10 Benefits Of Board Games

10 Benefits Of Board Games

One of the most popular ways to spend time with family or friends is over a board game. Friendly competition, strategy, and laughs are all ingredients to a great night of family time. But, did you know that playing board games can have a number of social and health benefits in your life? Let's take a look at some of the many benefits of playing board games!

1. Many Board Games Are Educational and Can Increase Cognitive Skills

Board games offer learning opportunities that help develop essential brain cells, especially in children. 

Memory formation, increased brain function, verbal and communication skills, problem solving, and fine motor skills are all present in educational games for children. Playing stimulates brain areas that increase cognitive function associated with memory. Board games can be both an enjoyable learning experience and a way of practicing essential cognitive skills for brain development.

2. Playing Games Reduces Your Screen Time

There are various physical health implications and potentials for cognitive decline that come with increased screen time. Playing games don't require a harsh screen and help you unplug from the constant stream of information our brains process all day. 

Also, unplugging enables you to strengthen bonds with other human beings around you. A board game on family night strengthens relationships with real people in your life instead of online avatars.

3. Board Game Playing Builds Communication and Teamwork

Many games provide avenues to build communication and teamwork skills. Even if you don't play as a team for a game, you learn how to strategize and communicate with the other players. 

Not only do team games provide nice company, but they force players to work together. One example of a great team building game is Exit the Game. With many different versions available, these escape room style team games provide a way to work together with old friends, family members, and complete strangers.

4. Board Games Provide A Way To Unwind

Not only are board games great educational tools, but they can help you unwind after a long day. Board game playing is a fun and easy way to reduce stress. Reducing stress can also combat high blood pressure and help with your mental health. If you're hoping to decrease stress and boost your immune system, a nice board game in the evening with friends and family can be just what you need. 

One part of a healthy lifestyle is finding different stress free hobbies and lowering blood pressure by releasing endorphins, your body's natural "stress relief" chemicals. 

5. Board Games Require Critical Thinking and Creativity

If you love playing board games, you might notice that they can be an amazing tool for increasing and creating logical thinking skills. Virtually every board game can teach reasoning skills, complex thought, spatial reasoning, creative thinking, and strategy. 

Games like Catan or Monopoly use the part of your brain that involves problem solving, processing speed, resource management, and strategic thinking. Other ones like Cards Against Humanity and Pictionary can access your creative side while producing hilarious results.

6. Playing Board Games Teaches Patience and Goal Setting

Two other benefits that come when you play board games are patience and goal setting. For many players, the goal of playing a board game is to win. However, winning takes patience, strategic thinking, and goal setting. Because they don't have a lot at stake, these logical and social skills can be developed in a stress free and happy environment.

7. They Can Soothe Anxieties

For shy children or timid adults, board games can soothe anxieties in social settings. Playing board games often lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. As well, they can help players build greater self esteem and coping skills that can soothe anxieties. These activities also bring on laughter which has been said to not only help with muscle relaxation but can act as a coping mechanism for anxiety.

8. Board Games Can Boost Language Skills

If you have a child who's learning to read, try playing a board game with them! Not only can they provide quality time for you and your child, but there are many opportunities for language development. Children will learn to follow rules, read the game board and communicate with other players. As well, with a huge variety of games, there will always be different opportunities for them to continue learning.

9. Playing Them Will Increase Focus

A child's attention span isn't long. A fun way to work on increasing their focus (and yours!) is through board games. Instead of getting distracted by siblings or the TV, your child is meant to focus on the task at hand in the game. As well, they can help with hand eye coordination and focusing on those motor skills that need to be developed at a young age.

10. They Teach You How To Win and Lose With Grace

Finally, when you play these games, players learn how to be a good loser and a humble winner. Bragging, tantrums, and highly competitive natures can quickly turn these fun activities sour. However, overtime, kids can learn to play with grace and be happy whether they win or lose!