8 Reasons Your Child Should Play Board Games
I grew up loving board games.
I felt a natural proclivity towards them, as a child, because they kept me so engaged from an early age.
At a time when electronics were not as sophisticated as they are today, they were a wonderful respite from life.
It wasn’t that life was so difficult in those early years, per se, but that engaging in games seemed to massage my imagination and take me to a new place I had never been in.
Take Monopoly, for example.
Instantaneously, I became real estate mogul, landlord, and banker in one.
The conqueror of land.
A sought-after sleuth, specialized in collecting pieces of evidence and strategizing cleverly, in order to make the ultimate accusation.
All things considered, where else can a child otherwise engage in so much imaginative play? And have fun while picking up those skills, to boot!
Here’s the best part:
I love board games to this day.
My parents instilled in me a competitive drive that didn’t end once I transitioned into adulthood.
All I need these days is to whip out are some cards and a set of poker chips.. and I’m good for the night.
And now that I’m a parent, do I pass my love for board games on to my kids?
Abso – freakin’ – lutely.
But board games are fun, too.
In my family, when the words “Let’s play!” escape my lips, they’re met with sheer excitement. That announcement is then typically followed by loud (& happy) rummaging, through our chest of games. A big, fat smile then appears, as they pick out the winner- the “chosen one”.
And board games have health benefits.
For recommendations on specific games, click on my post, 7 Educational & Stimulating Board Games for Kids.
You can also check out the latest, Twelve FAVORITE Board Games Our Dual-Physician Family Loves to Play.
So, without further ado, here are my
8 Reasons Your Child Should Play Board Games
The following are eight ways in which board games teach our children valuable life lessons:
Engaging in a game stirs up our inner competition, and pushes us to strive towards a goal.
This releases endorphins and gives us something that occupies our time, and which serves a purpose (to win the game, and have fun while getting there).
#2 They teach children how to lose
It sucks to lose.
But what’s worse is winning to a sore loser.
When we win fair and square, we want to enjoy that moment, and not have to explain our win, or console others. Children who play regularly, and are challenged, learn that it’s ok to be on the losing end sometimes. And let’s face it, losing serves as a motivating drive to get even better and that’s a lesson that’s ultra important for our kids.
#3 They help children expand their planning skills
Games often require thinking ahead.
Children must form these thoughts in their heads, plan their moves out, and then proceed.
It’s a necessary part of maturing, and helps us, the parents and initial decision-makers, to eventually take a step back and do so in a smooth and uneventful way.
#4 They keep children off of electronics
The jury is still out on just how much time children should spend with their screens.
The latest study shows we may be too harsh on just how bad this exposure can be.
A colleague and friend, pediatrician Yael Wapinski, MD shared her thoughts on this issue here on the website.
Regardless of how you feel about the issue, board games offer a perfect alternative to the electronic addiction our youth is facing.
#5 They build their interactive skills
Playing board games encourages a healthy, interactive relationship not only with friends, but also with parents.
These are the social skills that will stay with them forever.
#6 They teach children to follow instructions
Games help with reading and, even more, with understanding and following through on directions.
After all, a game can’t be played unless you’re following the set rules (unless they’re making up their own, which brings up my next point).
#7 They massage their imagination
I can recall several occasions when my children expanded on a game they were playing – changing the rules or even adding on to to the game in a new way.
I sometimes see pieces from one game on the board of another and smile to myself in satisfaction, after realizing they’ve tapped into their creativity to make up something new.
#8 They keep them out of trouble
This last one is a stretch, I know. But if you think this through, there’s definitely merit to the statement.
While your kids are enjoying a good board game, they’re staying out of trouble.
I count on the love my children have developed for this wonderful pastime for keeping them occupied for years to come.
So go ahead, start a tradition that will be carried with them through the years, for their kids and their children’s kids and so on and so forth, trickling down generations of healthy board game-lovers. Because it’s what the doctor ordered!