up into adulthood offers children a multitude of challenges. Whether it’s
controlling their emotions during a difficult time or setting a budget, school
alone cannot ensure the development of these skills.
There are some lessons that can only be learned through practical experience. Surprisingly enough, board games are a great avenue for simulating real life experiences in a safe and controlled space. Let’s review some important life skills and the games that can help build them.
Self-control is probably one of the most difficult skills for kids to learn. A good approach is to teach them techniques like clenching their fists tightly and then relaxing, and then providing them with moderate emotional challenges.
The card game Speed requires players to place their hands on a card as soon as their count matches its value. Anticipation tends to get in the way in this game, teaching kids that their emotions can become an obstacle. But by managing their level of excitement, they perform better and with clearer minds.
Children will have to learn early that cooperation and collaboration are necessary life skills. This requires having an awareness of the impact your actions will have on others. Luckily, these skills are promoted by cooperative games.
Animal Upon Animal is a dexterity game where players take turns placing animals on top of a mountain range. In order to succeed, children have to think carefully where to place the next object, but also make sure that they leave enough space for the next player. As a result, children learn that their choices can affect others, and that working together has the best chance of winning.
Most courses and jobs require people to present their ideas in front of an audience. Learning how to get a message across to a crowd is easier said than done, however, and many children and teenagers find being the center of attention quite stressful.
Cranium allows children to practice these skills in a safe environment. The game offers different challenges, like having to make teammates guess a song just by whistling a melody, or an object by shaping a piece of clay. The mechanic encourages children to express themselves, and forget their fears.
In order to prevent people from making costly financial mistakes, it’s better to teach them money management early. First-time parents can turn to other parents for tips on managing their children’s allowances, such as giving them a fixed amount every month, and using that to develop a habit of saving.
Children can also learn how to manage limited funds through games. In Monopoly, players are given the chance to decide whether to buy something as soon as they can, or save their money waiting for a more valuable property. This way, they practice their ability to think ahead when it comes to resources, and learn to think analytically about costs and benefits.
Learning Through Play
Playing board games is a great way to spend some quality time, but these games can also be powerful educational tools. Not only do kids build skills, but they also have the freedom to make mistakes. And through virtue of being inherently fun activities, kids will play these games repeatedly, further developing their skills into adulthood.