Four benefits playing board games for children
In today’s age there is no getting around it electronics are the way of the future and are here to stay barring some unforeseen event. How will our world look, work, play, travel, pass time etc in twenty years time? I certainly do not know but I can imagine it will be quite different from how things look now. I hear laptops are becoming obsolete which I never thought possible. Look back twenty years and we were beginning to use the internet and buy our first or second computers.
What we had before which seems to be lost to our children is a world that through its games taught them life lessons and abilities. This is a very serious issue all parents must begin addressing. I grew up with a Nintendo, super Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation. Rarely did I play board games but when I did I enjoyed them. They require you to engage your mind to solve problems, build social skills, can be played at anytime, do not need to be saved and do not require electricity. Below we will examine four benefits playing board games for children.
If you are looking for an easy game for your children to get started with why not try the following games?
Improve memory and cognitive functioning
Board games require a player to use and develop their cognitive abilities such as memory, information retention, problem solving, dealing with complex situations and being creative. Players will need to use their memory and retain information for different tasks depending on the game. Sometimes they will need to remember which card was played, or which piece was removed from the board. Others they will need to remember what each piece does and how many moves it has before it can not be used further this turn.
Playing board games has been shown to help increase IQ, learning capacity and that activities that make the brain work to acquire new skills will exercise it and make it healthier. This is why it is important to find time to spend with our children playing board games. You could start by setting aside 1 hour to play board games as a family and have a rule in place that during that time all electronic devices must be turned off. If anyone is caught breaking this rule have them receive a punishment in the game in whatever form is appropriate. Example in Monopoly the player could have to a fine of $200.00.
Get them off their electronics
Today children seem to have access to all forms of electronics. From an early age they learn to use them and their intuitive nature assists them in figuring out how to operate them. Put a video from YouTube on of their favorite show and they will sit for hours. Older children like to play video games on them and talk with their friends. I have seen groups of children and young teenagers, friends if you will, all standing around each other at an event, texting one another and not enjoying the event they actually came to see. I have even seen young adults in their dating years sit across from each other and using social media. Forgive me if I am wrong but isn’t the point of doing all these things to interact with the other person?
Board games force your children to interact with others. There can be no hiding on social media with perfect phrases and photos. They must use and develop their minds muscle in order to become successful at the game. They also must learn to connect with those around them the way humans have been doing since we came into existence. I hear other parents say “you can’t avoid it, just accept they will use electronics” without putting any reason why they do not continue to encourage their children to put down the electronics. I believe we as parents need to reserve an electronic free space in our children’s lives. In time, they may grow to want to expand that space which is up to them. I will work to not allow my children unlimited access to electronics. Will you?
Learn math skills
When your children play board games they will need to learn math skills in order to succeed. Whether it is monopoly, cheese, checkers or other more complex games they will be required to use math to properly move through the game. On dice, they will need to learn to count the dots in order to know how many moves their piece has available. The ability to add scores up after a turn or game has ended will allow them to know who won the game. Board games provide a safe space for them to practice their math skills and also can teach how probable an action or reaction is from one of their moves.
Board games teach a variety of social interactions and develop a sense of self-confidence in our children. They will learn to correctly play a board game they each must learn patience, not to speak while its another players turn, to not get up and leave the game while everyone is playing and boundaries of others and themselves.
Children will learn that winning and losing are not as important as playing for the enjoyment of the game. As humans, we are competitive by nature. Children though take time to develop the ability to handle winning and losing. It takes time and practice to understand that winning and losing are not everything that is involved in games and in life. It is more important to do things for the enjoyment of it than to be in it to win. This ability translates to all areas of their lives. Why not start a family time in your home today where these lessons can be taught. Like anything new it may be hard and you may face resistance. Do not give up, know that given enough time and effort from you that they will come around.
Children will learn that you can compete in a board game and be offensive in it yet not have it is personal. This is why professionals that play competitive sports go toe to toe with one another but off the “court” can be best friends. This is another social skill that will help them in life.
Playing board games strengthens bonds between players. Your children will be gaining from their time playing those games by making memories and tightening bonds with family members.
I really believe if you are not already you should get your children involved more in board games. They will benefit greatly in many areas of their lives from playing them as we have explored in this post. Our children need fewer electronics now and more personal interaction to become better rounded individuals.
Leave a comment below if you agree or disagree but I believe video games are for the most part lacking something which board games do not. An ability to build confidence, life skills and teach how to interact with others.