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The Canadian government recognizes nine essential skills that are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life. We use these skills every day–even when we’re having fun! January 27, 2011, is Family Literacy Day, and the theme is Play for Literacy! Get your group together and have some fun!

The 9 Essential Skills of Play

On January 27, play for literacy!

Reading Text: Read through the rules of Uno to figure out how your niece is cheating. She must be cheating. She’s eight, and she beat you five times in a row.

Document Use: Plot world domination in Risk. Australia is the last holdout…

Numeracy: In Monopoly, land on your nephew’s hotel on Broadway, and try to calculate what you are going to have to sell or barter to afford his rent. Briefly consider including him in your will and then trade in all your Utility cards.

Writing: Realize that you have all the letters to spell “Ibiza” through a triple word square in Scrabble (with the “z” falling on a double letter square). Unfortunately, you play by the “no proper nouns” rule!

Oral Communication: At D_D night, try to convince the Dungeon Master that a level 2 Orc could defeat a level 5 Dragon through the clever use of spells. Get eaten anyway.

Working with Others: Set up a secret sign language with your teammates so that you can cheat at Pictionary.

Continuous Learning:  Get all of the pie pieces in Trivial Pursuit except for sports. Play for 2 more hours, until you get a question you know: Where did Burt Monro set his motorcycle land speed record? Too bad your sister gets the question, and answers, “At the Indy 500?”

Thinking Skills: Upon discovering that all of the player tokens are missing from Monopoly, scour the house for small objects to make do. It‘s the 5/16 Hex Nut for the win!

Computer Use: Spend three hours on the phone with Grandma, explaining how to hook up a webcam so she can join family game night through Skype. Give up trying to explain, connect to her computer via remote connection, and set it up for her.

Download "The 9 Essential Skills of Play" as a printable PDF here.

For other "9 Essential Skills of..." documents plus other resources, click here.