Games for Out of School Hours Care programs are typically played often and are taught child-to-child, rather than adult-to-child. They should ideally be able to be played by a relatively large group (there is less need for two player games when there are plenty of willing opponents) and by children of varying ages, and must be able to cope with the loss of a player, for example when a child is collected from OSHC.
As these games are typically played at the end of the day, when children are tired, it is important that they be fun, not too complicated and as far as possible not involve direct conflict between players. Pragmatic considerations suggest that they should not be broken by the loss of one or several game pieces.
Some games that would make a great start to your OSHC game cupboard:
- Apples to Apples Junior
- Catch the Match
- Dancing Eggs
- Diamant (Incan Gold)
- Halli Galli
- Make ‘n’ Break
As children become used to playing with and looking after games, you can add more – and possibly games that need a little more care. Through the Desert, Dawn Under and – for older children – Shadows over Camelot or Cleopatra and the Society of Architects would make excellent choices as your game library matures, as well as any number of card games (look for titles like King’s Breakfast and Mamma Mia).
The most important thing that you can do to keep your games intact is to teach children to "count them out and count them in". This can be an issue when parents are collecting them, especially if they have appointments to keep or other children to collect, so any complex games should be started early and finished early, or kept for game club or a family game night.