Playing Life Lessons for Pre-Schoolers
A class of pre-schoolers at La Valle School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, taught their classmates an important life lesson that has turned into a fast success story. It’s not just because these children learned how to play a board game, count money, ride bikes and make meals. But the idea started with explaining life’s rules to kids who already know them.
The idea for the game actually came from parent Carla Hoenig when she thought her son’s classmates were really hard to understand. So, she made them a game for them to be more socially aware. After some research on the Internet and at a book store, Hoenig decided that the educational benefits of this game might make it a great choice for preschoolers to teach other children the benefits of life lessons. She went a step further and did a bit of research about the potential side effects.
Hoenig said she considered how her role as a parent might impact the children if they were to make this game with their peers.
“It was very important to me as a parent to have a game that was appropriate to my child. For example, if I were teaching them a board game that included monetary values, I didn’t want money to be part of the lesson.”
As her son and daughter grew up, Hoenig found out that adults learn life lessons similar to what they did as children. With their own kids, they learned all sorts of important skills that they carried over to adulthood.
“I knew that what I was teaching them at their age was something that would stay with them forever,” Hoenig said. “One time I showed one of my children a photo album that I had taken of her at her preschool year and in all of those pictures, no one had money and sometimes no food.
“We talked about the connection between the needy people in the picture and the hungry children in the future. She made it clear that money was not a level playing field but, instead, people with lots of money bought more things and had more privilege. It was something that she thought about for a long time.”
Hoenig still makes a copy of the game for her children’s Sunday school, and she still encourages her youngest child to play it with younger children.
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