In an age where everyone’s got a phone in their pocket, it is, of course, worrying as a parent to see your kid so engrossed in their screens for hours, be it for watching videos or playing video games. One, it can affect their eyesight and cognitive skills negatively by a considerable amount. Two, time spent in front of a screen is valuable time lost to bond with your kids.
How do you remedy that? Well, kids board games. Hear us out; we’re not pulling a fast one.
Working miracles through cardboard
You might remember them from your childhood as being insanely fun and very interesting to look at. But we can confirm that the new kids board games are so much more. For starters, they are instrumental in helping kids learn basic social skills and values early on in life.
Much like outdoor sports, board games can teach children the value of learning from failure and playing as a team. They can also impart patience and critical thinking under pressure, both excellent virtues to possess. And unlike outdoor sports, you don’t have to stick your kid in the middle of a playground under the harsh sun every time you want them to develop confidence and decision making.
Teaching them the rules is child’s play
After all, you aren’t trying to teach carpentry to little Sarah – an overwhelming majority of the best board games for kids currently in the market require little to no reading of boring, complicated rules. Even in the rare case that guidelines do exist, you don’t need to worry: children are remarkably perceptive and will take to the game like fish to water. All they’d probably need is to watch just one game, and voila! They now know how the game works.
But wait: how DO you get kids to play offline board games?
Obviously, we know it as well our kids: screens are very addictive, and it can be hard for us to peel their (and our) faces away from them. The trick is to make the board games the more enticing option, and subtlety is the key.
Of course, a reward system is very effective – treats can be gold to a hungry kid – but it may be harmful in the long run if a dependency is built. In that case, your child would be playing the game only to get to the goodies, and that’s a lose-lose.
It is far more prudent to wean them off their phones bit by bit instead and to make sure it isn’t obvious what you’re up to. Maybe start off by just playing the board game in front of them with your significant other or any other adults. Show the tots how fun the experience can be without verbally encouraging them to pick it up. Slowly but surely, they will get the hang of it and appreciate board games for what they are: a fun yet productive way to pass your time.