Why Board Games Are Great for Children

Why Board Games Are Great for Children
Why Board Games Are Great for Children

Are you looking for good board games to play with your child? You are not alone. They are also a great start for having a great family night in. More parents are returning to board games in search of non-digital ways to engage and spend time with their children. There’s also the added benefit of using it as a medium to educate children and engage their critical thinking abilities.

This article discusses some of those benefits and how parents can encourage their children to play board games. We list different board games but age and category in this post here.

Why are Board Games Important for Children?

Whenever you sit around a table to play a board game with your child, know that they’re benefiting from it. Below are a few of those benefits:

  • It is fun! The family sat around the table or on the floor, all involved in the same task. Yes, there will be fallouts, and losing will be the end of the world. But time like this is how relationships are made and bonds are formed.
  • It improves concentration power. When children play board games, it encourages them to concentrate. Most board games require strategy and a bit of luck to achieve the player’s objectives. The child knows that to keep themself firmly in the game, they have to stay in it mentally to be able to strategize. Interestingly, using board games to improve your child’s concentration is good as they are fun and breezy. The child wouldn’t even feel that they’re concentrating.
  • It enhances mathematical learning. Playing board games with your child enhances their mathematical learning. Scientists have done a lot of research to ascertain if board games improve children’s mathematical learning and how much. In their study of pre-kindergarteners play of a numerical board game in the United States, Dr. Hendrix and her colleagues found an increase in children’s numerical skills. Before the study, they did a pre-assessment to determine children’s numeracy skills. Some of the participants could not differentiate larger quantities from smaller quantities. But after the study, participants compared numerical quantities, improved their verbal counting, and identified numbers more accurately.
  • It teaches children how to win and lose graciously. With most games, there’s always the winning and losing side in the end. That’s part of what makes games competitive, engaging, and fun. When parents play board games with their children, it’s a chance to model winning and losing graciously. The good thing about board games is that they teach the child to focus on the fun of playing instead of being obsessed with winning.
  • It refines decision-making. Playing board games involves making decisions. A child playing a board game understands that to have a decent shot at winning, they have to make intelligent and effective decisions. Board games are particularly effective at refining a child’s decision-making because they see the upside and downside of their choices play out. What’s more, these games give the child the chance to have another go, bearing their past decisions in mind.
  • Help memory. Board games are designed to be conceptually and contextually different. Collectibles, Card Games, Civilization Building, Abstracts, and Educationals are all different in their way. These games require players to hold certain information and ideas to play effectively. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that playing these board games facilitated the retention of information and led to a deeper understanding of information. The study also found that board games increase enthusiasm and motivation.

What Are Good Board Games to Play with Children?

Below is a carefully curated list of fun and engaging board games in different categories parents can play in with their children: 

1.    Best Educational Board Games

  • Dominoes
  • Boggle
  • Farkle
  • Cards
  • Monopoly
  • Chess
  • Scrabble
  • Smath

2.    Best Cooperative Board Games

  • Disney Eye Found It!
  • Forbidden Dessert
  • Mermaid Island
  • Cahoots
  • Race to the Treasure!
  • Outfoxed
  • Hoot Owl Hoot
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
  • Castle Panic
  • Dragon Dash
  • Robot Turtles

3.    Best Interactive Board Games

  • Gaming Risk Game with Dragon
  • Connect 4 Shots
  • Outsmarted!
  • Puck Sling Game
  • Articulate!
  • Escape Room
  • kNow
  • Jumanji

4.    Best Family Board Games

  • Kids Against Maturity
  • Magic Maze
  • The Resistance
  • Heist
  • Decrypto
  • Labyrinth
  • Karuba
  • The Quest for Eldorado

How to Encourage Children to Play Board Games

If you want to encourage your child to play board games, below are some helpful tips on how to do that.

  • Start with games that take little time to finish. This is similar to giving the child a quick, fun experience—an appetizer if you will. Games that don’t take time to finish are usually fast-paced and easy. The child will be raring to go again each time they finish. Chances are they’ll want to explore more board games, or at least won’t hesitate when you introduce another board game.
  • Introduce interactive board games. Children tend to lose focus fast. Starting with more interactive games will help keep the child interested. By their very nature, interactive games demand more participation, making things even more engaging. Some games can be played on computers. Depending on the game this is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Play with them! This is obvious but finding the time to sit down with them for an hour is not so easy. Try and make this a priority. Collect board games that allow multiple players to make things more interesting. Children love it when their parents play with them. They learn a lot during these periods. Playing with their parents also introduces an edge to the game. Your child will always savor the chance to beat you in a game. We have a cupboard in the kitchen and the children can go a get one. Even if it is just Uno or a deck of cards for 20 minutes.
  • Allow them to choose. As the child gets more and more into board games, allow them the chance to choose what to play. You might be tempted to have them stick to only playing educational board games because the benefits seem very obvious. However, allowing the child to make their own choices ensures that they generally remain interested.
  • Make things physical occasionally. Children are a bundle of energy, meaning that they might not always enjoy sitting still for long periods. To keep things interesting, you can introduce some physical activity. You can take a different approach to playing board games that require arranging components over a table. Instead of using a table, you could use a larger area, like a room. This ensures that the child moves around as they play the game.

Final Thoughts on Why Board Games Are Great for Children

Firstly they are fun and relationship-forming. It is easy when you put time aside to think that watching a film is a great option. After thirty minutes everyone is on their phone. Although together in one room they might as well be in different rooms. A board game, by its interactive nature, means that there is conversation and memories made.

As well as this there are clear educational and developmental benefits as described above.