MOTIVATION FOR GAMES
Motivation is an engine that is driven by meaning, reason and personal intention to act. The leader of the game, for whom the motivation to play is assumed a priori, should always ask himself whether the players also have sufficient motivation. In particular, children may perceive the current situation completely differently and may not be ready to play the game at all at the moment. Therefore, each game should be preceded by a motivational phase in order to arouse the children's interest. Above all, children should be acquainted with the facts of why they will actually play the game, what the meaning of their activities will be and what the main and intended goal of their game will be. We may choose a proven game that we played before and was very successful, but suddenly its effect is not what we expected. The children are unexpectedly bored and they don't like the game. We ask, "where did the mistake happen?". We either accuse ourselves of not choosing the right game or that these children are different, such as naughty or tired. In reality, however, the most common cause is insufficient motivation of children before the game itself. If we manage to motivate children properly, they can be excited about a completely trivial activity. Why is it? How to do it? There are some basic tips on how to encourage motivation in children.
Remember when you were really motivated for an activity. For example, you decided to go on an ordinary trip to nature. It was beautiful, so you were in the mood for the trip. Naturally, you perceived that the purpose of the trip is to breathe fresh air, move your body, enjoy the beauty of nature. Ideally, you have set a specific goal, such as going to a popular restaurant for lunch. From the beginning, you enjoyed the journey itself and looked forward to the set goal. The same is true for games.
For example, if we are with children at an Indian-themed camp, we can prepare a short and interesting talk for children about life on the prairie to get their attention. The children gradually delve into the period when the Indians inhabited America. They want to learn more and increase their interest in experiencing firsthand something that would bring them closer to this time. They may experience a hunting situation where Indians were not allowed to be heard so as not to scare away prey. So they had to communicate by pantomime. In addition, if we manage to make this sense interesting and with personal enthusiasm, we have won half.
So we will choose, for example, a game that is based on pantomime and the ability to interpret it. Playing this game is then much more logical for players and they understand its meaning. Before the game itself, we always remind players of its specific goal. This can be, for example, practicing an ability that they can use in real life. It is also very important to present the game in a fun way, using interesting tools, such as masks. The more we support the imagination of the players, the more fun and motivating the game. We do not forget to choose a suitable environment in which we intend to play the game. Properly chosen space can significantly support the game. For example, playing Indians is more effective in playing in the woods with headbands on your head than in a room in formal wear. If we only gave the players the rules of the game, the resulting effect could be completely lost, even if it was a great game with great potential.
Before leading the game, the leader should always ask himself questions:
Did I put the game in the context of a topic?
Are all players able to handle the game?
How will the game make sense for players?
Will they learn something practical?
Did I explain to the players what the goal of the game is?
Competition, fun or experience?
Did I choose a suitable environment in which the game "sounds"?
Do I present the game in an interesting way and do I have enough necessary aids and resources?
Am I motivated and excited to play the game myself?
Do I see a personal meaning in that?
The game should be fun for everyone involved. If the game leader answers the previous questions in the affirmative, the success of the game is almost always guaranteed. So cheers and with a taste for it!