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Board Games That Build Learning Skills

When one thinks about playing board games, a few thoughts that come to mind are fun, entertaining, winning and losing to someone. And yes, the aforementioned words certainly express what children (and even adults) think about one of the more common family past times: board games.

On the other hand, there have been studies that concluded board games are not only fun and entertaining, but board games are “one of the best educational tools to help kids develop new learning skills”. As a matter of fact, George W. Bright (1983) published a book titled Use of a Game to Instruct on Logical Reasoning to express how games can be beneficial to building important learning skills.

Even in classrooms, teachers have discovered the helpfulness of including game playing in their lesson plans and teaching strategies. So, what board games should parents consider to aid their child or children in developing new learning skills while having fun? Some board games that have been mentioned as supportive to academic learning are those traditional board games that are inexpensive and have been around for a little while, not the digital or electronic versions. However, it is not to say the digital and electronic versions are not beneficial too, but they may be a bit more expensive. Although there are a number of board games to choose from, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account before selecting a board game: the child's/children's age(s) and the level of comprehension since every board game is not suitable for children of all ages.

Some board games that have been suggested to assist children in developing new learning skills are the following:

  • Sorry is a board game that helps children to develop “strategic thinking, math skills, problem-solving and good concentration". The game pieces the children move forward and backward in a straight line (in a linear fashion) around the board assist children in sharpening their fundamental math skills.

  • Battleship and Stratego are board games that teach children “strategic planning, logic and deductive reasoning skills”. The objective of Stratego is to find where a flag is buried (hidden); whereas in Battleship, the objective is for one player to try to sink the other player’s ships in the board game.

  • Chess and checkers are recommended board games for those seeking games that are more "competitive and challenging" for children (even adults). Since the object of both board games is for one player to outsmart the other player, the games are known for developing “problem-solving skills, reasoning skills, critical thinking skills and strategic planning skills”.

  • And finally, the game Monopoly, in existence since the “1930’s”, is the go-to board game for those who are interested in enhancing (sharpening) their skills in “mathematics, critical thinking, economics, trading and negotiation”. In fact, educators and those who work in the areas of "banking/finance" consider Monopoly as an ideal source for teaching the fundamentals about “banking, economics, and finance".

There are many, many board games out on the open market to select to enhance and to develop a child's/children’s learning skills. It is not to say the four (4) aforementioned board games are the more preferred ones or better than other board games in supporting children in developing new learning skills. In deed, "Clue, Apples-to-Apples, Boggle, Set, Scattergories", and other board games also contribute to the specific development of certain learning skills in children.

Is there a favorite board game you enjoy playing with your child/children? Feel free to share in the comment!

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