When you gather around the board game table on cozy Friday nights or holiday weekends, your kids get more out of these face-to-face interactions than just fun. They learn social skills like gracefully following rules, taking turns, and winning and losing. Moreover, they develop cognitive skills by playing games such as Scattergories, in which they have to think of words and items that start with certain letters.
The social skills children develop while playing board games are crucial in helping them build friendships and feel comfortable in various real-life situations. As a result, they may be able to break the ice with new people, make connections that last longer and become more comfortable in stressful or unfamiliar social situations (The Early Teacher). Board games force people to interact – playing a game without at least one other person is impossible. As a result, they encourage players to practice vital social skills such as persuasive and supportive language, which can be useful in school and club-based activities. They also help kids learn to be polite in general gaming discussions and how to listen to others – both useful in the workplace and beyond (The Early Teacher).
Additionally, board games encourage cooperation between children of different ages. It helps younger kids develop their motor skills as they move cards and pieces around the table, while older kids can work on problem-solving, spatial insight, logical thinking and more. In addition, playing together helps children learn to take turns and practice patience during a game, which can be beneficial when they encounter difficulties in other areas of their lives. Lastly, board games can help improve social confidence in shy children by encouraging them to open up and display their creative side during the gameplay. It can also help them develop stronger self-esteem by showing them they can connect with others despite their flaws, an essential step in forming lifelong friendships.
Board games are an excellent way to develop several cognitive skills. They help children work on their logical thinking, problem-solving and planning abilities. Moreover, they enable children to build their patience, self-confidence and skill. In addition, playing educational board games helps improve a child’s attention span and the ability to focus on small details for a long period. It is because a game can require players to focus on the rules, the strategy, and their opponent’s moves.
Furthermore, most board games have numeracy at their heart – whether counting spaces on the Monopoly board, the numbers on dice, or keeping score in games. Additionally, games help children learn the value of money and how to use it. For younger learners, word games such as Balderdash (often used in classrooms) encourage reading and writing skills.
Finally, board games encourage good sportsmanship and a healthy competitive spirit. Children must anticipate their opponent’s moves, read their poker faces and congratulate the winners. Social interaction while playing board games also helps improve a child’s sensitivity and understanding of others. It is important because it can help them develop positive relationships with their peers in the real world.
Many board games require tactical thinking and planning, which can help develop problem-solving skills. The game of chess, for example, can also help kids learn to think analytically and create deductive logic. Other games improve children’s fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It can be helpful for handwriting or science experiments, where children need to use their hands and brain together. Playing board games can also help kids learn to follow instructions and understand how rules work. It’s also a good way to practice resilience – the ability to push through a tough situation and not let failure affect your mood – an essential skill in academic and social settings.
In addition, the strategic nature of many board games can also help kids improve their memory and focus. And playing with a parent or older role model can teach kids how to ‘play fair’ and be a good sport even when they lose. Children who don’t open up or communicate much in other situations often become incredibly chatty while playing board games. It is particularly true of young children and kids with communication difficulties. They are allowed to express themselves in a safe and comfortable environment where they feel supported by their family members.
Board games are a great way to get kids out of front of screens. They encourage social interaction and require children to focus on problem-solving, planning and inhibiting responses if they want to win the game. Playing with them can improve coordination, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and control over fine and gross motor movements. They can even help improve math and language development in young children. Research has shown that playing board and card games promote prosocial behaviors such as turn-taking, sharing and complimenting others in preschool children. They can also assist with acquiring number knowledge and arithmetic skills and foster logical reasoning for older children. Whether your child is a genius at chess or just starting, board games provide a fun and easy way to practice STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Many children also learn about history, culture, geography and more by playing board games. These skills will be helpful in almost any future career choice and can be applied to everyday life, too.
In addition, many board games encourage children to follow instructions and wait for their turns – important skills they can use at home and school. They can also learn how to be resilient in the face of defeat, a valuable skill they will need in their social lives. For shy and quiet kids who have difficulty speaking up, playing board games with friends can be a safe space to make new connections and build self-confidence.