With the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, children often prefer to play games by themselves. Gone are the days when board games were a big thing. People simply don’t get to spend as much time playing with board games with their family and friends. We might play a digital version of a classic game, but playing with another human being is definitely the better option.
Board games, such as the classic chess, checkers, and Monopoly, have a host of benefits. Children learn a lot of things and pick up skills along the way without realizing it. They have fun too, of course.
Studies say that children prefer to play board games with their parents to their peers. Parents should take advantage of that natural inclination and check out the benefits of having family game nights featuring board games.
1. Children learn how to be patient
Board games require turn taking, which in turn requires patience. Children naturally pick up the give and take aspect of board games and learn to be patient when it’s the other person’s turn. From the youngest to the oldest player, we all can use a bit of slow time that requires us to sit still and wait.
2. Children learn about sportsmanship
Children need to learn that winning isn’t everything and what’s important is that they participated and learned from an experience. Playing board games with our kids and not letting them win all the time teach them to accept defeat gracefully. However, giving in to the temptation of letting them win will only give them a sense of entitlement that will be hard to shake off.
3. Cognitive skills are enhanced
Board games help children with their thinking skills – they learn to follow directions, plan, and strategize. For example, chess and checkers need strategic planning as well as analysis of the opponent’s move. Even a simple game such as one that requires counting improves cognitive skills. During play, children are highly engaged and focused on the task at hand.
4. Social skills are developed
Board games are social games. Children learn how to wait for another person’s turn and act appropriately during waiting time. The banter that happens during play is also a great way for children to practice their conversational skills. Parents can take the time to talk to their kids in a lighthearted way in a fun setting.
5. Specific skills are reinforced
Board games are a great tool for teaching specific skills. Depending on a child’s age, board games can teach diverse topics such as the alphabet, counting, and history. Board games make concepts fun and helps enhance what they have learned in school. Examples are Scrabble, Boggle, and their junior versions; such games teach spelling and vocabulary.
6. Memory skills are sharpened
Board games require players to remember rules, strategies that work, and other details of the game. By playing regularly, memory skills are trained and enhanced.
7. Family togetherness
One of the best reasons for playing board games together is family togetherness. Parents get the chance to teach their kids too, be it specific knowledge, strategy, or patience.
Having a family game night has a host of benefits for everyone. Parents can keep updated with their kids and kids can revel in their parents’ attention. The academic benefits are definitely worthwhile too.
So, go research on the best games for your child’s age and get ready for some fun times at home.