Growing up, my family had a lot of board games. Unfortunately, because I was so competitive, they didn’t often want to play against me unless we had company over. As an adult, I’m still pretty fond of board games and my husband and I try to get together with friends every so often to play. Not only are board games fun your kids, but they also help teach kids valuable life lessons.
Games for Toddlers
Even toddlers can play board games as long as the game is explained and there is an adult on hand to help mediate and read cards if necessary. Thankfully, there are plenty of board games that are made with toddlers in mind and they require little to no reading, or they incorporate reading that is age appropriate. Some of the best toddler board games are:
• Zingo (matching)
• Boggle Junior
• Monopoly Junior
• Scrabble Junior (matching and forming short words)
• Junior Labyrinth (special skills and dexterity)
What Do Board Games Teach?
Board games don’t just teach you how to play a certain game. They also teach valuable social skills as well. Think about it, when you play a board game, you have to take turns, share, talk to the other players, and win or lose graciously. As adults, we might think this is simple, but that’s not always true for toddlers.
How often has your toddler played or interacted with other children their age? This will influence how well your toddler can play a board game. When a child doesn’t have much interaction with other kids, they can be impatient, reluctant to share, reluctant to take turns, and reluctant to lose.
Academic Learning through Board Games
Your child doesn’t need to play an academic game to learn important academic knowledge. Board games will help teach your child:
• How to count
• How to form basic words
• How to sort by shape and color
• Hand-eye coordination and dexterity
There’s a reason why so many teachers like math games in class. They’re fun and kids will play for hours and not realize that they’re picking up valuable math skills under the disguise of a game. Many board games are like this, especially the ones made for toddlers.
Scholastic. (n.d.). The benefits of board games. Scholastic.com.