Gaming

How Board Games Can Be Educational

The world of board games offers more than meets the eye. Introducing board games to children from a young age hasfar-reaching benefits and poses tons of educational opportunities.

Learning is disguised under the veil of fun and games and kids can learn invaluable skills that transcend past the classroom. Here is a look at ways in which board games can be educational and why they are essential to a child’s development at every age.

Board Games Can Be Educational

Logic

There is a whole host of board games that promote logic skills while providing hours of fun. Some classic games like “Mastermind” or “Guess Who?” require kids to use reasoning and deduction to emerge as champions. Other games like “Connect 4” need kids to think a few steps ahead to beat their opponent.

Logic is a foundation skill in early childhood development and something that is taught through abstract activities. Strategy games like “Battleships” can help with logic and reasoning and prepare kids to one day become “Catan” masters in their own right.

Focus

Games often promote focus as kids need to concentrate on gameplay to finish the task at hand. It is important to play games without interruptions and play them from start to finish. This will improve their concentration and attention span, allowing them to focus longer when it comes to schoolwork.

Chess is an excellent game to help kids with focus and concentration, but its slow pace and monochromatic design might not be attention grabbing enough for young players. “Qwirkle” and “Set” are colorful alternatives where concentration is the name of the game.

Teamwork

Kids can hear tales about sportsmanship and teamwork till the cows come home.However, learning it in practice is much more effective. Let children play cooperative board games like Outfoxed where they must work together to defeat the game.

They will learn valuable lessons from this style of gameplay. The concepts of winning or losing are also valuable lessons to learn along the way.

Numeracy

Many board games require kids to count or do basic math to complete the game. There are even games like “Pizza Fraction Fun” that are designed specifically for educational purposes. “Head Full of Numbers” is a fun number version of Boggle that is great for kids who are starting their arithmetic adventures.

Young players still enjoy classics like “Snakes and Ladders” and can later advance to “Prime Club” where multiplication, division, and subtraction skills come into play. And it is not just advanced math skills that come into play. “Count Your Chickens” is a game for children as young as 3 where counting chicken playing pieces is both fun and educational.

Reading

Reading and board games go hand in hand, and this is a great time to get kids to practice this skill. Most of the time they won’t even notice that they are learning as they play! Even reading the rulebook constitutes as practice. “Headbandz” is a fun game where players must read the prompts on each other’s cards and explain what they see.

“Boggle” is a classic letters game where players recognize words in a scramble of letters. There is an infinite amount of boardgames to improve kids’ reading skills that are quite literally all fun and games.

Foundation Level Skills

Board games offer young learners the opportunity to develop basic knowledge of numbers, colors, and shapes. Colorful games like “Candyland” are fun for the whole family but the youngest players have plenty of opportunities to learn.

There are also games that develop dexterity and fine motor skills like “Animal Upon Animal” and “Banana Blast” where little hands must be steady to win the game.

Improves Memory

Everyone knows classic memory match games. This is the most basic example of how board games can help improve a child’s memory. But furthermore, board games prompt kids to remember rules, gameplay, and strategy too. Strategy games like “Ticket to Ride” also require a good memory as players need to remember strong trade routes to advance in the game.

“VATOS” is another game that can help cultivate memory retention as kids sit around the giant playing board looking for clues. Board games tap into the part of the brain responsible for memory and playing these kinds of games regularly can help children (and adults) improve their retention.

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About the author

Ashley Judd

My name is Ashley Judd, I’m 27 years old, I’m currently studying MA Accounting and Finance (yes I love numbers) at university in Nottingham. I write down all my thoughts and perceptions and to ramble on about anything and everything.