Three Ways Board Games Can Benefit A Child’s Development
Playtime is a vital part of the puzzle that is a child’s development. At a time where technology has taken over seemingly every part of our lives, the use of traditional toys such as board games can get lost in it all. With the introduction of digital games and all of its accessories, the future of board games may seem questionable. However, encouraging your child to play physical board games can actually fuel their development. Take a look at just some of the reasons why board games should be a staple in a child’s routine (and the science behind it).
Enhance In-Class Learning
To ensure a child is learning in class materials at the optimum level, playtime is essential. The brain is better able to focus during school lessons after regular breaks since it is more refreshed. When the brain is more alert, more information is retained. This theory was identified and further supported in 2009 by Pellegrini. So, how does playing a board game translate into a child’s in-class learning? Board games can teach numbers and strategy; both of which are key concepts in lessons at school such as math and arithmetic. Games like Monopoly Junior include fun fantasy role-playing while instilling fundamental math lessons for younger children while word games such as Scrabble aid language and spelling skills. They also include an element of fun so children are learning tips they can then apply to their in-class work and as a bonus; they feel refreshed after playing a fun game.
Support Their Neurological Development
As they play, a child’s brain works to connect the dots; essentially developing the ability to make connections. Studies across the globe including one published in 2000 by Shankcof and Philips, have supported this theory with the results revealing a growth in brain cells and a connection between the brain’s neuronal connections. Some board games will require your child to plan strategies as they compete. Whether it is with a game of chess or a card game, board games can aid their memory skills and ability to correlate facts.
Board games are also a great way you can aid in the development of a child’s fine motor skills. As they begin to grasp game pieces, they can learn to control their muscles in their hands and fingers or even their balance for some guessing games such as Pictionary. This is similar in theory to the development of a child’s gross motor skills which can be helped with the inclusion of active and outdoor play such as martial arts class, playground play or outdoor riding on transport toys and bikes. Others such as pedal cars and bikes can help with a child’s coordination and balance. As a bonus, doing this will also give them the confidence to continue learning and indulge that curiosity all children are born with.
Develop Their Social And Communicative Skills
Board games are also a great way to connect with your child and encourage their communication abilities. Group and imaginative play games can help children verbalise their emotions and work on their social skills as they play alongside their peers. For parents and carers, it is an opportunity that allows for the fostering of a bond and communication with their kids. For kids, playtime allows them to learn the norms of existing ins society and interacting with others. Therefore it is also a great aid in a child’s social skill set. An article published in The Washington Post cited one of the many benefits of board games as being self-regulation or, being able to wait your turn. Following directions and social interaction rules will later translate into so many other aspects of their lives.
The key to unlocking these benefits lies in choosing the right board game for your child’s interest and age. Including a board game in your child’s playtime may seem like such a simple thing to do but it can have long-lasting positive effects. In so many ways it can help to equip them with the tools they need to venture confidently into the world and go on to go and be great contributors to society.