First, board games offer a refreshing opportunity to unplug from devices and just play! Play is often cited as critical to childhood development, and it’s a stress-reliever for adults, too. When you’re connected all the time, however, it can be hard to adjust to free-form fun once you cut the cord. I like to think that board games give you just enough structure to get started.
Second, playing games is an incredible skill-building pastime. Some games, like Hippo from Toysmith partner Helvetiq, have specific educational benefits like math, but most games are educational by nature. Players learn to take turns, think critically, plan ahead, resolve conflict, be patient, assess risk, communicate, follow instructions, make decisions, and solve problems. Plus, in a world of ever-shortening attention spans, board games can cultivate focus and a stick-to-it-ness that can prove helpful later on. I may be biased as a game designer, but, I think that the lessons of playing games are some of the most important in life. In fact, in this study, two neuroscientists found kids’ reasoning scores increased by an average of 32 percent after playing games twice a week for eight weeks!
Finally, and, perhaps most importantly, board games are simply a lot of fun and an excellent way to bond as a family. These days, many kids are filled up with toys, planned activities, and outings, but, a little quality time with you and some family games will go much farther.