The Benefits of Board Games for Children and Adults
Well, this summer has most certainly been one to write home about...except, that we actually are at home this summer, minus the occasional trip to the lake or beach. COVID-19 has definitely forced us to become more creative with our vacations and activities, so much so, that more children seem to be going outside. Driving through neighborhoods is like being transported back in time to the 1980s; kids on roller skates, bikes, skateboards, playing hide-and-seek, tag, etc. Perhaps some good did come out of this pandemic after all.
But when the days get too hot or rainy, instead of turning on the TV, tablet, or computer, choose a board game instead. In addition to "killing time" and keeping the kids occupied, board games may also provide some health benefits for adults and children alike. In a study published by Biopsychosocial Medicine, "The results of several randomized controlled trials indicated that the playing of traditional board games (e.g., chess, Go, and Shogi) helps to improve cognitive impairment and depression, and that the playing of newly developed board games is beneficial for behavioral modifications."
Board games also provide a way for children to work on their motor, language, and social skills. Board games often have younger children manipulating small game pieces and thereby encouraging them to work on their grasp and moving the game piece from square to square. Games also teach children how to take turns and wait, in addition to learning how to win and lose gracefully. Children also learn how to follow directions, as the directions for particular games can vary widely. As for adults, board games, crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc. keep our brains active and this has been found to ward off dementia in some cases.
Perhaps the most important benefit of board games is an opportunity for family time. Children so enjoy and crave this time with their parents. So, the next time you are looking for something to do as a family, turn off your phones and other electronics and turn your children on to the wonderful, competitive, and exciting world of board games.
Some of the Our First Year favorites are:
For Toddlers: Pop the Pig, Go Fishing, Lucky Ducks, Pop the Pirate, Hungry Hippo, Banana Blast
For young Children: Cranium Hullabaloo, Candy Land, Sorry, Don't Break the ice, Don't Spill the Beans, Operation, Connect Four, Guess Who
For Older Children: Rummikub, Dominoes, Ticket to Ride, Uno, 99, Scrabble, Cranium, Scattergories, Beat the Parents, Apples to Apples, Life, Monopoly
Playing board games is easy...it's all in the bag!