A long-standing concept, board games have been around for millennia. Even scientists don’t know when the first one appeared in history. They have only been able to draw an approximation between 10,000 and 3,000 BC. As each civilization has its own culture, board games can be said to have their own origins. Go and Shogi, for example, come from Japan, Senet from Egypt and Tic-Tac-Toe from the USA.
Today, there are a multitude of variants that designers like to rework to make games more exciting. But are board games just for fun? What about their real benefits, especially for our children’s education? Here are some of the answers.
Learning to live in a community with board games
Played by 2, 3, 5 or even more than 10 players, board games are an excellent way to introduce children to community life. To ensure that games run smoothly, it’s important to respect all participants, for example, by waiting your turn. This can be a good exercise in learning patience.
In a real-life situation, your children will understand why they have to queue at the checkout in stores and supermarkets. They’ll know that throwing a tantrum won’t get them ahead in the queue.
Playing with others will also develop their ability to interact with others and help those around them. In Monopoly, for example, compromise is sometimes necessary to win, and new alliances can be forged.
Developing children’s sense of collaboration
The exciting thing about board games is that there are so many different types. There are cooperative games. These have the advantage of teaching our childrenthe importance of good teamwork. Indeed, in this type of entertainment, the participants are not adversaries. They have to organize themselves and work together. There are only two possible outcomes: winning or losing together.
In this way, little ones develop the notion of mutual aid and trust in others. This will come in handy in real life when they want to integrate more easily into a new school or association.
Arguments between brothers can also be mitigated through this type of entertainment, as children learn to better manage their disagreements. They also understand the value of spending time together as a family, and will no longer be reluctant to spend more time with their parents and loved ones.
Among the games we recommend for this purpose are puzzles. By helping each other, you’ll be able to put all the pieces together more quickly.
Board games to teach discipline
Rules are the very essence of life in society. Without laws to govern people, no community could live in peace and harmony. By introducing your children to board games, you’re already instilling these values in them. It will also teach them the notion of right and wrong.
To stay in the game and keep playing, little ones will have no choice but to respect the rules. Little by little, they will assimilate this learning into their everyday lives, starting with the laws of the house. In fact, for education to be effective, you need to apply the same principles on a daily basis and create a discipline and a line of conduct to follow at home. Introduce rewards and penalties, for example. This will encourage them more.
Communication through board games
Understanding and being understood are not easy tasks for everyone. Children, more than adults, don’t know how to express their feelings. Yet this is one of the most important foundations of communication. So why not use board games to teach our little ones to distinguish themselves?
In terms of communication, the advantages of board games are numerous:
- Development of empathy
- Sharpened negotiating skills
- Increased self-confidence and trust in others
- Improved sense of coordination
Prioritize cooperative games for best results. Your little ones will learn to express their ideas without fear of others’ opinions, because everyone is put on an equal footing.
Listen to those around you to win
In many board games, listening is important, especially in variants where teamwork is required. These games will teach your children the meaning of the saying “Two heads are better than one”. They can then pool their ideas to better beat their opponents.
- In a board game, you have to :
- Let each partner speak in turn
- Listen to other opinions to better analyze the situation
- Compare opinions
- Consolidate ideas and create a plan of action
In real life, this will help our little ones to consider and respect the opinions of others. It will also teach them to be more open-minded about new ideas. This is an important factor in their development.
Board games and emotional management
Children often lack patience. From birth to the age of three, little ones don’t yet understand why they have to wait. This can lead to frustration, insecurity and stress. However, there are a number of options available to help them get used to waiting. Board games are a good example.
It should be noted, however, that these are generally not accessibleto them before the age of 3. That’s when you can gradually instill this notion in your little one. At the age of 4, children start to assimilate this learning process and become more and more able to wait for a while.
The usefulness of board games in this case is to train little ones to be patient for several minutes at a time. As the game progresses, they will manage their anxiety better and become more tolerant.
Strengthening family ties
The bonds between parents and childrenand between childrenare very important, as these different parties have to live under the same roof and interact on a daily basis. Daily tensions caused by unresolved disagreements can take their toll on everyone’s psychology. To prevent this, it’s important to maintain relationships within the same household.
To this end, it’s essential to create activities that can be enjoyed together. It could be a familyouting or a small restaurant. That said, the best times you can spend together are the ones you have at home, which is why board games are so useful. With them, you laugh together, form alliances, share and, best of all, connect.
Learn to calculate with board games
Calculating is never that easy for everyone. Some find it harder than others to assimilate mathematical formulas. Yet they are necessary for solving problems and, in particular, for making simple commercial transactions in everyday life. If you notice that your children are lagging behind in this area, why not try exercising them with board games ?
Dominoes and card games can be a great way to start learning to identify numbers. There are also number puzzles that your children can put in order according to the logical sequence of numbers. As your children’s skill levels increase with practice, you’re free to make the challenge a little tougher with more complex variations. Monopoly and other strategic games can be played from the age of 8.
Develop your children’s creativity with board games
In the process of growing up ,the creative sense is not to be taken lightly. It’s how our little ones perceive the environment around them. Creativity gives them the means to overcome a problem by developing one or more solutions themselves. It is therefore essential to improve this ability.
Each type of board game has its own specific aim. While some games are designed to sharpen communication skills, critical thinking and teamwork, others are designed to sharpen the player’s sense of humour. There are also games designed to sharpen children’s creativity.
Construction games, for example. In these, our little ones give free rein to their imagination by creating structures dreamed up in their heads. In this way, they demonstrate their inventiveness.
Drawing games are also good exercise. With hexagonal educational puzzles, little ones can create any shape they like: animals, houses, geometric shapes, and recreate various household objects.
Prevent mental illness with board games
Elderly people are not the only ones who can suffer from cognitive decline. The proof is that during confinements, scientists have noticed an increase in this phenomenon among children. This is linked to reduced social interaction and the reduction or absence of intellectual stimuli. In the long term, this can lead to mental disorders.
This is where board games come in. They keep the brain active during play, helping to prevent diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s in children. However, to avoid monotony, it is advisable to vary the games you play and not to stick to a single genre. The best games include cooperative games, atmospheric games, strategy games, family games and memory games.
Creating good memories together
More than teaching our children, we also need to think about their happiness. Spending time playing with them contributes far more than you might think. That’s what board games are all about: creating valuable, special moments and memories to share together.
Games are also a great way to forget our everyday worries for a few hours. It’s also an excellent stress reliever for adults and children alike.
Board games for children: how often is it worthwhile?
The benefits of board games for our children’s education and training are undeniable. The more you play with your little ones, the more they’ll develop good habits. As such, there’s no recommended frequency for playing. Start and restart a game as often as you like, and as much as you both enjoy. Don’t force your toddlers to play if they don’t want to. This could only create tension between you.
That said, you can introduce your little ones to play from a very early age, with early-learning games for example. From the age of 2, experts agree that learning can begin. The Montessori method is a good way of doing this, for the benefit of your little ones. Be careful, however, not to put pressure on your little ones. Put fun before learning.
At Enfant World, we offer a wide selection of wooden games for children that develop their senses and their ability to fend for themselves.
Don’t hesitate to organize a family game night once a week. It’s a great way to spend some quality time together, and relieve the pressure and stress accumulated during the week.and you? Do you like board games? Do you often play games with your child ? Which games do you prefer? Tell us about your unusual experiences in the comments.