Why you should play games with your kids is a Guest Written Post in collaboration with Top Trumps.
Why you should play games with your kids
Not so long ago, families would set aside some time every week to play board games together.
This helped families to bond and was an activity almost everyone in the family, young or old, could get involved in. Sadly, this era of getting together to play board games seems to be fading into the past – much to the detriment of family life.
Nowadays the popularity of video games means that almost all of us have spent time playing one. More so than ever gamers are becoming younger – with video games being played not just through consoles but most commonly, especially with younger children, through electronic devices such as iPads and iPods.
It is easy of course to let children immerse themselves in these games. It keeps them quiet and they are hopefully getting some educational benefit.
Soon, however, these video games become a habit. Young children especially get into the routine of picking up their iPads during some downtime and parents take this chance to get other tasks done. This means that ‘game time’ is increasingly now quiet, individual time. Traditionally it was a noise filled interval of competitiveness and laughter. A time where the family got together and played for fun.
There are many skills that board games teach children that video games don’t, most of which centre around socialisation. When you are playing a board game your competitors are facing you. You need to manage social skills that span sibling rivalries. You learn to play against adults and the fact that sometimes you’re going to lose.
Playing board games can be one of the best ways to learn that winning and losing is part of life. Who better to teach you how to negotiate the feelings that go with both than your family.
There are also a number of educational benefits with board games. Some hone fine motor skills. Other games, like the card game Top Trumps, teach numeracy skills without children even recognising that they are learning.
Top Trumps also encourages competitiveness without aggression – a problem that occurs in many video games.
Often it’s the content of video games that comes into question, especially as children get older and gaming becomes more of a private affair. As the makers of video games try and out do themselves the content of the games becomes more extreme. While content ratings are available on the games themselves, many children are still able to access video games that are not suitable for their age group.
By playing board and card games together as a family, the content of what is being consumed by children can be regulated by the adults present. But, of course, it is about more than just that. Board games are an excuse to gather together with friends and family. You can spend some leisure time doing something that young and old can enjoy.
In the midst of the fun, you exchange banter and you may end up finding out more about your children and each other than you have in a long time!
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