Do you remember the long afternoons you spent playing board games with your family and friends when you were a child? For me, being assembled around a board game was one of my favourite parts of growing up. While I couldn’t beat my brothers at any sport for the life of me, playing board games was my time to shine. I was so excited every time it started to rain and it meant that my brothers wouldn’t bug me about playing outside. Ah, those were the days!
But one of the best things about board games was the fact that my parents frequently join in. My mother, the English teacher would correct our spelling during Scrabble and my dad loved teaching us chess – one of those things that his father and grandfather taught him. So, our collection of board games allowed us to have fun playing and form some lovely family memories at the same time.
Unfortunately, today rarely do families sit together to play board games. With the rise of video games and smartphone apps, we’ve almost forgotten about good old fashioned board games. But board games manufacturers haven’t. Today, there is a variety of board games for kids that can be equally as fun (if not more) than a video game. In addition, they can also have many benefits for children’s development, like the following.
They Give a Confidence Boost
Remember about me loving board games? Well, what I loved the most was Scrabble, because I was so darn good at it. And being good at something can be a huge boost in self-esteem. As a smaller sister, if I only got to compete on a physical level with my brothers I would end up feeling like a failure as there was no way I could beat them. But with board games, it’s a lot different. The many types of board games for kids means that everyone can discover a game that they’re super good at. Plus, there are some games where everyone has an equal chance to win.
They Teach How to Lose
But even if you don’t win, board games for kids can still teach them a valuable skill. Like for instance, how to lose. My brothers used to be sore losers at Scrabble the first couple of times we got to play it. And that was because they were so used to winning a lot. But failing at a board game taught them that losing is not the worst thing in the world. Children who play regularly and lose, learn that it’s not so bad to lose sometimes. And let’s face it, sometimes losing serves as a drive to get better. And in our case, it made my brothers want to get better at their vocabulary and spelling.
They Help Develop Planning Skills
Many games require you to be one step ahead. To try to predict the potential outcome of a certain move and consider what the other player’s next action is going to be. So, by playing board games, children will start to form complex thoughts in their heads – to plan their moves out. And this can help them in the process of maturing by teaching them the cause and effect relationship. This way, children will be more comfortable with planning independently without needing to rely on the parents’ decision making.
They Build Team Spirit
Not all board games require players to compete with one another. There are also many collaborative games in which children need to join forces in order to win. These types of games are great in teaching children team-work and a strong sense of community. When the game involves collaboration, children are also able to practice communicating effectively with their team-mates. And having well-developed communication and collaboration skills are incredibly vital for future success in life.
They Help Overcome Challenges Through Fun
If your child seems to struggle with maths at school, making them practice at home or tutoring them may sometimes cause further aversion towards it. After all, more studying at home means less time to have fun. But board games involving maths can be a great way to combine fun and learning in one package. What’s more, if your child is shy and feels uncomfortable approaching other children, playing a game that involves several other players can be a nice opportunity to socialise. These are just some examples – there are lots of board games for kids designed to teach them something new and valuable.
They Teach How to Follow Rules & Use Them to Their Advantage
Board games for kids can help with understanding and sticking to instructions. But that doesn’t mean that by teaching your child to follow rules, they will end up growing into a conformist. In fact, board games teach the valuable skill of how you can use rules to help you succeed in something. And this is one of the most valuable lessons in life – Do not let rules confine you, but find the loopholes in them and twist them to your own advantage!
They Keep Children Off of Electronics
Considering the negative effects of too much screen time, encouraging children to spend more time away from electronics is something all parents should do. However, it’s important to find something that is fun enough for children to get drawn into and forget all about their shiny gadgets. And since board games involve fun colours, illustrations, elaborate stories and tough challenges, there’s no child that won’t be entertained by playing.