It was G1’s birthday recently. To help him cut back on his tech time (time spent on TV, iPad or computer), one of the birthday presents he received was a board game – “The Game of Life“. So that’s what we’ve been playing lately…
So let me count the ways that board games are terrific…
- spending family time together
- strengthens the emotional bonds between parents and children
- improves communication between family members
- helps children do better at school
- teenagers have less behavioural problems
- screen-free time for the kids
- supports the development of younger children learning to follow the rules of the game
- reinforces social lessons – playing as a team, learning to be a good sport and how to lose gracefully
- teaches children how to take turns – a great lesson for G2, especially, who often struggles to remember to give others a “go”
- teaches basic Math skills – the Game of Life involves money and simple arithmetics
- some board games promote thinking skills – strategy, problem solving, logic
- builds executive function which are a set of brain functions that are essential for success in school and in life
Kids with weak executive function face numerous challenges in school. They find it difficult to focus their attention or control their behavior—to plan, prioritize, strategize, switch tasks, or hold information in their working memory.
Dr. Bill Hudenko, child psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, uses board games in his practice to diagnose and strengthen these much-touted executive function skills. He also encourages parents to play these games with their children at home.
More benefits of board games:
- Board Games for Kids – Can They Teach Critical Thinking?
- Top 10 Reasons to Play Board Games with Your Kids
- The Benefits of Board Games