Our daily hectic schedules in this fast-paced world have made time with family an elusive commodity. Working parents are busy with their hectic work schedules. Same for the children. School timings and homework have made life equally hectic for them as well. After the daily schedule, whatever time is left is consumed browsing social media, watching television, playing or chatting with friends, etc. In all of this, there is hardly any scope left to spend quality time with the family. As per research, time spent with family decreases with age. From around 4-5 hours till the age of 15, time spent with family is found to significantly reduce to less than an hour by the time we are 40 years of age. This is a glaring statistic which needs correction.
Spending time with family is immensely useful for all. This can be done in various formats such as going out for a vacation, or a picnic, or even playing outdoor or indoor sports. While many of these activities might require significant time commitment and planning, playing indoor board games is the easiest way to spend quality time with family. Family board games such as carrom board, monopoly, chess, ludo, etc have been popular amongst households for decades. Playing board games with family helps in strengthening bonds within the family, creates long-lasting memories, and creates an avenue for parents and children to understand each other better.
Let’s look at some benefits of playing board games with family.
Bonding with family
Playing board games with family provides a valuable opportunity for families to bond with each other. Even after a hectic day of work, sparing 30 minutes for a game of Monopoly or Carrom board with family after dinner could go a long way in strengthening the bonds between parents and children. It allows parents to connect with their children which is otherwise elusive in the hyper-digital world of today. It can help parents and children know each other better. As a result, children begin to open up with their parents and start sharing their thoughts, emotions, fears and aspirations. This breaking of ice between children and parents is extremely important in their growth stage.
Spending quality time with family can lead to the formation of lifelong memories for both parents and children. The twists and turns of board games, such as Snakes & Ladder, the bragging rights that are earned when you land the queen in the game of carrom board, and the pursuant victory dances can be memories worth preserving for a lifetime. These memories could be captured via a digital camera and could be relieved for the rest of our life. Parents can create a ritual around family time playing board games during the week. Depending on their schedules, parents can block out say, 30 minutes after dinner for the entire family to spend fun time playing board games.
Cognitive & Motor skill development
Board games involve a diverse set of cognitive and motor skills to succeed. Children while competing with their parents, whether it is a carrom board, monopoly or any other board game, would try their level best to get the better of their parents and win. A game such as the Carrom board requires a heightened sense of hand-eye coordination along with an ability to figure out the angles, how much power to use and the strategy to be deployed to land the queen as early as possible. Playing carrom board can help children develop all these cognitive and motor skills which are extremely critical for their holistic development. Games like Monopoly emphasise on the ability to think strategically and plan your moves accordingly. They also bring out the value of collaboration and teamwork. These board games could be very useful early learning interventions for developing critical life skills in children. These are essential life skills children can learn from board games which will hold them in good stead all through their life.
Connecting with life experiences
Board games can be a good reflection of real life in a protected home environment. These board games could be an opportunity for parents to drive home certain life learnings and moral values in their children. Parents must communicate values such as honesty, fairness, and sportsmanship to be over and above the zeal to simply win at any cost. These board games can be a useful source of driving life experiences such as the value of trust, how to handle losses and setbacks, how to be wary of bluffs, etc could be useful learning for children while being at home in a protected homely environment.
Enhancing creativity, self-confidence, and other life skills
Playing a game with parents, much older in age, and competing with them and even beating them can be a significant boost to the child’s self-confidence. To win, children will come up with really creative moves and strategies. The bragging rights they earn after beating their parents act as a strong motivation for children to give their absolute best to try and win these games. This helps build a sense of healthy competitiveness in them, an ability to handle losses and come back stronger.
Engaging the elderly
The famous carrom board scene from the much-acclaimed Hindi movie Munna Bhai MBBS signifies how playing board games can be a good opportunity to engage the elderly in some fun activities. The grandparents tend to spend a lonely life in old age without sufficient avenues to engage in fun activities. Playing board games with children can generate a new sense of happiness and enthusiasm among the elderly. This could not only revive the spirits of the elderly in the family but also help children learn from their wisdom while engaging in some fun board games.
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