Have you ever heard the expression an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, that's how we feel about playing. Our health-based games help the children in our programmes learn how to make good choices - such as, brushing their teeth and washing their hands - that aim to keep them free of disease.
One of our popular games, Health Guess, even educates children about nutritious foods and good hygiene. Here's how it works:
- First, our specially-trained Coaches ask the children to line up in teams of six to eight players and stand behind a starting line.
- Next, the Coach places a stack of cards featuring pictures of food and a hygienic practice - such as washing hands and brushing teeth - across the playing field from each team.
- Referring to her own package of the same picture cards, the Coach starts the game by picking a card and describing the item on it without saying its actual name. Each team must try to determine what object the Coach is describing.
- Then, the child at the front of each line runs to the pile of cards and tries to find the card that matches the food or hygienic practice the Coach has described.
- Once they find the right card, the player returns to their team and walks to the end of the line.
- When all the players have had a chance to take part, the Coach asks them to come together as one group to reflect and talk about the game.
Like all Right To Play games, this last step is important because it allows the children to share their experiences and ideas on how to apply their newly learned skills to their real life.
Through involvement and inclusion, games like this teach children about issues like hygiene, sanitation and disease prevention for malaria, HIV and AIDS.
They also encourage them to reflect on the lessons learned and apply their new behaviours to real-life situations. This critical thinking process empowers the kids and builds their self-confidence, inspiring them to share their knowledge with their peers, siblings and parents.
You can learn more about our work in the area of health on our Health Practices