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The Benefits Of Playing Traditional Board Games

This time of year is traditionally when we all sit around a board game as a family. With Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, we’re probably all finding ourselves with a little more time on our hands at home, so what better way to pass that time than playing a traditional board game?

These days children (and adults) often want to play games involving a screen, and that’s fine up to a point - but a lot of learning takes place through play, and board games are a great way for children to learn skills such as patience, turn taking and team work as well as more tangible things such as maths and spelling.

Here are some reasons to play more board games this winter:

  • Board games can help your child at school. The head of Ofsted has said that children who regularly play board games at home perform better at school. This could be for a number of reasons, but it’s something to bear in mind.
  • Board games allow for more family time. It’s easy these days for family members to each go off to their own space to read, watch TV or play games - you could spend days without having a proper conversation! With board games you are all sitting in the same room, focusing on the same thing, something that doesn’t often happen for many families these days.

  • Board games help to build communication skills. When we play board games we talk about what is going on, what will happen next and many other things. Children who are shy or quiet or struggle with communication may find it easier to talk under the conditions of playing a game in a safe environment.

  • Board games teach children to follow instructions. All games come with a set of rules which must be read and understood, and often referred back to over the course of the game. This is a great skill for children to learn and will help them in other areas of life too.

  • Board games encourage resilience. Resilience is an important skill for children to learn. The ability to fail, but get up and try again is something we all need in life and board games teach this really well. No matter the game, we all win some and we all lose some - and it’s not the end of the world. Playing board games regularly helps children to adopt the attitude of “oh well, I didn’t win this time but I’ll try again next time.”
  • Board games encourage children to consider how others think. This is a big thing for children to grasp - the idea that other people think and act in different ways. By playing board games children learn to anticipate their opponent’s next move; they become more aware of the people around them and how they behave. This awareness is a great skill to take out into the wider world.

  • Board games encourage literacy and maths skills. Even something as simple as rolling two dice in a game of Monopoly teaches children to add two numbers together quickly. In Scrabble we are constantly coming up with words and spelling is important. But all games encourage this sort of thing, whether it’s counting spaces on a board or reading out questions on a game card. This is something children will get really into as well, and won’t necessarily notice they are learning.


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