Playing Games With Your Child

games to play with your child

Whether you are playing board games or card games, your child will benefit. Spending time one on one, or as a family, will help to sharpen language skills, enhance focus, ease anxiety and teach teamwork.

Benefits of playing with your child 

There are many benefits that board games offer for early learning. Young children can learn to identify colors, count the spaces needed to move. This will help to develop hand and eye coordination, as well as taking turns and following the rules of the game. All very important skills. My family had a special Game Night.  Whether we played a FUN card game or an entertaining board game, the kids loved it.  There was always so much laughter. They couldn’t wait till the next time.

Brain Skills 

Board games are an easy way to develop brain skills by using logic and learning strategies. They encourage children to continue to learn, plan, organize and make good decisions. These processes increase the function in the frontal lobe that is responsible for important cognitive skills.  Cognitive skills refer to the performance associated with learning and problem solving.

Boosts Language Skills

Any kind of games, especially board games are an easy way to help kids work on skills they are struggling with.  If you have a child who is struggling with counting or reading, board games can give a child fun ways to practice these skills.  Often times without the child even realizing they are doing so. 

Increase Focus

Card or board games played to the end help to increase the attention span of a child. Make sure to play to the end without distractions. Turn off the radio, TV and your phones.  By focusing on the game it helps a child to expand their attention span in a world where there are too many distractions.   

games you can play with your child

Value of Teamwork

Board games are a great way of teaching the value of teamwork. Board games are a good way to encourage kids to team up.  An older child with a younger one. Girls against the boys.  Teaming up is a good way to get kids to work together.

Refocusing Alternative

Sometimes children have moments when they just don’t know how to tell you what is wrong.  They act out and it seems like a timeout may be a good choice.  Try grabbing a board game instead.  It is a great way to work on the parent-child relationship.  During that time you can use it as way of exploring what may be going on with your child. Help them to work through their issue while having fun.  

Soothing Anxiety

Many kids have anxiety because they worry about the past and the future. Playing games with your child helps them with anxiety because it keeps them focused in the moment. Board games are usually structured. Rules are given and each one knows what is expected of them. This helps each player to build relationships with friends and family. For children who are struggling with social skills play guessing games that require communication skills. Have fun and stay in the moment.

games you can play with your child

Learning To Be A Good Loser

Being a good loser is a very important skill to have. Teaching your child, it’s ok to lose at a very young age will decrease their frustration level.  If a child has a high frustration level, losing can be very difficult for them. If they are younger, let some of the rules slide a little.  Eventually the child should learn to follow all the rules so they can successfully lower and learn to manage their frustration level. Make sure positive reinforcement is applied to help them handle something that may have frustrated them in the past. For example, if a child drew a card that required them to move back on a board, you could tell them “I like the way you handled that.  You had to go back a little, but next time you know you’ll move forward again”.

Can Help With Mental Health

People are continuously looking for ways to have fun, especially as a family. Board games are an inexpensive way to relax and unwind. Even parents need to learn to unwind. Games provide fun and can take the pressure off by giving the entire group something else to focus on and enjoy. Stress and anxiety will be replaced by fun and laughter. 

Helps With Feelings Of Being Overwhelmed

Whether you’re playing cards or a board game the same positive outcomes are at play. Games can make you feel more grounded, unplugged from devices and the world. At the end of a busy week they allow us to reconnect with family and friends on a relaxing and fun level.

Being in a relaxed, safe environment helps us to learn skills that are needed for life. Games can build self-confidence, in addition to taking your mind off worries of the day.

Reconnecting 

Card or board games are great because they lack technology. They are a wonderful way for a parent and child, as well as families, to connect with one another. Order out, whether it’s at the beginning of the week or at the end, and have some fun.  Make it a regular day of the week. Spending time as a family and disconnecting from devices is a good way to re-energize. Playing with both parents, siblings and friends help to develop growing brains, bodies and social bonds. These are all important areas to develop in today’s world. With well-structured schedules and both parents working outside the home, rising screen time and social media use are causing a decline in children’s actual playtime.  According to an article in Psychology Today children ages 2-5 spend around 32 hours per week in front of a screen.  That’s 4.5 hours per day of missed opportunity for children to develop meaningful and important skills critical to their development. Over the past 30 years in my daycare, I have never allowed TV.  We were always busy exploring, learning, growing and having fun. 

Playing games can help to increase skills.  Skills such as math, memory, communication skills and even strategies. Every time games are being played your child’s confidence and self-esteem are increasing.  If you or your child suffer from social pressures, playing games can help to ease that. Games allow you to interact with others without having to come up with a topic of conversation. The topics are already given so there are not a lot of social pressures. Games that teach you and your child to work towards a common goal will help to immerse yourself in the game.  

So get out the cards and the board games. Order out and turn off all the devices, including TV.  Don’t underestimate the power of having fun and laughing with family and friends. The investment now at such a young age can benefit children for a lifetime.

games to play with your child