A fact: Children learn best through PLAY. The genius of PLAY is there are many and varied types of PLAY. When you understand what is possible with PLAY, you’ll want to facilitate as many PLAY situations for the kiddos in your Life as possible! Board games are a type of play; namely play that has rules. Since board games are a type of PLAY, it would follow they’d offer lots of learning opportunities. Below are some.
Family That PLAYS Together Stays Together
When I’m out at a restaurant, too often I see families sitting at their table each of them on their own smart phone. It’s no exaggeration when I say it’s all I can do to keep from grabbing up those phones. (No, seriously I’m not kidding.)
Children crave their parents’ attention! Parents want a happy family life too.
One idea: Create a Family Game Night tradition! Playing board games together as a family, promotes strong family ties, even inter-generational ties!
Smart Moves—developmental benefits
PLAY addresses all areas of development: Emotional, Physical, Social and Cognitive. This is true when children PLAY board games too!
● Cognitive Development: Board games usually employ logic and strategy. They help develop children’s math readiness skills. Additionally, children
◦ practice counting
◦ recognize patterns
◦ learn from experience
not to mention develop their memory skills while playing board games.
● Physical Development: Throwing dice, moving game pieces, and/or dealing cards are just some examples of how children’s fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and visual discrimination are developed and/or improved.
● Emotional Development: Playing board games requires players to “give and take” Children discover (learn) if they want PLAY to continue they must develop patience and wait their turn.
An added benefit of playing board games repeatedly: Increasing children’s self-confidence and giving them a boost in pride. Also, games with rules typically have a winner or loser. So children learn to experience and, and maybe more importantly, deal with winning and losing.
● Social Development: Board games invite others to participate. Adults and peers playing with children can really help them develop their social skills. There’re so many Life skills to be gained! For example: Following rules; turn taking; improved communication; cooperation
You will learn about life when you play The Game of Life
Speaking of LIFE… IMHO, all of the LIFE skills valued in adults have their foundations in PLAY. Again, this is no exaggeration. PLAY lets children practice, practice, and practice skills more –all under the guise of having fun. Even very young kiddos can see how perseverance pays off. Once they couldn’t
● Climb to the top of the monkey bars
● Bike by themselves
● Dress themselves, and/or
● Read a book
Play gives them opportunities to try out and practice new skills until they’ve mastered them. It’s so wonderful to hear “I did it!”
Another fact of LIFE is stress. PLAY, and playing board games, is a great way to leave troubles behind for a while. It requires parents, who have all kinds of demands on their time and attention, to “BE present.” To focus on the here and now, concentrating on the game—even if it’s for a short period of time—but allowing the mind to have a break from the grind.
Children also experience stress. You know the expression: Laughter is the best medicine. This is applicable for both children and parents. If your family is anything like mine, playing board games turns into a huge, gut-bustin’ laugh fest. Having fun, playing board games with the family, is a wonderful way for children to unwind and relax.
Yours in Play!