I’ve always been a big fan of board games. Monopoly, Parcheesi, Cranium – you name it, and I enjoy it.
Sometimes a bit too much, which can make me a bit competitive (but, that’s for another post). Opening a board game with your loved one, with your kids, or friends can really elevate what would be an otherwise regular night in. And the fact that these games can boost our brain health is just icing on top of a fantastic activity.
I recently read Dr. Lisa Mosconi’s book “Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power”. In it, she writes about all the foods that support (and hurt) our cognitive functions. But what struck me the most was a chapter that included several other techniques to exercise our brains: physical and intellectual activity, drinking plenty of water, and playing board games. Yes, you read that right, playing board games.
Several studies have established the efficacy of board games for educational purposes, as well as the psychotherapeutic values. But one particular research, a study published in the British Medical Journal, found that “the risk of developing dementia was 15% lower in board game players than in non-board game players.”
The researchers concluded that those who played board games had less of a cognitive decline, resulting in a lower risk of dementia.
These results offer us another way in which we can continue connecting through play. The power of board games lies in how timeless and age-diverse they are:
- Children as young as two can begin to comprehend the value of rule-setting and the concepts of winning/losing
- Older children can begin to apply their cooperation and communication skills to fulfill an end-purpose
- Teens can use them as a way to develop healthier bonds between them
- Adults can use them as a way to connect with others – whether that might be partners, children, or even friends
Board games are an excellent way to teach children critical thinking skills, how to communicate with each other as a team, and collaborate (otherwise known as 21st-century skills). In addition to this, they are a great way to boost socio-emotional skills and foster a healthy parent-child relationship, which is much needed in this time and age with the number of digital distractions.
What are some of your favorite games? How do you use them to relate better to your children? Leave a comment below and share with us your experiences with board games.