Does your family play a lot of board games? We have a handful of games we return to over and over, like Tenzi and Monopoly, which we simplify for younger kids. Today I have a guest post all about the benefits of board games.
Benefits of Board Games: Family Board Games as an Educational Tool
Kids board games are a favorite family activity in our house. Everyone loves to gather around the table in the evening and play board games! While board games have been a go to activity for family fun and bonding, the older our kids get the more I realize that board games are also a great educational tool!
Why should you use board games as an educational tool?
Most of us have tried to teach something new to our kids, only to watch their eyes glaze over and lose interest before completing our thought.
As frustrating as that is, I’ve realized that’s the kids way of challenging “Hey Dad/Mom, there has to be a better way for you to teach this to me right?!”.
Board games answer that challenge in our house.
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Benefits of Board Games: Learn Through Play
Board games teach through play. It is so much easier for kids to stay engaged when they are playing and having fun, and there are tons of board games that kids love playing that are also packed with learning opportunities.
Social Skills Benefits of Board Games
Board games teach so many social skills to kids while playing. Board games teach kids patience, turn taking, and how to win/lose gracefully. This learning opportunity is amplified when playing cooperative board games because you and the kids are on the same team, making you their gaming role model!
What can board games teach?
There has been an explosion of new board games created over the last decade thanks to a resurgence of tabletop gaming popularity plus Kickstarter. This has greatly expanded the realm of what you can teach with board games. While it would be hyperbolic to say anything can be taught through board games, I did manage to come up with 100 things kids can learn through board games.
How to teach with board games
Board games are one of the most flexible educational tools imaginable. I have met people who basically do 100% gameschooling (homeschooling with games) and had great success.
Other people supplement their children’s learning with board games. Maybe they’re working on addition in school so they pick up a game like Space Sums to play in the evening, for some fun reinforcement of the skill they have been working on in traditional school.
For us, when our kids were younger, board games and outdoor play served as their main teacher. I regularly tell people that our kids learned to count, add, and subtract, just from playing dice games. As the kids grew older we transitioned to more formal learning while supplementing learning through board games.
See also: How to Play Tenzi? 10 Awesome Ways
Board games are a great tool to reinforce learning and strengthen a child’s understanding of new concepts.
Where and When to Play Board Games
It’s really easy to plan a weekly or monthly family board game night if you’re a ‘planner’. This is a great way to bond as a family and take learning beyond the school day.
Having kids that span a large age range makes family fun for everyone together a huge challenge. Board games offer a perfect solution to this as there are a lot of family board games that kids from preschool age through adult can enjoy together. If you’re looking for a place to get started, check out the 10 best family board games for all ages.
Go find your next perfect board game!
I hope this post has motivated you to start using board games as part of your educational repertoire!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments; what have you seen your kids learn through board games? If you haven’t used board games as a teaching tool, why not?
Tyler blogs at kidsloveboardgames.com. Kids Love Board Games is a blog focused on benefits of playing family board games, gameschooling, as well as board game recommendations and reviews. Sign up for Kids Love Board Games weekly newsletter and follow Kids Love Board Games on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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