When was the last time your family had a game night? Thoughts of Monopoly, Jenga, and Uno immediately arise but board games have evolved past those early standards. A broad spectrum of cheap and extremely fun games are easily accessible to set up a game night.
Aside from the fun of playing a game, there are several advantages to pulling out a board game with your family. Here are 7 benefits to play board games with your kids.
1: Understand Rules
All games are built around rules. Rules are used as structure to ensure the game is fair and everyone is on a level playing field. Board games can help kids understand the concept of rules and the follow them. These ideas can translate directly to academic and social skills that require kids to control impulses and follow directions.
Additionally, many games have situations that the rule book doesn’t cover. This will (hopefully) build up an ability to interpret what would be fair when the rules aren’t spelled out.
2: Develop Strategic Thinking Skills
Whether it is UNO or Settlers of Catan you’re going to need to think long term and have a strategy to win the game. Strategic thinking is one of the most valuable skills we cultivate. We use it to lay out our long term goals, manage our money, and negotiating with people.
These skills can be honed in board games since they require you to think several steps ahead and anticipate potential outcomes. Coupled with managing resources and reacting to the game as it changes, strategic thinking is a core technique practiced when playing games.
Avoiding games based around chance such as Monopoly or Yahtzee is a good tactic to encourage strategic thinking. Although, having some variable of chance can encourage thinking through multiple possible outcomes.
3: Cultivate Teamwork and Communication Skills
Teamwork is an essential skill that is required by everyone to some degree. This is a broad category of skills which include organization, planning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Cooperative board games like Pandemic require all of these skills to be applied and improved upon to be successful.
They teach kids how to accept input from others and communicate their ideas effectively.
4: Boost Creativity
Some of the most engaging games require a significant amount of creativity. Being creative helps see possibilities and opportunities that would normally go unnoticed and leads to ingenuity in problem solving. Games like Dixit or Once Upon A Time require outside-the-box thinking that expands the imagination and encourages seeing others point of view.
5: Improve Social Skills
Learning how to lose with grace is a skill that can win friends. Likewise, being able to handle someone that is a sore loser or exaggerated winner is a capacity that is convenient to have in the adult world as well. Developing these skills early on can give kids an advantage in influencing people and becoming a leader.
6: Boost Learning Math
Math is a big part of pretty much any board game. Likewise, math is a big part of education and good math skills lead to a much better career outlook. Because of that, math ranks up there with one of the best reasons to encourage your kids to play board games.
Basic level maths are inherently used in figuring out how much money someone earns, how many points someone gets, or who ultimately wins the game. However, much more complex math can be used to determine outcomes based on statistics. This skill is immensely helpful in strategy games and this advanced level of math is used by logistics professionals, engineering, and market analyst.
7: Encourage Unplugging
Too much screen time can be a problem. However, finding ways to reduce screen time for kids can be tough. Board games offer an appealing reason for kids to put down their devices and sit down for some family time.
A slow transition from video games to board games is an easy step towards lowering screen times and increasing family time. Letting your kids pick the games to spur the transition since they will probably be able to find a board game similar to the video games they are currently playing.