Good playing skills

Year level: 2


Students discuss and practise strategies for making new friends and including others in activities and games through practising good playing skills. Feelings such as anxiety and nervousness, and strategies such as resilience and persistence, are discussed.      

Learning focus

Good playing skills are important for healthy friendships. 

Key understandings

  • A range of strategies can be used to include others in activities and games.

  • Healthy relationships take persistence and effort.

  • Getting on with others makes us feel happy.

  • Friends should be appreciated.


  • Teaching Resource: Snakes and Ladders board game [one A3 copy per group]
  • Enough dice and markers for each group to play Snakes and Ladders
  • Student Activity Sheet: How well do we play? [one per pair]
  • Range of age appropriate board games, or gross motor games such as ten pins, quoits, four square.

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Teachers should know and understand the protective interrupting technique, and what, why, when and how it is needed and used, before facilitating this activity.

Learning activities

Whole Class

Students create a Snakes and Ladders board game to identify positive and negative actions when playing with friends. 

  1. Ask the students:

    • How do we make people feel welcome in our homes?

    • How can we make people feel welcome if they are new to our class?

    • How can we make people feel welcome in the playground?

    • How do you feel when people do not make you feel welcome?

    • What are some things we can say to others to help them feel included and welcome?

    • What are some things we might say to others that might cause them to not feel included and unwelcome?

    • What are some non-verbal signs that might make people feel welcome? (smiling, holding hands, giving a hug, looking people in the eye)

    • What are some non-verbal signs that might make people feel unwelcome? (running away from a friend, staring at someone, hitting someone, pulling faces, whispering about someone)

    • What can you do when a person or a group of people make you feel unwelcome? (ignore them, move away, play with someone else, tell an adult if it happens often)

    • What does it mean when someone says “He/she plays well”? (takes turns, plays by the rules, encourages others, etc.)

    • What does it mean when someone says “He/she doesn’t play well”? (doesn’t takes turns, cheats, doesn’t congratulate others when they win, doesn’t include others, etc.)

    • Why is it important to know how to play well? (it helps us get along with others, makes us feel happier and feel like we belong)

  1. Students form small groups and receive one A3 copy of Teaching Resource: Snakes and Ladders board game or similar. They work in groups to establish five 'good playing skills' and five 'bad playing mistakes' to be used on cards for a snakes and ladders game. They should write their good playing skills in green and their bad playing mistakes in red and start each sentence with “You…..” For example:

"You have your turn quickly"  (ladder response)

"You take a long time to have your turn"  (snake response)

  1. Have students glue their snake and ladder responses in the appropriate places on their Snakes and Ladder game board with Blu-tac and then pass their completed sheet to the next group. Students then play a game of snakes and ladders using their newly acquired board game, a dice and coloured markers. 

  2. Discuss the factors that may make it harder or easier to ‘do the right thing’ in some of the ladder responses.  

  3. Alternative activity: Instead of playing the Snakes and Ladders game, the statements developed by students could be used to form a collection of ‘How to play well’ cards. Ask two students to draw a card and then perform a short ‘speed skit’. The rest of the class then decides whether this was a ‘how to play well’ situation. If it wasn’t they then suggest what they think the right thing to do would be and why. Encourage students to perform their skit quickly to maintain interest and expose students to a wide range of skills and mistakes. 

Independent or Small Group

Students practise good playing skills with a partner.

  1. Revise the 'good playing skills' and 'bad playing mistakes' from the previous activity.

  2. Ask:

    • What does a good winner look/sound like?

    • What does a bad winner look/sound like?

    • What does a good loser look/sound like?

    • What does a bad loser look/sound like?

    • How do you feel when you play with a bad winner?

    • How do you feel when you play with a good winner?

    • How do you feel when you play with a bad loser?

    • How do you feel when you play with a good loser?

  1. Students form pairs and receive Student Activity Sheet: How well do we play?. Explain that they are about to play a game with their partner and they are going to try to practise all the good playing skills that they have learnt.

  2. Assign a game to each pair (the Snakes and Ladders from the previous activity or other board games or gross motor games such as ten pins, quoits). 

    • On the completion of the game, each pair fills out their worksheet together.

    • Have each pair join with another pair and share their findings, particularly the skill they want to practise.  


  1. Students use thought shapes to reflect on their learning. Explain what each shape signifies:

Triangle: The most important thing I have learnt from doing this activity.
Square: How I can apply the knowledge and skills I have learnt outside this classroom.
Heart: How I feel about using the skills and ideas I have learnt.
Circle: The thoughts still going around in my head after this activity.

  1. Students can talk or write about their responses to these shapes.

  2. Record the questions raised by students from the 'circle' shape and plan further learning experiences using this information.