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The Many Benefits of Family Board Games

These days, kids can be so at one with their screens that it's hard for them to see the benefit of playing a good old-fashioned board game. They might see them as totally uncool, boring and time consuming and their attention can wander easily even if you get them to sit down and try one out. Screens offer instant satisfaction and they can swipe to their hearts’ content - this means that trying to learn how to play a new game is not always the easiest thing to do.

Credit: Pixabay

Games, however, force focus, and that can be difficult for kids. The thing is, if you don't introduce board games to your kids when they're young, they're never going to learn how to play them or how to have patience while they do learn how to play them. Whether it's Monopoly and Cluedo, or you're looking to embrace Dungeons and Dragons with free D&D maps, then you need to consider what variety of games your kids would be interested in. One of the best ways to help them to learn this is to figure out the benefits of board games so you can really sell it. Let's take a look at how your kids can benefit from playing board games with the family and even their friends.

Family Time

Credit: Karolina Grabowska

Board games can provide excellent family time. Life is busy and most families these days have both parents working full time. That level of commitment to a job is not always easily balanced with family life, and you might think, 'Hey, I'm doing what I can for my family'. This is totally fair! It's all the more reason, though, to sneak in a bit of extra bonding time whenever you can. When you're sitting in a group around the dining table, the family unit itself can strengthen and there is a massive sense of belonging and excitement. Your kids will be bouncing off each other and they'll be responding to you, and this is part of the reason so many people like to play board games with their kids.

Communication is Everything

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Playing board games may help your children to build their communication skills. If you are struggling to teach your kids how to stop interrupting each other, sitting them around with a board game could be of huge benefit. It's a great way to learn turn taking, and they're going to learn the importance of that through practice. As kids get older, they crave independence, so your once chatty child may be a little quieter. Board games can help with this because while you're playing and you're talking about the game, the conversations often spiral and you will end up laughing harder than you have in a long time.

Following Instructions

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Getting into board games can teach your children the importance of following instructions. As adults, we know that there are instructions in every aspect of life, so board games are a great way for children to learn to pay attention and follow step-by-step guidance to get the best results. Not only that, but they will also have to read and digest instructions then figure out what to do. It's an opportunity to develop independent as well as collaborative thought which can make things really exciting. Children will learn to deal with the boundaries and restrictions that come with board games, but they'll learn to work within them, which are amazing life skills!

There's so much to learn from failure

Credit: Mohamed Abdelghaffar

Of course, you're going to help your children learn why it's OK to fail. You might not think that it's a good idea for your children to ever learn how to fail, but when you do so, you're going to help them to learn resilience and how to pick themselves back up. There needs to be a shift in narrative where failure is something that they've done wrong and can never come back from. Instead, playing board games will help them see that failure is how they will learn from mistakes. So any strategies they implemented in one round of the game, they can learn from those in the next round of the game. Failure is teaching them to succeed. So embrace the failures as well as the successes. Just don't be the parent that teases your kid when they lose!

Handling competition

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You're going to foster some healthy competition. It's not always easy to teach children that competition is a good thing. Some kids can't handle losing, and they may react in quite an extreme way. However, playing board games can bring out a fun competition in your family, and you can twist the narrative every time it starts to become negative to make being in competition fun and exciting rather than aggressive. It's also a great space to be able to teach them lessons, such as how to congratulate winners and not act like someone who's been hurt.

Literacy & Numeracy

Credit: Suzy Hazelwood

Naturally, your children will have the chance to improve their literacy and numeracy skills too. So many board games have numeracy and literacy at their very heart, which means that when you are sitting around the table having fun, your kids are also going to be learning. Monopoly, for example, requires players to keep track of their money and learn how to do exchanges with the bank. There are other games like Payday that can do the same thing and teach them how to manage money at the same time as having fun. There are also games that use probability, with players having to consider the chances of certain outcomes, such as chess or drafts.


Credit: Cottonbro Studio

You're going to encourage problem solving in your kids. It's not the easiest thing to encourage, but without tactical thinking, a board game is often impossible to win. If you could encourage your children to solve their own problems while they are playing board games, you'll eventually watch them benefit in other areas of their life. They'll have to learn how to think several steps ahead, rather than about what they want to do right here and right now. This is something even us adults could benefit from sometimes!

Do you play board games in your family? If so, which ones? I'd love to know!

Go well,



P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to get ALL Abigail's bookish news as and when it happens. You'll also bag yourself a copy of Life Is Yours - the first book in the Life Is Yours Trilogy. Sign up here.

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