index

Top 5 Benefits of Board Games for Kids

When a child plays board games, they’re not just having fun and connecting with family. Playing is how children learn, and board games provide the perfect controlled environment to teach many brain-building skills that will follow them through their entire lives.

1. Learning to Plan

Through the fun of board games, children learn how to plan. In some games, this may be closer to plotting the demise of another player, but the same skill is gained. A child must look at the situation, decide what their goal is, and then plot and adapt at each turn they get to make. Learning to plan many moves ahead builds lots of new brain connections, and teaches your child problem-solving skills.

2. Plans Fall Through

On top of learning how to plan, children learn that their plans might go completely wrong, or even backfire on them. It’s amazing that a simple board game can help children discover that other people can influence and change the environment, and because of this, plans don’t always work out. Discovering that plans don’t always work out may be disappointing, but it teaches perseverance and adds another layer to learn about problem-solving.

3. Resource Management

In many board games, you have a finite amount of resources, whether it’s how many moves you can make, how many tokens you have, or even how much fake money is piled on your side of the board. Learning how to manage resources is vital in life, and board games help to teach this in a safe environment, where the worst consequence is losing. These skills can be applied later in life to financial decisions, and workplace problems.

4. Social Skills

Through play, board games can teach your child an amazing amount of social skills. Nobody wants to play with an overly boastful winner or a sore loser that strikes out with harsh words. This may take a while to learn, but it teaches children to speak graciously and kindly when they win and speak without malice when they’ve lost. This can be applied directly to so many situations they’ll experience later in life, such as job interviews, promotions, or even asking a girl on a date.

5. Emotional Skills

For a child, losing at a board game can hurt. It may feel like a failure, or that the world is unfair. Through repeated playing, and sometimes repeated losing, children learn to work through that pain, anger, and disappointment. They learn that losing at a board game isn’t really that important and that the goal is to stay positive and have fun. By learning to stay positive, even through loss, they also find that you can move on to play another game immediately afterward.  Without the mourning period of losing, pain is mostly avoided.

It’s truly amazing that a game can teach a child so many vital skills that adults need to thrive. The next time you’re playing a board game, think about what skills that gave would teach to a child. Or better yet, play a board game with a child and see them learn for yourself.