Why You Need Board Games Under Your Tree By Danielle Mantakoul
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When I was a child I lived with my grandmother, and every second week to give her a break, my Aunty Maureen and Uncle Vic would have me for the weekend. I remember these days as happy times in a childhood that was full of confusion and uncertainty. Why? Because my Aunty would play board game after board game after board game with me. Trouble, Battle Ships, Snakes and Ladders, Guess Who just to name a few. I would throw myself into each and every game enjoying both the highs and the lows of the experience.
These wonderful memories have inspired me in the last 12 months to start playing boardgames with my own kids. We are having a ball with Shopkins Pop, Game of Life and Kids Monopoly. I am currently on the hunt for new games to put under the tree and encourage you to do the same. Board games will not only provide your kids with great memories, but some great learning too.
- Turn taking
- Problem solving
- Mathematical concepts
- Following of rules and directions
- Social engagement and family bonding
- Attention span and commitment to finishing a game
- Celebration at the success of others and personal achievement
- Reflection on past game experience and development of new strategies
- Experience with winning and losing.
Assisting kids with winning and losing:
To assist your kids with aspects of winning and losing, ensure you’re not starting too young. I would begin to introduce these types of games just before school age. Take a look at yourself when you win or lose. How do you react? Your reaction is teaching your kids strategies good or bad on how to handle success and disappointment. If you win a game playing your young child, it’s ok to be the winner now and then, but ensure you are not focused on the winning aspect and ensure you talk about it being a great game and pointing out where your child succeeded. Of course you should let your child win at times, if every time they play a game with you they lose, this only disheartens them and can lead to it only being a negative experience.
The key to a great board game experience is to ensure it’s at your child’s level. Some games can be easily adapted where you can change or even cut out some of the existing rules to make it a simpler game that has a quicker finish.
By Danielle Mantakoul