Kids and adults who play board games have fun and learn valuable life skills, like cooperation, patience and winning and losing gracefully. They also develop cognitive functions, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Often, board games involve many visual and perceptual skills, fine motor skills (there are usually lots of small pieces to move around on the game boards) and hand-eye coordination. They can even boost your language and reading skills.
1. Improves Cognitive Functions
The constant mental engagement of board games helps improve a child’s cognitive functions. For younger children, simple board games like Lucky Sock Dip help develop colour recognition and shape identification skills while for older children educational board games, such as Pandemic, can encourage teamwork and cooperation in groups – all essential life skills. Board games often require players to make strategic decisions and weigh up the pros and cons of various options, which helps them build critical thinking skills that can be transferred into real-life situations.
Another way in which board games can help improve a child’s cognitive functions is by increasing their attention span. Children must stay focused on the game and follow rules, while also waiting for their turn and anticipating their opponents’ moves. This can be a challenge for children who are prone to distraction, but with regular gaming, their attention spans can increase over time.
Moreover, the social interactions that are necessary for some board games, such as taking turns and resolving conflicts, can improve a child’s social skills. This is particularly important for introverted children who may benefit from low-pressure activities that allow them to interact with others without having to make direct eye contact.
Finally, the decision-making and risk-taking that many board games involve can help boost a child’s self-confidence. As they take part in competitive and cooperative board games, they learn to evaluate risks and rewards and develop their own strategies. In addition, they gain valuable lessons in dealing with losses and disappointments and practicing good sportsmanship. This can all help them build confidence in their abilities and lead to greater self-esteem, which is essential for a healthy emotional well-being.
2. Develops Social Skills
Playing board games provides a great opportunity for kids to develop social skills in a safe environment. In addition to learning about cooperation and compromise, children also learn how to work through conflicts in a constructive manner. These skills can be translated into the real world and help them to become more successful in their personal lives.
When playing board games, children must focus on the task at hand and refrain from distractions. They must also pay attention to the instructions and other players, which requires them to communicate and listen well. This skill can be transferred into their day-to-day lives and improve their ability to form friendships.
While many parents restrict or ban screen time, playing board games together is a healthy alternative that allows children to develop important cognitive functions while having fun with family members. Not only does this offer a chance for parents to role model good sportsmanship, it also helps children to improve their critical-thinking and logical-reasoning skills while developing patience and turn taking.
Many board games provide literacy and numeracy learning opportunities, but they also help to improve a child’s fine motor skills by encouraging them to use their hands for actions like moving pieces and drawing on the gameboard. In fact, many newer games are specifically designed to improve these skills with educational elements like letters and numbers on the game pieces or a storyline to keep kids engaged.
Playing a game of Monopoly can help children learn about money and the importance of working hard while helping to build maths skills. Games that involve a lot of movement can help develop physical-reasoning and spatial awareness while teaching the value of keeping track of turns and following rules.
3. Improves Attention Span
When kids play board games, they must follow instructions and remain focused for a set period of time until the game is finished. This helps improve their attention span, which is important for school and other activities. It also teaches them to remain calm and focussed even when things don’t go exactly to plan, which is a great life skill. Games like Monopoly, or the special Fortnite edition, require children to listen carefully and follow instructions. Moreover, the social interactions with other players help improve their verbal communication skills.
Board games also promote creativity by encouraging the use of the right brain. For example, creative thinking games such as Apples to Apples or Dixit encourage players to compare two seemingly unrelated concepts to come up with a unique idea. This helps to develop the creative side of the brain, which is essential for thriving in both academics and life.
Furthermore, some board games have a competitive element to them, meaning that the winning player will have a higher chance of success than the losing player. This is a great opportunity for teaching kids the importance of not being overly proud of themselves or sulking when they lose, but rather how to work harder to get to the top.
To select the best board games for your child, take a look at the age range of the game, the complexity and whether it requires physical components. You can also seek out advice from other parents who enjoy playing board games with their children, or ask for suggestions at your local board game hobby shop. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your child has fun while learning from the experience!
4. Develops Patience
Board games are a great way to develop social skills in a safe environment. Children learn how to interact with other players and learn the value of patience while waiting for their turn. It also helps them focus and extend their attention span. Children also learn to follow simple rules in a game which will help them become more confident in following rules in real life.
Some board games require patience while others teach the importance of perseverance and staying calm under pressure. During the gameplay, kids must analyse their opponent’s moves, risks involved, gains and losses. They also learn how to devise their own strategies and plan a path to victory. Patience also comes into play while overcoming challenges and unforeseen twists in the game.
Moreover, board games are an effective way to teach children the concept of empathy and the ability to consider other players’ perspectives and feelings when making decisions. This is an important skill that will be invaluable as they enter the workforce and social world.
Children who are unable to communicate or pay attention in other situations can open up and become incredibly chatty while playing board games. This allows them to communicate their thoughts and ideas, which is a vital part of their development as they mature into adulthood. It also teaches them that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you can always try again. In addition, many board games teach the importance of teamwork, especially when playing with siblings or friends. They learn to work together, respect each other and encourage one another despite their differences. They’re also able to handle setbacks and learn from their experiences, which is an important trait in the workplace.
5. Develops Self-Esteem
Board games are often played in teams, which can help kids learn how to work as a group and solve problems together. This kind of social interaction is important for building self-esteem, especially in the face of adversity or when a team loses. The skills and abilities that are learned while playing a board game (such as enhanced creativity, improved cognitive function and better memory recall) also help kids feel confident in their ability to navigate group projects, team meetings or other real-life situations.
Moreover, playing board games can teach kids a lot about life’s meta-messages like how your luck can change in an instant or that being a good winner requires patience and respect for fellow players. This helps children develop a more respectful way of dealing with defeat, rather than sulking and pouting as some adults tend to do when they lose a game.
When you play a board game, it takes a significant amount of concentration. You have to count dice, calculate moves and create words. These activities take your mind off daily stressors and provide a welcome break from screen time. This can be particularly beneficial for teen kids who may struggle to unwind.
Whether your family is playing classic favorites like Monopoly or Cluedo or trying out new and exciting board games, you can’t go wrong! Even though some kids and parents might write them off as boring or old fashioned, it’s never too late to try a new board game. Switch off the TV and get to a board game night — your kids will thank you for it! The benefits are huge – and the memories will last forever.