Considering the proliferation of forms of entertainment in our modern world, it may surprise you to find out that board games are actually increasing in popularity. And considering all the benefits of playing board games, this can only be a good thing. Board games are more than just entertainment. They bring with them a myriad of health benefits, including decreasing stress, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of mental diseases. In children, they also promote cognitive development, improve interpersonal skills, and are an enjoyable learning experience all round. Read on to learn more about all the awesome benefits of board games!
Encourage Socializing, Bring People Closer And Strengthen Relationships
In general, playing board games is a social activity. Whether you are forging connections with new acquaintances, or deepening a family bond, board games bring people together. And it’s not just the nice company – the teamwork and common attention required creates the perfect conditions to strengthen bonds.
Produce Great Memories
If you played board games as a child, I’m willing to bet you have some experiences surrounding them seared into your memory. For me, it’s the gradually deteriorating Monopoly board we played in candlelight every summer on our yearly camping trip. From rainy days to family Christmases to COVID-19 isolation, board games turn ordinary days into fond memories!
Bring Laughter, Allow People To Have Fun And Leave Them With A Feeling Of Happiness
Whether you’re playing an intentionally funny game or not, laughter is always a side effect of board game playing. This laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. These chemicals are what make you feel cheerful and ultimately content after a good play session.
Enable People To Spend Quality Family Time
There’s nothing that draws the family together like playing board games. Instead of retreating to your various devices after family dinner, try instituting board game night every week. You’ll find that it’s never been easier to spend quality time together – even your teens will be laughing along!
Reduce Risks For Mental Diseases
Lower Blood Pressure
The stress relief that occurs when playing board games can even lower blood pressure if you play regularly. It’s all thanks to those happy hormones that get released when you play with loved ones!
Grow People’s Immune System
Act As A Form Of Therapy Treatment: Board Games Promote Mental Stimulation, Language Function, Attention Span And Spatial Ability
Board game playing stimulates brain areas controlling multiple different functions. Therefore, it can act as a form of therapy for people struggling in diverse areas.
Whether addressing language function, attention span, spatial ability, or fine motor skills, board games make fantastic occupational therapy treatments.
Benefits Of Board Games For Kids
Here are some of the ways playing board games is good for kids in particular.
Increase Kids’ Cognitive Function And Memory Formation
Playing board games provides even greater cognitive benefits for kids. When kids play board games, they are practicing essential cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, spatial awareness, and logical reasoning skills. On top of that, playing board games exercises areas of the brain responsible for complex thought and memory formation, namely the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
Offer Valuable Teaching Tools For Children
As a parent, board games can be used to teach your children valuable life skills in a stress free environment.
When you play a board game, you generally have an objective, and you have to make decisions to achieve it. This helps children learn how to set goals and how to figure out the steps to achieve those goals.
Many kids struggle with patience – when they want something, they want it now! But playing board games requires patience: you have to wait your turn and allow each player the space to make their decisions. This gives children valuable practice in waiting, which will improve their coping skills in real life too.
Enhance Children’s Creativity And Self-Confidence
Many board games reward creativity and imagination, especially roleplaying games. But playing games in general makes for greater self esteem. It allows children the space to try new things in a safe environment, and provides the opportunity to improve over time. It is also an amazing tool for shy children – watch them open up even with strangers after a few laughter-filled rounds of play!
Reduce Kids’ Screen Time
Too much screen time can lower a child’s attention span, heighten anxiety and depression, and lead to poor performance at school.
But keeping screen time down is a struggle all parents are familiar with – screens are addictive for kids, and it is hard to come up with alternatives. Playing board games a few nights a week is a wonderful way to reduce screen time for the whole family. When everyone is laughing together over the game, screens will be the last thing on your kids’ minds.
Create Kids’ Connections With Friends And Family
Just like with adults, playing board games strengthens relationships kids have with whoever they are playing with. It is so important for children to spend time with family through shared, focused, and fun activities.
If your kids have new friends over, bringing them all over to the game table is a great way to spark the formation of bonds.
Speed Up Children’s Response
Children who regularly play games have quicker response times than those who don’t. This is because when kids play board games, they practice their unconscious mind functions and sharpen their cognitive abilities.
Teach Children Important Social Skills
The social skills provided by board game playing may even be greater than the cognitive skills. Playing a cooperative game requires working together, and playing a competitive game teaches that you will lose sometimes. On top of that, turn taking, communication, and sportsmanship are all important skills that board games can teach children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Board games teach us the importance of spending quality time and having fun with loved ones. For kids, they also teach social skills like teamwork and turn taking, and cognitive skills like problem solving. They can also boost spatial reasoning and teach valuable life skills like patience and goal setting.
Board games can help mental health by providing stress relief. The endorphins your body releases when you are laughing and having fun with others can greatly reduce stress. Board game playing even lowers blood pressure if you do it often enough! Board games can also boost self confidence, especially in shy children.
Board games help a lot with social skills. There are many social considerations baked into board game rules – you have to wait your turn, accept it when you lose, and work together with teammates. Board gaming can thus help children develop key interpersonal skills that will aid them in life.
Board games help language development in multiple ways. Most games involve verbal communication, and thus support natural language development. There are also games that specifically target language and speech skills, such as Scattergories and Guess Who? But almost all board games involve practicing both verbal language abilities and social interaction.
As you can see, the benefits of board games are myriad. For adults, they provide health benefits and bring people closer together. They also support child development in many ways. So next time you want to spend quality time with family or friends, why not break out that box of Clue, Pictionary, or Catan!