Just by playing them, board games can teach important social skills like communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others. Board games foster the ability to focus, and can lengthen attention span by encouraging the completion of a game.
Research suggest that as children approach 5, they have more sophisticated thinking skills and can begin to incorporate and exercise their number, letter, and word knowledge in literacy-based games. By 6, children may prefer more cognitively challenging games like checkers or connect four, which require and help develop planning, strategy, persistence, and critical thinking skills.
Board games teach children a number of valuable skills, the most basic of these is counting. Almost all board games require at least some number recognition and, especially for younger kids, encourage the ability to count. A die is the most basic of board game equipment and rarely do they just have the number printed on the faces. Most dice included with board games are six-sided and rely on dots that your child will have to count (or hopefully can subitize) in order to play the game.
Here are a few that my daughter and I love:
These can easily be put in stations or used on a Friday afternoon as a fun time. Send home a note to parents about even donating a game for your classroom. I bet you would be surprised at how many come rolling in. Playing games is such a vital part of growing up and learning. Everyone in our society could use a good dose of being a good winner and loser! What are you waiting for....start gaming!!
Please comment with any wonderful games you currently use in the classroom or at home!