Going through the attic’s stuff, I came across some old wooden leftover chess and draught pieces. Board games are fun environmental objects, boxes of laughter as well as learning packed boxes. Board games were the source of entertainment for people across the world, in the beginning only played with stones or fruit pits for pieces. Pre-historic they are, we even had them before our written language. They were popular amongst pharaohs and ancient cultures. It made me wonder, how they’ve changed!
Still convinced that in a time where we complain that children due to TV, computer games, have shorter attention spans than in the past (not really a good thing in a learning environment), that board games are the answer.
When getting home after a long day at work my first thought is to relax, but as a parent we need to share time with our kids, instead of falling for the temptation to sacrifice parenting for convenience. Teaching our kids to engage in conversation and in friendly competitions, might be a valuable skill in a quickly evolving world.
Here in the South of France electricity fails often when bad weather in the cold bitter nights, arises, thus ruling out technology, but instead creating time to spend together, without television or focus on a screen. Suddenly valuable family fun time emerges. And these moments always result in most of my famous family memories, we’ve never been so close a family as in those evenings, even nights! Nothing beats face-to–face interaction and bonding!
The best reason ever to pull out an old board game, humanities oldest games, is of course, to bolster your child’s self-esteem, knowing the most important goal in the mind of your child is to be with you and feel the joy of spending time together. Not to mention you’re fulfilling your child’s competitive urges, number and shape recognition, their letter recognition and visual perception and of course colour recognition and eye-hand coordination!
The brain is a muscle after all, so let’s put it to work, so even being older, it’s ever so important to keep one’s mind flexible and active! The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, the areas responsible for complex thought and memory formation, especially benefit from playing board games. Researchers found that playing board games twice a week increased the brain speed scores of elementary students by a staggering 27 – 32%!
The choice of teaching your kid to win or lose is easier, as loads of games include teamwork, working together instead of competing, toward a common objective. Teaching youngsters that everyone’s strength is important in the real world or in a game, to me, is of massive importance!
Having fun in a stressful world, relaxing, giggling, bonding, is day in day out the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The interaction between parents and kids when playing board games benefits both and is a true learning process. Nowadays board game cafés are opening all over the world to cater to hungry gamers, as hundreds of different types of board games show up, that are suitable for all kinds of occasions, ages, and personalities.
They are the ideal substitute for some time off the staring at a computer screen or a smartphone, not texting! Life suddenly becomes basic and filled with friendship, competition, communications, and fun…. The fun factor is the main reason, but grasping the concept of rules and following them, spouting creativity, problem solving, storytelling, goal setting, tag along. Who doesn’t want to learn from experience, plan ahead and predict the outcome of alternative moves? The more you play, the more basic math skills your kids are likely to learn. And just to make them think about the fact that actions have consequences and actions can have positive and negative consequences (on both ourselves and on others) is worth the game!
Playing teaches the ability to make difficult decisions, choosing between rewarding or punishing options, builds the ability to decide what criteria are relevant and what to ignore. It’s the path towards learning how to balance risk and reward.
Patience is an old virtue, to wait and to take turns, improves and trains that ability. In a world where honesty isn’t always rewarded, to be able to teach your kids to play fair, means a world of difference. The nice child is the one who learns, early in life, that being humble and being a good sport, no matter who wins, is the most important. A game attack is never a personal attack! Not getting whatever you ask for and realizing that in life one can be happy about others’ achievements, one gains a lot of happy moments. Acceptable social behavior is so important!
Many kids these days expect to be given anything they ask for. When a kid loses in a board game, against multiple players where there can only be one winner, they are able to experience the feeling of losing and how to deal with it.”
Board games are the way to go to keep on captivating and retaining each other’s attention! Let’s laugh and increase endorphins, the chemicals that bring up the feeling of happiness, and lower or maintain our blood pressure at the same time! Let’s boost our immune system with laughter, as negativity and stress can reduce our ability to fight disease. As long as the board game remains intact, we can play its game over and over.
Check out the Woohoocuties’ shop for the pieces!