In an era of smartphones and video game tablets, children today may roll their eyes at the concept of tabletop gaming. But traditional gaming is far from boring. Board games teach children an array of valuable life skills such as teamwork, focus, problem-solving, and decision-making. They’re also a fun way to pass time with family and friends without relying on technology.
Teach your kids the joy of board games with these helpful pointers:
It’s no secret that most younger kids struggle with jumping headfirst into complex board games like Monopoly, Risk, and Battleship. Consider what developmental stage your child is in when choosing an appropriate board game for them to play. Very young children are just beginning to recognize patterns, identify colors and shapes, and count to numbers higher than 10, so they’ll take joy in simple games like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. As they get older, kids develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and they’ll be ready for strategy-focused games like Catan and Ticket to Ride.
Time Out? Time for Board Games
Instead of putting your child in time out the next time they act out, opt for playing a board game together to help them wind down. Board games teach children positive relationship-building habits such as waiting patiently, taking turns, and losing graciously, which makes them a great way to resolve the tension and frustration temper tantrums cause.
Host Family Game Nights
Give kids something to look forward to at the end of every week with family game nights. Have each family member pick a board game to play, and let the fun begin. Not only will kids delight in competing against each other for the title of Family Board Game Champion, but they’ll also enjoy spending quality time with you over sticking to their phones and tablets. To make things even more exciting, keep a tally of each game’s winners, and let whoever wins the most games by the end of the night pick out a movie to watch or a treat to enjoy with the family.
Let Them Win…Sometimes
No one likes to do things they’ll never have a chance of succeeding at — it’s human nature. For young kids, consistently losing at board games can cause feelings of discouragement and self-doubt that they may start to associate with playing any kind of game. Help them stay motivated by allowing them to win every once in a while (even when the game is painfully easy for adults). Be careful not to get into the habit of never letting them lose, though; it’s equally important to teach children how to be good sports.
At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, students receive a quality education with curriculums tailor-made to their individual strengths and abilities. For more parenting resources and fun ideas for at-home learning with your child, check out our blog.