Board Games Boost Social, Reasoning and Math Skills
September 23, 2014
Turn off the TV. Put away the computer and the tablet. Pull out the old time board games for your preschool kids. Older children can play age appropriate games for many of the same benefits. Benefits which include:
- improved math skills from counting, quantitative reasoning, and mathematical deduction; “if I do this, I get all your shells”.
- improved social skills: Cooperation – even if the game is competitive, they take turns. Some games encourage, in fact their success will depend on, how well they work together. Listening and watching rewards game players. Understanding, recognizing, and following rules are valuable skills reinforced in game play.
- hand-eye coordination: moving pieces, rolling dice, even setting up the board requires kids to use their hands in fine motor coordination.
- thinking skills: planning, strategy and reasoning
- breaking barriers: different skills and aptitudes from different players are recognized and appreciated
- emotional maturity: handle and watch how others handle winning and losing
- tenacity: one minute your down, stick with it and you may get a ladder to the top
Research shows the positive lasting scholastic impact of gaming. Researchers, Ramani and Seigler, did a study in 2007 where they introduced a game much like Chutes and Ladders, to children struggling with basic math skills and significantly raised their scores in a few weeks with consistent use of gaming.
- “The potential of gaming as a learning tool is immense – both as a powerful motivator within mainstream curricula activities or as an intervention method for those most in need of the engagement it delivers.” Imagination Gaming.co.uk
Google “Benefits of Board Games” and you’ll get scads of solid research confirming the many benefits of board and card games.
More good news is that games are getting updated and invented all the time. “Chutes and Ladders Super Hero Squad”, “The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game”, “Richard Scarry Busy Town”, “Sequence For Kids”, “Spot It” “Qwerkle” and “Zingo” are highly rated great games appropriate for ages as young as three. Many have junior versions.
Parents, you can play a role in getting your children , especially the young ones, started with their game. By playing with them a time or two, they will understand the rules and see you modeling skills required like taking turns. If you’re sitting in on a game or playing with them, you might ask about their strategy or decisions to help them verbalize their thinking. You may find their out-of-the-box ideas are pretty innovative.
Hands on, real pieces and paper games offer tangible benefits. No batteries and no screen time required !
For the price of a movie ticket you can buy a game that may positively impact your child now and into the future socially, emotionally and scholastically.