Psychologists claim that children who have played board games grow up to be smarter and more attentive compared to the kids who play only video games. Kids who regularly play board games have a well-developed logic and imaginative thinking. Since many board games are team games, children learn to interact with each other, seek compromise, wait patiently and lose with dignity. These qualities are very important in adult life.
Another important advantage of board games is accessibility. It is enough to have a coffee table or carpet because all the necessary gaming equipment is already inside the box. Board games are affordable, you can literally buy a new game every month and even create your own collection of games for family gaming nights.
Also, board games are great when it comes to developing social and mental skills among kids. Below you will find a few social benefits of board games.
Scientific benefits of playing board games for kids
Mathematical skills. Many board games demand basic calculating skills – the score of moves, points, money, cubes, etc. What matters is how the child moves on the playing field: counting from one or adding the result to the already calculated fields, thus performing more and more complex calculations;
Spatial thinking. U.S. scientists Jamie Giraud from Rhodes College and Nora Newcomb from Temple University analyzed data of 847 children aged 4 to 7 years and reported that board games, puzzles, and dice are very useful in developing children’s spatial thinking. Doodling, playing with toys, bicycling, scooters, or storytelling did not affect spatial intelligence in the same way as board games, mostly puzzles.
Speech development and social interaction. Speech therapists have been using board games for kids who have different speech problems. There are games that require teamwork. The more a shy and silent child talks and communicates when playing and feeling happy, the better his or her speck skills can be.
Strategic thinking is boosted when a child learns how to plan and achieve the goals in the game. Several experiments by U.S. scientists have shown that children’s strategic thinking is enhanced if a child begins to analyze, reflect on the hidden mechanisms of his or her choices and the amazing results the board games help to achieve.
Improvement of mental health. Board games can reduce fatigue, depression, and stress – these are the scientifically proven facts. If your child feels tired and depressed, board games can help to be happier, excited and generally have fun.
Board games benefits for adults
Board games distract from work and life routine, allow you to immerse in a new unusual world and have an unforgettable time together with friends and family. Also, board games create a friendly atmosphere.
And what else? Can the games develop and improve the skills of adult players? Yes. The vast majority of games do not only entertain, but also develop different skills. Let’s go through the main categories of board games for adults:
- Strategies develop strategic thinking, diplomatic skills, and leadership qualities. They teach proper planning and analysis. Players will have to take responsibility and make important decisions quickly. Participants will get an invaluable experience that will surely be useful in everyone’s life;
- Economic games teach how to assess the situation, how to invest, profit and multiply your capital. Players will build an economic model, a system for earning more points to win;
- Wargames. Feel like Alexander the Great and develop tactical skills. Learn to analyze the situation, predict enemy actions and make responsible decisions.
- Logical games and puzzles develop abstract thinking and learn to calculate their actions for many moves forward;
- Detective games develop deduction, observation, and flexibility in thinking. Learn to work with large amounts of information;
- Active games like Twister help to develop reactions, agility and accuracy. Improve the coordination of movements;
Social benefits of board games for kids and adults
Board games are usually associated with delivering exciting feelings. But did you know about their “magic” ability to keep your mind active and healthy? When playing board games, different people with different needs and abilities gather at the same table for one purpose – to have fun. But there are other social benefits of playing board games:
They make you feel good. One of the “side effects” of board games is laughter. They increase the number of endorphins and just make you feel happy. Sincere loud laughter and joy along with friends can also contribute to empathy and trust with others.
Make quality time with family. Do not forget to get together from time to time, because without communication even strong family bonds slowly fade away. Board games after a family dinner is a great way to get close to your relatives.
Build memory and enhance cognitive skills. Children who play board games can develop basic cognitive skills – for example, the ability to solve problems. It’s especially useful to play board games for the development of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex – these two brain sections are responsible for memory and thinking. If elderly people play board games, the brain maintains its mental abilities and keeps them in good condition.
Reduce the risks of mental illness. One of the main advantages of board games is reducing the risk of cognitive impairment – for example, the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When your mind is busy, your connections between nerves become stronger. And the stronger your brain, the more stable it is.
Accelerate reaction and response times. Even if you’re not a child anymore, you still need to train your response time. The more you play board games, the better and faster you react to and interact with your environment.
Reduce blood pressure. When playing, you laugh and after the release of endorphins, the blood pressure becomes stable. The muscles relax and the blood circulates freely through the body. In such a funny way, you get pleasant prevention of heart disease and stroke.
Now you know about the major benefits of playing board games, despite the age of participants. These games are affordable, easy to understand and play, develop social and mental skills. They are fun for a whole family! Just try playing board games and you won’t be able to stop!
I’m scared that too many kids are only playing video games or just watching too much stuff on their phones today in general. They need to take their eyes off the screen and play some board games!