Between video games, board games, and backyard games of tag, my boys spend a lot of time playing games with each other, friends, and cousins. And, over the years, I’ve found that playing together has given them countless opportunities to learn important lessons about cooperation, fairness, and how to be a good sport. What better way to demonstrate those lessons than with classic scenes about friendship and teamwork from Disney movies?
Here are seven ways I’m teaching my kids to be a good sport, as illustrated by Disney:
How to be a good sport 1 of 8
Have a Sense of Humor 2 of 8
When the Beast gets plastered by a snowball, he laughs it off rather than gets angry.
The Lesson: When you get knocked down, laugh it off and get back up!
Be a Good Loser 3 of 8
Dash comes in second at the school track meet, and his family cheers him on.
The Lesson: You don't have to be a super-fast superhero to let others win sometimes, and when you legitimately lose, it's best to give the winner your congrats and try harder next time.
Be a Gracious Winner 4 of 8
Lightning McQueen doesn't let winning go to his head - he sticks with his original sponsor even after winning big.
The Lesson: Stay humble, even when you cream the competition.
Everybody Gets to Play 5 of 8
Merida didn't let the fact that she was a girl keep her out of the archery tournament.
The Lesson: In our house, the kids know - young or old, girl or boy - everybody gets to play.
Teamwork 6 of 8
A spring-loaded dog held by Woody, driven by Buzz...now there's teamwork for you.
The Lesson: You can always accomplish bigger things when you work together!
Cheaters Never Win 7 of 8
Remember when the Sheriff of Nottingham had one of his helpers try to cheat in the archery contest? He STILL got beat by Robin Hood.
The Lesson: Cheaters don't come out ahead (and when they seem to, it just doesn't feel as good as working hard and getting a legitimate win).
Help Teach a Newer Player the Rules 8 of 8
This adorable scene from The Fox and the Hound shows Copper, the puppy, teaching Tod, the fox, how to play hide-and-seek.
The Lesson: In our family, older kids know it's their job to teach younger siblings, cousins, and guests how the game is played. That way everyone can join in the fun.