Board games are one of the few types of toys that are enjoyed by everyone across their lifespan. In fact, there are certain board games that have been turned into serious competition like the Chess Olympiad. Both chess and bridge have already applied for inclusion into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There have also been numerous studies showing that children who are particularly excellent at certain board games grow up to be highly strategic thinkers, problem solvers, and possess high intelligence quotients. It just shows that board games can really help enhance children’s cognitive skills.
Among toddlers, however, the benefits are not only related to their cognitive development. Here are 5 of the top benefits of board games for toddlers.
1. Enhances Cognitive Development
There are many areas of cognitive development that board games for toddlers can help enhance. For one, their problem solving skills are best enhanced as they attempt to make sense of the different board game pieces. They learn to understand patterns, colors, shapes, and other elements. These can pave the way for the development of convergent problem solving skills whereby there is only one very particular solution to any given problem. As they attempt to look for that one answer, they are sharpening their memory skills. They know that one particular piece should go with another set of problem. However, they also know that putting this particular piece on a different problem will not result in the desired outcome. In essence, they are now beginning to understand the nature of causal relationships. This can help them to make accurate predictions as well as relationships between action and outcome.
Additionally, there are certain board games for toddlers that allow them to develop their language skills. Games that teach the alphabet and numbers as well as ordinary objects and things can help them expand their vocabulary. This can then help them convey their thoughts and feelings in a more constructive manner. They are now able to communicate a lot better with other children as well as with adults particularly Mom and Dad.
2. Enhances Psychomotor Skills
While it is true that toddlers already have mastered their gross and fine motor skills, they are nowhere near perfect. Board games can help them continue to develop and enhance their psychomotor skills especially in terms of spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and balance. Some board games for toddlers require them to move individual pieces that need absolute precision. This helps encourage the development of sensory processing whereby their visual-motor skills are sharpened by the accurate placement and positioning of the game pieces on the board.
There are also board games that require toddlers to stack blocks which should help train their hand-eye coordination and spatial intelligence. One wrong move and the whole tower of blocks can be knocked down in an instant. They will learn how to place the edges of each block so that everything is in perfect alignment. This requires steady hands which is the result of excellent control of the different muscles of the hands.
3. Develops a Strong Sense of Inquisitiveness and Creativity
Akin to the development of their cognitive skills is the development of toddlers’ sense of inquisitiveness and creativity. Toddlers are natural explorers and this is their primary method of learning the world around them. By providing them appropriate board games, they are stimulated into learning more about the things around them. By the time they are nearing their third birthday they will already be bugging you about so many things.
Their favorite questions are those that begin with why. For many parents, this can seem annoying. But for the toddler, it is his or her way of learning more about the things in his or her world. Board games can help encourage the continuing development of this inquisitive nature in toddlers to enhance their learning. In turn, this can help them to be more creative. The more they know about their world, the better they can create things that are of function and use in the real world.
4. Enhances Social Skills and Teaches about Value of Obeying Rules and Taking Turns
Many board games need to be played with other individuals. Younger toddlers are only beginning to appreciate the importance of cooperative play. They are now learning to play with other children. They know how other children can help them achieve the objectives of the board game. They also learn to appreciate the different skills of other children which can play a role in the development of the toddler’s personal identity.
More importantly, however, is that toddlers are beginning to understand the value of waiting for one’s turn and obeying the rules of the game. With a more progressive and more developed language skills, toddlers can now voice out their feelings and thoughts about the games as well as their relationship with their playmates. They also learn how to accept defeat in a more gracious manner. All of these can help develop the toddler’s social and emotional well-being.
5. Boosts Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem, and Emotional Wellbeing
Being able to finish a board game victorious can really provide an immense boost in the toddler’s self-esteem. However, teaching the child how to accept loss graciously is also an important aspect of board games. The sooner the child learns to accept a loss as part of the game, the better he or she will feel about playing it. This can help build a more stable and more balanced emotional health.
Board games that allow children to build or create something can also help boost their self-confidence. They know that they have the necessary cognitive and psychomotor skills to complete a particular task. When coupled with Mom and Dad’s praise, the board game can truly be a wonderful tool for improving a toddler’s self-confidence and thus, enable him or her to keep on exploring and building newer things.
These are just 5 of the major benefits of board games for toddlers. The point that needs to be understood is that board games are not just plain toys; these are excellent tools for the optimum growth and development of children of all ages. You can view more of our games designed specifically for toddlers here: http://www.habausa.com/shop/games/my-very-first-games/