great games in this book. It is very easy to open it, find the common materials required, and get going on a quick game to keep the group occupied. If you have occasion to work with groups of children, I recommend this book. I will be using it with my cub scouts!

Product review by Marisa Corless, MH, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010