Family games have always been a feature of downtime for us and especially at Christmas when we have lots of time to relax together. We love nothing more than grabbing a board game and having good old fashioned family fun.
This year has really been the year of the board game. From old favourites to new educational games. It really does feel like we have played them all this year. We have definitely had the time to!
Now that I have started shopping for Christmas gifts for my family I will definitely be looking at The Works for great board games gifts as well as books! There are so many ways every member of the family can benefit from board games and here are just a few of the best reasons to start playing together
Board games are a great way to unplug
Sometimes you need to reconnect. A great way of doing that is to put away the screens. The complete lack of technology required by most board games makes them a great tool to help bring people together. Not only do you have to sit together to play a game but everyone benefits from the emotional connection of playing together.
Board games give kids an opportunity to teach adults
You can really only teach something if you know it well enough yourself. Let your child teach you how to play a game. Not only will you have fun but it will really help to build their confidence.
This year for Christmas I have bought Moose a game of Downfall and also Perfection. I love these games from my childhood but he doesn’t need to know that. I plan to let him teach me how to play both of them.
Board games teach kids how to be (good) losers
There are always going to be hard lessons to learn and not many of us have made it through life without having to lose sometimes. Yes, playing a game of Monopoly together can be tense but learning how to lose is a really important life skill to have.
Board games promote literacy
Most board games involve reading. Whether that is questions on a card, instructions to learn how to play or something else. There is always something to read. Why not encourage little ones to hone their skills by reading aloud to other players.
Board games encourage teamwork
A massive plus point of board games is that often they are suitable for different ages. Being able to work as a team with others from different age groups is a skill that your children will need over and over again throughout their life.
Board games help with Maths skills
One of our favourite board games this year is a maths based game called Sum Swamp. It is a very simple concept but in order to move around the board you have to do sums. Games like this one are incredibly educational. It’s great to see kids enjoying maths and now we also incorporate sums into older games too. For example, when we play Snakes & Ladders we use the sums dice from the Sum Swamp game. Suddenly Moose has had an easy 30 minutes of Maths with zero effort.
Board games help kids to understand how others think
Most board games involve tactical thinking. A lot of them cannot be played without thinking ahead. Playing board games together is a great way to show children that not everyone thinks the same way and that’s a lesson that will come in handy over and over again.
Whether it’s by perfecting their poker face or thinking ahead these are excellent skills to have. Games like Chess are classic and are awesome for building on tactical thinking skills.
Board games are a good alternative to time out
Sometimes when children act out it is a sign that they need you. In fact, I would say that sometimes is a bit of an understatement. Of course there are situations where a time out is absolutely appropriate. However, it makes sense that the more you use a particular method of discipline, the less impact it has.
The next time your children are playing up why not try getting a game out and switching off distractions and just seeing what kind of an effect it has on you all. Most games have a level of structure to them so they act as a great opener for better communication too.
Board games help build the attention span
I think screens are generally a positive thing for us and our children. However. One of the massive downsides is the sheer number of distractions. The result of this is a notable decrease in everyone’s attention span. Not just children, adults too.
Playing a board game from start to finish without allowing distractions from phones or tv most definitely helps to increase concentration and in turn it will also help to lengthen anybody’s attention span.
I love this Ted talk about the brain benefits of playing games