Why board games are soooooo good for the kids!
Playing board games in our house is part of our weekly routine; we don't have a set day or time that we play, but we certainly manage a couple of games a week at least. I'm the biggest table top game fan in our house, followed by Aston (10 year old son) followed by Daddy (who will play occasionally if forced!) Hence, we often go over to Grandma's who we can rely on to always be ready for a game of some sort!
My enjoyment of this hobby is actually two-fold. The first part is that I love hunting for games.... in charity shops usually! Brand new board games can be pretty expensive these days, I'd hate to pay full price for a game to then find that we didn't really like it, shopping second hand means I can just donate it again if it doesn't make it to our "favourite's cupboard."
There's something really exciting about spotting a game in the second hand shop, finding it in good condition, with all it's parts, at a bargain price; I can honestly say I get a thrill from it! It seems to make the game all the more valuable to me, that I've been lucky enough to find it is like an accomplishment!
I've had some smashing bargains over the last couple of years, in fact, the cupboard is now full and we've now got a board game pile, and a board game pouffe!
Our latest charity shop purchase is a super game called Ingenious - pictured above. It was £2.99!
If you've never tried it, I urge you to get out there to your local second hand shops and see what you can find! Grandma is an absolute pro, she definitely finds more than I do, we actually had a waiting list at one point of 5 friends wanting a Downfall game, they've now all got one thanks to super hunting by my mum!
Anyway, let's get to the actual playing part of board games....
I really can't emphasise enough how many skills children learn from playing a game around the table; you can see in the picture of Ingenious above that Aston is busy adding up his score, but he doesn't realise he's using his maths skills, he just thinks he's playing a game!
In the picture above (we're playing a game called Sequence) you can see Aston waiting for his turn and plotting his next move, but he doesn't realise he's learning to be patient, and to concentrate even when it's not his turn, he just thinks he's playing a game!
The game in the photo above is called Genius Square (from the fabulous Happy Puzzle Co), you can see Aston concentrating on his board, he is racing Grandma against the clock to complete his square the quickest, but he doesn't realise that this is helping him to think quickly and to make fast decisions while using his fine motor skills, he just thinks he's playing a game!
Have you figured out my theme yet.... In the photo above we're playing a game called Castles of Caladale (from the brilliant Works) We're both trying to build a castle from different cards that we collect (and we actually play a nice version where we try to help each other out!) But Aston doesn't realise that he's using his creativity to make his tiles in to the best design, or that he's thinking of other people by helping his mum.... he just thinks he's playing a game!
I'm sure you get the gist! I could go on too, there's just so much value in playing a game with the kids. Even if it only takes ten minutes before they go back on to a screen, you've still enjoyed ten minutes chat, quality time, interaction, thought, fun, patience, focus, teamwork, good sportsmanship.....
I'd love to hear your board game habits at your house! Do you play every night? Never? You don't even own any!? Let us know in the comments below, and if you've any tips for games you think we'd love I'll add them on to my charity shop hunting list! (which, by the way, is written in my Board Game Logbook!)