Recently a friend bought my daughter a board game as a present and I couldn’t have been more pleased. I always loved playing board games as a child and now I love playing them with my daughter and here are my reasons why:
For me the most important benefit of playing board games for me is bonding with my daughter. I have to admit I don’t always enjoy role play with her, but I always enjoy playing board games and she seems to enjoy playing them as well. Board games are fun for adults and children and it is lovely to see your child thinking through their next move and their excitement as they play.
Whenever I am with my mummy friends our three year olds’ burgeoning social skills are always a hot topic of conversation. Playing board games helps children to practice taking turns and waiting patiently for their turn, these are massively important social skills. We started playing board games six months ago with our daughter and her patience and resilience has come on leaps and bounds over this term.
Playing board games gives children a safe environment to experience winning and losing. As adults we can demonstrate how to be gracious winners and losers, we also have the chance to emphasise not just the winning and losing element of the game, but also the enjoyment gained from simply playing the game. At the moment, my daughter is not really interested in winning and losing and I don’t emphasise it, we just play the games and at the end discuss the game and what she enjoyed the most about it.
Board games offer opportunities to for children to practice following rules. I think it is also very important to discuss with children how the rules help the games to be enjoyable for everyone and why we have rules.
Through board games children can learn through play, which I personally believe is one of the most effective ways for young children to learn. Through our The Curious Dragons games children learn counting, logic and number recognition in a fun, pressure free environment.
It can be quite daunting to start playing board games with a young child, will they find the rules to constricting? Will they enjoy it? Will it all end in tears? Here are my personal tips for ways to ensure that playing board games is fun and enjoyable for all:
Pick games that are age appropriate. All our The Curious Dragons games are short and snappy, with bright colourful pieces that engage children. I find I pull out a game for a quick play after lunch or when my daughter is getting over tired, they really seem to re-focus her.
Go at your child’s pace, and if they get distracted don’t force them to complete the game.
Adapt the game if need be, maybe start by playing with fewer pieces or taking the competitive element out completely and just play as one team.