Rainy day? Cold day? Sick day? In need of a quiet day activity? Break out the board games. Board games teach turn taking, patience, following directions, and more depending on the game.
As parents running a household we are constantly running around to work, school, daycare, sports, grocery shopping and home only to run around the house doing laundry, doing dishes, giving baths, picking up toys, making dinner, drinking coffee and deciding which items spark joy. Take time to stop what you are doing and play. Playing with your child creates and strengthens your relationship. Through eye contact, conversations, simple touches and the attention you are providing, your child will feel loved and respected and will reciprocate those feelings to others. Board games are a great way to establish one on one time.
In addition, board games strengthen your child’s social skills such as turn taking, sharing, and patience as well as cognitive skills including memory, vocabulary, and problem solving with these SIMPLE games: Elefun, Go Fishing, Hot Potato, Don’t Break the Ice, Hungry Hippos, Walk Like a Chicken
Remember, it’s okay to bend the rules. Pick one skill to work on and let the others fly, such as, work on waiting for your turn by sitting on your hands or squeezing hands together, then the adult does the counting or point to where the game piece needs to move to.
And as a Play to Grow motto reminder, LET THE CHILDREN PLAY! While it can be frustrating to play the game exactly how the rules state, if your child just wants to play with the game pieces or sort pretend money, let them. They may not be ready for the game yet, or just not today. If you force them to sit and roll the dice and count spaces and leave their game piece on the blue spot, they are not going to be happy, neither of you will have fun and boards will get flipped and you’ll be the sore loser.
Now, go play!