These are the reasons why you should play more with your child, experts say
Kids can be a real handful sometimes, can't they? When they're not glued to the TV screen or hogging the family computer, they're often racing around the house or getting under your feet at the worst possible times. In an ideal world, they'd be able to enjoy the same things that you like doing, and everyone could come together to enjoy some time together without the bedroom getting trashed, or a fight breaking out over whose turn it is to pick a show to watch.
These days, however, that's easier said than done. Little ones don't seem to have the attention spans they used to, and - unless they're kept occupied - they tend to get a bit restless.
Thankfully, there's at least one past-time that appeals to children as much as it does grownups: board games.
Yes, when it comes to entertaining the whole family at the same time, there's nothing quite as good at getting the job done than a competitive game of Monopoly, or the fun challenge of Operation. And, as it turns out, experts have found a surprising number of benefits to spending more time playing board games with your kids...
1. They teach us how to follow rules
Kids can be a little rebellious at times, so games help them to learn and follow rules while having fun. They also help kids pick up on how to give and receive instructions - from the basic ones you see in Twister, to the more complex ones in the likes of Taboo or Battleships.
2. They help us learn to plan ahead
It may sound like a fairly basic skill, but it's not something that we're all naturally good at. Playing a game like Connect Four, which teaches kids to plan ahead and consider their next moves, is a simple (and subtle) way of helping children learn.
3. They show us that it's ok to lose
Nobody likes a sore loser, but - when we're young - we can't help feeling a bit stung when we go bankrupt in Monopoly. After a while, though, board games teach us that losing really isn't a big deal, and that there will always be other chances to succeed in the future.
4. They improve upon our social skills
Some little ones are naturally extraverted, whereas others take some encouragement to come out of their shells. Kids who are a bit quieter can benefit a great deal from board games that encourage interaction, as it's a safe and fun environment to practice talking about things, asking questions, and perhaps even helping others to join in with the activity.
5. They can make us smarter
While a lot of board games are ones of chance, games such as Cluedo or Guess Who encourage players to think logically about the questions they ask and the consequences of their actions. Over time, these will help kids (and adults!) improve their decision-making skills, and make them think more logically about everyday tasks.
6. They stimulate our imaginations
Children can become bored very easily, especially in today's world when entertainment is almost too available to them. Board games help kids to use their imaginations and keep themselves occupied without a TV screen or a games console.
7. They give us a break from electronics
Leading on from this last point, board games give children a much-needed break from their phones or tablets. It's not healthy to be constantly staring at a screen or to place so much value on social media, and board games give us the chance to get away from all that.
8. They teach us to learn from our mistakes
Games of skill, like Boggle or Cranium, help us identify our weaknesses and subsequently improve on them. It's very helpful for kids to learn these skills in a safe, controlled environment where they won't be judged, as facing such problems at school might seem like too much pressure for a child who is especially anxious.
And if those weren't enough points to convince you to play more board games with your kids, remember this one last thing: board games are entertaining! They were fun when you were little, and they're still just as fun now.
So, go on, clear the dining room table, and get some games in for you and family. The kids will love it.