At times, the developing effect of board games cannot be immediately noticed. However, scientists believe that the benefits of board games for kids are as great as the pile of currency the winner has obtained in Monopoly.
Board games are convenient. They can be easily played with the whole family, friends, children, or all together. And it doesn’t even matter where you are — a hotel room, train, or your kitchen — a board game is always a good solution that doesn’t require much space.
And when your child begs to play with him/her, you don’t have to think about which dinosaur you should turn into. Board games have clear rules, so every kid will figure out what he or she is supposed to do.
Such games have one more advantage: they can seriously improve the abilities of your child in various fields. And if traditional development involves additional motivation in the form of treats or threats, games don’t require coercion: a child decides to participate and follow the rules voluntarily.
So, let’s see how all these games can be useful for your kids and how to use the benefits the most effectively.
Developing Social Skills
Unlike video games, board games have one vital component in developing social skills; thus, healthy human relationships. We speak about face-to-face communication. While playing an exciting game of motivation and competition, your kids will encourage the verbal expression of their thoughts. This allows parents to make a connection with heir children and foster traits of positive communication and commitment to each other.
Even if the game isn’t aimed at inventing synonyms for the words, it will still have a positive effect on the speech development of the child. No wonder speech therapists have taken board games into their practice. Sociologists even point out the wider communication skills that board games give us, such as the ability to get along with others, make concessions, and not to cry when you lose.
In most board games, you need to count — points, moves, money, dots on cubes, or cards. And if usually, you can’t even get your children to solve simple addition and subtraction examples, then during the game, they will do it easily and with joy — without the slightest pressure on your part.
Some of the games even involve geometry concepts with patterns and shapes, matching and pattern recognition, and learning about measurements. This may indeed help your children to develop logical thinking and learn Math faster.
In games, actions have their consequences, and these consequences eloquently affect your results. Board games provide cause-effect relationships that are easily tracked even in 20 minutes. This allows your kids to think a few moves ahead, trying to predict the behavior of the opponent and learn from their own experience.
Several experiments by American scientists have shown that children work best if they accompany their actions with an explanation. Trying to explain their choices, children begin to analyze, reflect the hidden mechanisms of their own choice, and come up with amazing results. Therefore, a good board game should be accompanied by a parent who would ask about the reason you did one or another move or choice.
Board games can help kids not only with reading the instruction but understanding and following them. After all, every game is played with certain rules set. Whether your children just started school or already moving to secondary, improving listening skills is an essential skill for both school and home.
Through elementary, high school, university, and basically the whole life, your kid will have to become a team player in order to learn problem-solving. And in all of life’s institutions require interaction with others is a key to attaining growth and success. That’s why playing board games with your children becomes a useful tool in gaining these skills.
In computer battles, children practically don’t use the imagination at all. However, every board game has a unique situation where the limits of your creativity and thinking are tested. And in most board games you can’t win without it. You need to turn on your fantasy to the fullest in order not only to calculate your next step but use creative thinking to win.
Forcing yourself to do homework when friends are asking you to play outside, or concentrate on the teacher’s explanations when you’re distracted by the random thoughts in your head requires remarkable self-control. And any student must be able to focus on one task for a long time, without being distracted by anything.
Board games are created to help you develop this skill. If your kid can play cards in a disciplined manner for two hours in a row, then he won’t have any problems with concentration at school.
Spending Time Together
One of the best benefits you can receive from playing board games is the time spent together as a family. If you have problems of bonding together with your children, games are a perfect way to fix it. Games not only release endorphins, but they can help you to connect with your kids in a way you couldn’t have before.
Positive Attitude to Difficult Tasks
Each game is associated with overcoming obstacles. Sometimes we make mistakes and suffer defeats, but it only makes us curious, passionate and rises the desire to try again. Fully immersed in the process, we feel happy — regardless of the outcome.
The ability to treat difficulties as entertainment is an important emotional skill that a child can acquire during board games and then apply in real life. With this approach, any difficult educational task will become an interesting challenge and not a torment.
If you want your child to do well at school, going through failures with dignity and positive attitude, show persistence in studies, and skillfully build relationships with the peers — use the potential of board games, it’s a great chance to develop such skills!
An interesting study was conducted in Stockholm. During the experiment, people (aged from 5 to 40 years old) had to play board games regularly for 3 months. As a result, their brain started to work 30% better than before.
Playing games not only adds joy to our lives but brings impressive life-improving lessons. Thus, board games should be enjoyed on a regular basis with your kids in order to attain the best possible results.