The Greatness of Games
Board games are life, learning and laughter packaged in a little box. Whether the game is one of chance or strategy, life lessons and social skills come into play with the mere throw of the dice. Young children can learn and enhance basic skills in the casual and friendly atmosphere of a game.
History of Board Games
Board games can be traced back to as early as 2500 B.C. Despite the fact that games were played throughout the centuries, it wasn’t until the 20th century that board games gained popularity. This interest is most likely linked to the development of the middle class who enjoyed spending their leisure time playing board games.
Types of Board Games
Most board games are based on either luck, strategy, knowledge, or a combination of all three. For instance, Chess relies on strategic moves, whereas Monopoly has an element of both luck and strategy. Candy Land relies on drawing the right colored card, clearly a game of luck.
Benefits of Board Games
Board games are both educational and entertaining. Research has demonstrated that teaching methods which a child perceives as fun are typically more effective than techniques without a fun factor. A professor at Rider University, David Pierfy, found that games provided better retention over time than conventional classroom instruction techniques. Another study, conducted by John Dempsey, Professor at South Alabama University, suggested that games hold an advantage over traditional instruction when changing attitudes and holding students’ interest.
Laughter is one of the key ingredients to successfully learning new ideas and often accompanied when playing games. Studies have shown that children retain more information in a relaxed and happy environment.
Playing a board game teaches vital social skills. There is an exciting atmosphere of communication and competition that encourages verbal expression while cultivating traits of patience and persistence. The attention spans of young children can be strengthened by focusing on the game, as they need to remember the rules as well as when it’s their turn to participate. The element of luck in some board games highlights the uncertainty that often surrounds us in life, but also sends a firm message not to give up.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of board games is the time spent together. Children are able to improve their social skills and build their self-esteem while they interact with people in a positive way. Playing board games offers a simple, stress-free solution to enhance the emotional, intellectual and social characteristics of children. Many parents and educators understand the various benefits of board games and use them regularly in the home and classroom.
Games that captivate and retain a child’s attention usually prove to be superior. The best option is a game that children request and chose to play on their own. Playing board games can be beneficial especially when a child plays sight word games and obtains a sight word vocabulary in a fun and entertaining environment.