It is somewhat surprising how a set of simple game board, dice, a deck of cards and tokens can have big effects on the growth of a child. What is more surprising is that, game boards that are designed for entertainment actually aid children in their social and educational development. And although most game boards are not that academic and straightforward in terms of how they are played, they can be used as tools to teach specific skills.
As a bonus, board games create a venue to gather the family together and play. While there are other activities such as dining out, watching television and doing chores, that can bring the whole family in one place, board games have that special capacity which draws family members to become much closer. Since the aim is not to teach and the setup is very informal, playing board games together is neither intimidating nor difficult. The child becomes more confident and open to their parents.
Just by virtue of playing the game, children learn the value of patience, verbal communication and interaction with others, thus developing their social skills even further. By learning how to wait for their turns, board games can also help a child to develop focus and lengthen attention span.
Fair play can also be thought by simply playing any board game. The rules of the game can be used in real life as well. When a child learns how to follow the simple rules of the game and finds it logical and reasonable, following the rules of the world will become second nature.
We all know that children’s board games are won by luck. But for them, they take winning and losing seriously. That is why when they win, they feel happy and proud; when they lose, they experience disappointment. Hence it is important for parents and guardians to help articulate these feelings in relation to real life situations. While managing happy emotions can be easy, dealing with disappointments should be done with outmost care. Nonetheless, the idea of losing and winning and the emotions that are felt along with these have positive effects on the child as he or she extends the lesson learned in those particular experiences.
Some board games teach basic math skills such as counting and arithmetic. Equate, the word version of scrabble, teaches kids to form and solve simple mathematical equations.
Chutes and Ladders, while simple as it may seem, teaches young kids how to count and how to wait turns.
Scrabble, Boggle, Typo, Upwords and Balderdash are some of the games that help kids expand their vocabulary.
Cueldo is a mystery game that encourages deductive method of thinking and problem solving.
Chess improves math skills, intuition, logical thinking, strategic planning and even IQ.
Zingo helps kids improve visual recognitions.
Monopoly helps enhance reasoning, strategic planning, management, investment, social skills and business skills.
German style games such as Tigris and Euphrates, Scotland Yard, World of Warcraft, Settlers or Catan, Puerto Rico, Risk and Diplomacy teach children about strategy, management and planning.
If you are going to ask me, game boards are a good investment if you want your kids to learn some of the most important lessons in life. They may not learn all these in one sitting but it is always a good to introduce kids with objects and activities that have been proven to be very useful.