Have you ever been someplace where you see a kid just totally misbehaving? Before I became a parent, it drove me crazy. I promised myself that once I had kids that I wouldn’t be THAT parent that had THAT kid. I swore that I would take responsibility for teaching my kids proper behavior and encourage it while they are still young and impressionable.
For example, if I catch my child cutting someone off while walking at the mall, I have them stop and say “Excuse me.” How hard is it to remind children to say “Please” and “Thank you”? Even though I’ve become a parent and have had mishaps with my own children, I still get frustrated when I see parents not trying to teach their kids these essential skills of life. Just the other day, we witnessed another child behaving inappropriately in public. I smiled silently as one of my daughters said to the other “He needs to turn on his listening skill.”
It requires dedication to constantly reinforce good listening skills, behavior, manners and cooperative play. So when a company like Hasbro provides a tool to aid in this learning process, in this struggle, it’s worth applauding.
Hasbro recently launched their line of Noodleboro games. We tested out the Pizza Palace game thanks to marketing efforts with Mom Central Consulting. Pizza Palace makes the process of learning to listen enjoyable for parents and children alike. Designed for 2-3 players, this game includes two sets of pizza boxes and toppings. In addition, there is a set of ingredient cards used for placing orders. Using the cards, the pizza caller selects three toppings, shows them the cards to the pizza makers and says “I would like a pizza with x, y and z.” The caller flips the cards over then the pizza makers independently search the toppings to create the specified pizza. If they were listening, this is easy.
The first few times, Miss M (5 1/2) and Miss K (4), were the pizza makers and I was the caller. I quickly realized that since they are visual learners, seeing the cards as I said them was actually a crutch. I wanted them to listen so every once in a while, I would just say the ingredients without showing them the cards. Once they got the hang of the game, we rotated who got to be the caller. For older kids or kids who are ready to increase the intensity, try calling more than three ingredients.
Both my girls enjoy playing this game, as do I. It’s a team effort so there are no hard feelings. Not only does it help the girls with their listening skills, but it also helps me to focus on them – and the game – as opposed to letting my mind drift to dinner, school plans or heaven forbid, blogging.
We haven’t tried out Noodleboro “Learning about Manners Picnic Basket Game” or “Learning to Share Fun Park Game” but if they are as fun and effective as Pizza Palace, then they are worth checking out.