For as long as I can remember I have loved rainy days. I grew up in a family that was always on the go and usually outside. So when all of the practices and activities were rained out, we went home to a giant bowl of popcorn to play Clue, Battleship, Connect Four, Uno, Life, and Monopoly. We sat in the den for hours with the television off talking, laughing, bonding, and playing a board game.
Board games can be a wonderful tool in promoting family unity. It’s amazing that when kids and teens get into the relaxed atmosphere surrounding the board game, they are able to open up and share so many aspects of their lives. As a family sits around a table and laughs together, the underlying message is, “I like you and I enjoy spending my time with you.” To me, this is the definition of quality time.
Board games may just look like fun and family bonding, but here are a few additional areas where board games can be educational.
•Concentration and attention to details– Taking turns, following the flow of the game, and adhering to rules are skills that can carry-over into the classroom.
•Strategic thinking– Many games require planning several moves ahead. This encourages a higher level of thinking and increases problem solving skills.
•Creativity– Many games require drawing, acting and/or making up stories. These actions can have a positive impact on creative writing and abstract thought.
•Good sportsmanship– Being able to win respectfully and lose gracefully is a skill that will stay with kids throughout adulthood.
•Vocabulary and Spelling– Games like Balderdash and TriBond expand vocabulary. And, I am pretty sure that I learned how to spell the word “queue” while playing Scrabble.
This summer when it’s your turn throw the dice, know that what you are building is open communication, life long memories, and family unity. The family that plays together, stays together.