Building resilient families through board games

Part of the Kinderling Conversation for parents. Weekdays 12pm-1pm.

Thu 6 October 2016

13 mins

Did you know that boardgames are as old as civilisation? Across the ancient world from the Aztecs to Egypt, Rome and China people were playing all different kinds of games from Senet to Go. This week’s theme for our Volvo Screen Free Challenge theme is RAINY DAYS, and we’re opening up the cupboard to pull out those well-loved board games.

There are so many different games out there from ludo to snakes and ladders, backgammon, chess, scrabble, and Pictionary, and each year inventors come up with new ones. 

Richard Vickery is a scientist and co-chair of Boardgames Australia and he says that one of the most important things board games do is bring kids the undivided attention of their parents. 

The other great bonding benefit of board games is that “everyone is granted equal status – it doesn’t matter if you’re 3 years old or 90 years old – each person has the same rights and responsibilities, and everyone has to follow the same rules,” says Richard.   

Board games help kids develop social skills and focus their attention on one task, as well as learning to wait your turn, follow rules and problem-solve. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, sharing activities like playing games is an important factor in building resilient families.

 Richard says that in the last few years there’s been a surge in co-operative games where everyone works together as a team to solve a challenge, instead of competing against each other. 

So without further ado, here are Richard’s top board games that you might not have tried before:

  • Gulo Gulo is a game that can be played by younger children, where they steal balls or eggs out of a bowl, without knocking out the staff. Richard says the beauty of it is that while small children might not make the best strategic decisions, they can compete with adults because they can pull out the eggs with tiny fingers that are too tricky for big adult hands. 
  • Dweebies – this is a card-matching game featuring cute illustrations of monsters, suitable for young children. 
  • Dixit is a card game with dream-like images that requires the imagination of players where each person takes a turn at being a storyteller.
  • Pandemic is a cooperative game where you work as a team to discover a cure to four diseases threatening the world’s population.

 Which board games do your family like to play? Do you all have a favourite? Take a pic of you and your family playing your favourite boardgame and tag it with #screenfreechallenge #kinderling

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