Recently, several headlines about board games caught my attention. I did some research and it seems that we are in the midst of a “board game renaissance.” Even before the pandemic, board games and family game night were becoming the norm. With the pandemic, board games are a top seller for retailers.
All of this is good news because board games and card games are beneficial to your child’s development. Most board games for young children give you opportunities for early learning – identify colors, count spaces and match pictures. Playing a game from start to finish builds concentration and strengthens your child’s ability to focus. Board games improve language, memory and imagination. Setting up and moving all of those game pieces and rolling dice strengthen eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. For most games you must follow rules, take turns and use problem-solving skills. Games are also a great way to unplug. Finally, playing games together increases your emotional connection.
Here’s some guidance on playing cards or a board game with your young child. Select a game with moving pieces, a spinner or dice. Choose a simple game with few rules, which allows your child to build their understanding before playing a game with a complicated set of rules. A couple of commercial classic games are Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Candyland, Memory and Go Fish. Or consider making a game for your child to enjoy. Here’s a resource for making number games.
The library has a special section of concept books (about numbers, shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet and the seasons). This booklist has my favorite books about early learning.