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Board Games: Not Just Child's Play!

With the uprising of board games as a popular hobby, we wanted to talk about some of the reasons we love board games beyond the fun of crushing your enemies and bragging rights. Board games are a great skill building tool that can be so much fun you don't even realize you're learning and growing. Below are some of the reasons we love board games and why everyone else should too:
The Benefits of Board Games
Anyone who thinks back to childhood cannot deny that playing board games with their friends and family was a common source of entertainment. Unfortunately, we as a culture have moved away from this activity in favor of solitary online or console game play. While these technologically savvy games are both popular and fun, they do not provide much in the way of face to face, social interaction. This interaction is key to the development of a child’s maturing life and educational skills and is just one of many benefits offered by board games.
Bonding
Families who partake in activities together have a closer bond than families who leave their children to their own devices. Family game nights are a great way to interact with children. It is the perfect opportunity to talk, listen, and grow, not only as individuals, but as a family.
Life Lessons
Board games are not just fun. Some of them actually teach valuable lessons. A variety of subjects can be addressed with board games. Some instill good business sense or responsible money handling skills. Others focus on the power of doing good deeds and what results from them. Negotiation skills can be practiced with some games, and others can help teach players to organize their thoughts and think strategically. Lastly, board games can teach both the benefits and losses associated with risk taking.
Social Skills
Board games require people to interact with each other. Face to face interaction is key to the development of social skills. Verbal skills increase with this type of interaction, and many important traits can be adapted, such as patience, sharing, and taking turns.
Education
There are many educational advantages to board games. Many games require their participants to read cards, count spaces, and identify numbers on a die, improving their reading, spoken language, and numerical abilities. Trivia games challenge the player’s knowledge, while games involving money demand counting skills. Other games require logical thinking, and some even focus on artistic and spatial ability. Games involving historical time periods will often encourage children who love those games to delve deeply into the subject that excites them. Many English as a second language classes use board games as a foray into the English language. Additionally, there is even educational value to be found in reading a game’s instruction manual!
Improving Cognition
Often, people think of board games as a way to help children learn. However, they are also a useful tool when helping the elderly improve their cognition. Playing games and solving puzzles stimulate the mind, and studies have shown that older individuals who play board games regularly function at higher levels where memory, language, attention span, and spatial ability are concerned.
Board games are lots of fun, but they are not just child’s play. They are unique tools that help build social skills, improve cognition, teach life lessons, and improve one’s education. The social interaction promoted by board game playing is beneficial to all involved—old and young alike.
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