5 Beautiful Benefits of Playing Board Games With Your Family
Why Play Board Games
Are you big into playing board games with family?
If not, you might want to reconsider.
The positive effects that come from playing board games are surprisingly powerful–for both children AND adults.
We all know it’s never too early to start reading to our children and that reading to our kids is important. But not everyone knows the same goes for board games.
In my teacher education classes in college, I learned how valuable board games are for children (and adults). They go so much farther than providing fun entertainment.
The benefits that come from playing board games with family are endless and truly priceless, which I am now experiencing firsthand with my children.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
5 Beautiful Benefits of Playing Board Games With Your Family
1. The bonding lasts a lifetime.
I recently heard someone say that true success is when your adult children still want to hang out with you.
My kids are 2 and 4 years old, and I often think, “I hope I’m doing this [parenting thing] right. I hope my husband and I form a bond so strong with our children that we will remain close with them well after they are grown adults.”
One of my friends who is older than me has children who are married and having babies now; she told me that the key to having a close relationship with your kids is having a home environment that they want to be in.
A home environment that is safe, relaxing, enjoyable, and full of laughter. Playing board games helps cultivate this.
Here’s a cute, true story that supports this:
Another girlfriend of mine was invited to spend Thanksgiving out of state with her boyfriend and meet his parents.
While eager and excited to meet the parents, she chose to travel after Thanksgiving because she didn’t want to miss out on her annual Family Game Night.
I thought, “This must be some game night!” and instantly wanted to learn more.
She went on to tell me that for as long as she can remember, her parents and siblings play games for hours the evening after Thanksgiving with another family and that it is tons of fun.
That sounded like the sweetest thing to me, so I immediately wanted to copy. And I am so glad I did!!
Our 2 year old and 4 year old played games with my husband and me for FOUR (yes, four!) hours the day after Thanksgiving.
We kicked off the new tradition with some hot chocolate, and from 3 pm to 7 pm, we played many rounds of Yeti in My Spaghetti, Dinosaurs Memory and Matching, Hopskotch, and a made up hula hoop game that involved lots of silly running in the backyard.
The amount of laughter that came from that one evening was so incredibly special. It was my most favorite night of the whole year, and I cannot wait to continue the experience.
The togetherness boosts bonding and reduces stress for all participants, another great benefit of playing board games with family.
2. Social connection, especially for quiet children, is HUGE.
I was labeled as shy for much of my childhood, which did not feel good and only made me clamp up more when I was told that.
Developing social skills takes practice…Some need more practice and guidance than others. Board games help with this, BIG time!
I had a hard time feeling comfortable to speak, especially in group settings. But if there was a board game happening, I felt more at ease because a board game provides rules and structure that people need to follow.
So for someone who is quiet, they get a turn to be “in the spot light” that they can anticipate and comfortably watch others do first before their turn comes in the game.
Board games provide a more encouraging speaking environment that feels predictable and secure.
Socializing is made easier.
3. Cognitive development is enhanced for ALL.
The benefits of boardgames in early childhood and beyond, are absolutely wonderful. No matter how young or old you are, playing board games enhances brain health.
Playing Board Games Help:
- Reduce the risks of Alzheimers or Dementia
- Strengthen listening skills
- Teach logic and cause and effect
- Teach the concept of rules and following directions
- Promote concentration and processing speed
- Improve critical thinking and problem solving
- Enhance creativity and imagination
- Foster strong math and reading skills
- Teach how to set goals
- Teach how to be patient and persistent
- Promote strong teamwork/collaboration/good sportsmanship
- Improve sharing, taking turns, having good manners
And all of these things are done in a fun way!
3. Confidence is boosted.
If you win, of course confidence is boosted 🙂 But confidence is boosted in so many other areas, too, from improving math or reading skills, to improving your social/emotional skills, to feeling enjoyed and appreciated by the ones playing the game with you.
The time spent together playing board games fosters an environment that boosts confidence overall, which is so important in a developing child.
4. Fond memories are created.
Yes, there will be bickering and arguing and a few tears while playing board games, especially when children are younger.
But the laughter, joy, and excitement from the experience as a whole far outweighs the cries.
And, the tears or bickering are good in that they provide you an opportunity to teach problem solving, teamwork, etc. in a healthy manner through positive communication.
5. Screen time is minimized.
Did you know that many studies show children who are in front of screens more often than children who are not, have increased anxiety, depression, boredom, and lack of social skills?
In a world where everywhere we go, we see people young and old with screens in their faces, I’d like to minimize screen time for my kids as much as possible.
Playing board games helps accomplish this.
Want to know something interesting? My kids went through a really intense bickering phase. And it happened to be during a time when we were letting them watch way too much TV…
My husband and I both work, we’re all busy, and so we’re guilty of leaning on the TV more than we should sometimes…
During that bickering phase, I decided to cut the TV cold turkey for a bit. The arguing went away almost immediately. I don’t know how screen time could potentially cause more fights, but in our household, that ended up being the case.
I shared that story with another mom friend who coincidentally said she noticed the same thing happen with her toddlers, too…Interesting food for thought…
Board Game Family Favorites
These have been our family favorites thus far:
Monkey Around (This is the sweetest game and is a perfect first game for your little one)
Why Play Board Games: Final Thoughts
Not only are board games fun, but they are incredibly educational and healthy for the brain for all ages!
It is pretty awesome that a single board game has the ability to enhance and strengthen one’s social connection, emotional bonding, and cognitive development.
I absolutely love playing board games with family. I hope you find as much joy in playing board games with your kids, too!
Do you have a family favorite board game? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments section below.