Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Best Board Games For Kids

Why Play Family Board Games?
Families are always on the go. Sit down meals are becoming a rarity in homes because of sports, club activities, school activities and employment. We have introduced Family Board Game Night in our house. It evolved out of the need to set aside time with Master 4, when Master 2 was in bed and, when both Mum and Dad were home. We try to make this a weekly event and often couple it with Master 4's favourite dinner! (Meatballs and rice, followed by his allowance of marshmallows earnt from his Teeth Cleaning Chart throughout the week!) This has certainly become a favourite part of the week for Master 4. Although technology is increasing rapidly and more and more activities are happening on the computer, a simple board game always brings back the old school feeling of entertainment. If you have noticed your family time has been drifting, purchase a classic or new board game to gather the family on a quiet evening. There are so many benefits to playing boardgames with your children.The more time you are able to spend with your family, the better suited they become to life. "Family Game Board Night" is not only a tool for getting your family back into a routine of togetherness, but a way to teach social skills that will help them all of their lives. So, the next time you go shopping, pick up a few classic board games, and maybe some new board games for variety. Picking one night out of the week to spend some family time together is a lovely way of bonding.

The benefits of playing board games include several aspects of a developing child. He will learn to improve his social skills, becoming aware of others around him and learning to interact. A simple game of cube or a puzzle requires the child to exercise his problem solving skills. Something that is also recommend for children with short term memory problems. The child is required to take turns, thus practicing patience and proper social behavior. In situations where the group needs to decide who goes first, they learn about the decision making process. Another very important lesson children will learn from playing board games is the use of fair play. An uneducated (board game) child is prone to cut corners and slide a lie or two in order to finish the game as a winner. Great responsibility falls on the adults to teach them otherwise. The way they assimilate this lesson at the early stage of life, will have most definitely have its consequences during adulthood.

Sportsmanship is lacking on scholastic sporting fields, too. Parents ream coaches, referees, umpires or other game officials or worse yet, physical confrontations have become common place. Sportsmanship has to be taught, so take advantage of demonstrating proper sportsmanship to your children when playing board games. By setting a good example, you are creating an important standard for your child to uphold. Even when tantrums occur each day, you can explain that it is unacceptable behavior. You can also indicate the steps that should be taken to correct the lack of proper conduct by sports figures. For example, if a player argues with their coach, they should get fined. If a player touches a coach or another player, the offending player should be suspended. These are all life decisions that define the way a sports figure is perceived.

Most board games for children are based on chance; a roll of the dice determines the winner. Children take their games very seriously, and will be very happy when they win, and sad if they happen to lose. It is at this point where proper guidance by an adult is imperative, in order to associate his experience in the game with real life situations. Teaching the child to deal with winning is not all that difficult, yet important. One should use the winning occasions to better talk about the less fortunate ones.
Some games implement the use of maths and problem solving skills. Equate for example, a word version of scrabble, requires kids to use their math skills in order to win the game. Games like Up words and Balderdash help kids improve spelling and increase their vocabulary. Cueldo, on the other hand requires sleuthing and problem solving skills. There are many other examples of games which end up being an investment in your child's development rather than an expense. What better way to learn than by having fun!

Below are some of my favourite picks for family board game night. As children approach 5, they have more sophisticated thinking skills and can begin to incorporate and exercise their number, letter, and word knowledge in literacy-based games. By 6, children may prefer more cognitively challenging games like checkers, which require and help develop planning, strategy, persistence, and critical thinking skills.

Scrabble Junior: This is the younger cousin of the tremendously educational and challenging Scrabble, which we all know and love. Using large yellow letter tiles, players match letters to words already written on one side of the board. The reverse side has an open grid where older children can create their own words.
Learning highlights: Fosters literacy and language skills.

Boggle Junior: The prelude to Boggle — one of the best learning games for older kids — is Boggle Junior, in which players link pictures to letters and words. The game comes with 6-sided letter cubes and numerous picture cards that have the name of the object spelled below. Players place a card on a blue tray and use 3- or 4-letter cubes to copy the item's spelling. Older children can hide the written words and spell the word just using the picture.
Learning highlights: Teaches letters, words, spelling, and matching skills.

Zingo: One of this year's "hot" games, this Bingo-style matching game relies on a player's ability to spot pictures (of a dog, say, or the sun) and match them quickly to the words and pictures on his play card. As in Bingo, the first one to finish a complete line of items wins.
Learning Highlights: Encourages matching skills and quick thinking.

Monopoly Jr: As they do in its senior sibling, players roll dice to move around the game board and buy real estate. The game is shorter and uses smaller dollar denominations so kids can figure out winnings and penalties more quickly.
Learning highlights: Develops math, color recognition, reading, reasoning, and social skills.

Dr. Seuss’ ABC: This game is more fun if you’ve read the book by the same name a million times to your kids. The twisty-turny game of super stretchy alphabet fun!
Get ready to twist, turn and s-t-r-e-t-c-h! Can you put your hand on the letter E—while placing your foot on the letter K—AND still put your ear on the letter Q? You’ve got to be super-stretchy to meet the challenge! In this silly game of physical challenges and alphabet fun, kids spin the Thing 1 and Thing 2 Tornado Tube to deal out letter-to-body-part challenges. Then it’s time to get down on the colorful, over sized Dr. Seuss alphabet mat and stretch and turn and twist to put your body and brain to the test!
Learning Highlights: Teaches letter recognition (both upper and lowercase).

Cranium’s Balloon Lagoon: a wondrous carnival of fun for kids! The game is incredibly simple, but it's also fun. You spin the colourful merry-go-round to choose an activity, start the musical timer, and jump into one of four exciting Balloon Lagoon activities: fish for letters at Letter Lake, match treats at Snack Hut, spin a picture puzzle at Tumble Tides, or flip frogs at Frog Pond. With each success, kids collect balloons and move closer to victory.
Learning Highlights: exciting sights and sounds make spelling, matching, and counting fun - so kids learn as they play.

Guess Who:It’s the flip n' find face guessing game you know and love, with more choices than ever. Set up and play in seconds. Narrow down your guesses with yes or no questions like, “Do you have brown eyes?” or “Are you wearing a hat?” Once you have the answer, make your guess. Use the two character sheets included or go online to download even more characters. Then slide the sheet of characters into the game tray and guess away.
Learning Highlights: developing descriptive language

Connect Four: This classic kids' board game of Connect Four is reminiscent of Tic Tac Toe, with some changes. It is played vertically, and the aim of the game is to get 4 checkers in a row first, while preventing your opponent from doing the same. This is a wonderful board game for your kids as well as for you.
Learning Highlights: patterning and counting skills, fine motor skills - placing chips in slots.

Twister: This all time favorite classic Twister is an excellent icebreaker! There is a mat with different colored discs on which a hand or a foot has to be placed. Spin the spinner which gives instructions on what colour disc is to be selected on the mat, as well as whether a hand or a foot has to be placed on the disc. Twister is an excellent kids' board game.
Learning Highlights: Colour recognition, gross motor skills

Froggy Boogie: A memory game that doesn't involve finding pairs but remembering, for each of 9 frogs, which of their 'pop-outable' eyes will allow your frog to jump to the next lily pad in the race around the pond ... and which will stop your turn. Dice determine which coloured frog you investigate each time. Great components, great theme. It works really well for younger ones (ages 3-5), but older children can join in and enjoy it. It plays with up to 6 players, but is best with 2 or 3 so that turns come around fast.
Learning Highlights: countingBold

Chutes and Ladders: This board game is another great game for a family with young children. There is no reading required but there are a few small game pieces that could pose a choking hazard for very young children. The object of this board game is to be the first person to the top of the board without getting slide back down to the bottom by a chute. Go up the ladders and slide back down the chutes!
Learning Highlights: counting, number recognition

Candyland: This board game is a great game for the family who has young children. Candyland is for ages three to six but is still a favorite of many adults. The object of the game is to be the first person to get their colorful gingerbread man around the board and reach the Candy Castle first. There is no reading required so this game is great for young children.
Learning Highlights: colour recognition, counting and number recognition, story sequencing

Operation JR: This board game is a silly game of skill. Each player is a doctor who must operate on a patient with a lot of weird problems. Each player must take turns removing problems without causing the buzzer to sound. Operations is for ages 3-6, Be warned that this board game has a lot of small pieces that would pose a choking hazard to very small children.
Learning Highlights: Fine motor skills, social skills

Here are some of my favourite Board Games that can be used as follow up activities after reading the book.

Goodnight Moon Game: is a collection of six matching and memory skill-building activities of gradually increasing difficulty featuring charming illustrations from the children's book classic. At the beginner's level, children match cards to identical images on the game board. They then graduate to games involving memory skills, while also matching images that are similar but not identical. Once you've matched and memorized to your child's content, cuddle up together to read Goodnight Moon. No reading is required to play the games.

Brown Bear-Panda Bear, What Do You See? Game: is based on his wonderfully illustrated children's book. This exciting game introduces children to the magic of story creation, while helping memory and sequencing skills.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game: In this game children go on a journey of learning and transformation seeing their caterpillar develop from an egg to a beautiful butterfly. As children guide their caterpillars through the game, they practice color recognition, counting and fine motor skills

Animals Colors Bingo Game: Kids act things out in this fun-filled game of animals and bright colors. Players collect Colour forms animal markers and Colour forms color markers. The first player to collect all the Colour forms markers wins the game. Improves young children's language skills, color recognition, visual acuity and gross motor skills.

Rooster's 123 Numbers: Inspired by Eric Carle's Rooster's Off to See the World book children join the rooster and his friends on a fun-filled adventure learning the meaning of numbers. This game introduces players to number recognition and counting in a fun and simple way. Once young players are comfortable with counting animals the double sided game board introduces them to simple addition and subtraction

The Very Busy Spider Game:Players work together to create a spider web in this fun, interactive and cooperative game.Players spin to move their way around the board, landing on colored and fly spaces. Each time a player lands on a colored space they draw a line to create a spider web.A wonderful way for children to develop their hand-eye coordination, math and social skills.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: board game based on the award-winning illustrated children's story. Going on a bear hunt is more fun than ever!


  1. Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff.
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  2. Thank you for posting best board games for kids. There is a lot of games that encourage children to be patient and kreativ in solving a puzzle before they can progress to the next stage.
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  3. This is the great kinds of the information regarding to the board games but today there are trend of the new online games of the ben 10 games for the children.Which are online and have unlimited fun.

  4. Yeah it’s proven that kids love to play indoor games with their family members. I think it is good for them to spend more time with their parents. When I was kid I always loved to play chess with my dear Dad.
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