This week have a rummage through the presses for your favourite board games because from 28th October to 4th November is National Game Playing Week. Parents are encouraged to pull out all their favourite board games and have some fun with the kids during the mid-term break. Whether its Guess Who, Connect 4, Battleship, Pictionary or Scrabble, board games can be a wonderful opportunity for the family to have fun together. They also give children a break from the television and video games, especially in the dark winter evenings when they can’t go outside to play.
Board games are a great opportunity to teach children valuable social skills such as sharing, obeying rules and taking turns. They also enhance children’s decision-making, help maths skills as well as develop key skills needed for literacy and successful learning. While there may be the odd tantrum when someone looses (and we’re not just talking about the kids) board games are the perfect way to teach children about winning and losing.
Offering some guidance to parents on how to create a family game playing night that is enticing to children, Kate Smith, child therapist and psychotherapist, said “One of the biggest challenges can be selecting the right game. For one-on-one time with younger children, games like Guess Who and Connect 4 are ideal as they are quick to play and don’t require lots of concentration. When there’s more than one child, covering different age groups, families should look to games like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Cluedo, even if you need to modify the rules, to hold the entire family’s interest.”
So why not have a look at these tips for a great game night and bring the family together for a fun night in.
Tips for holding a family game night:
  • Start your family game night early before family members become too tired
  • Set aside appropriate time for playing games so you do not have to rush play
  • Plan your night in advance and include a selection of games and healthy snacks
  • If children fall into different age groups make sure to choose games that are simple enough for everyone or else play with children separately
  • Alter the rules to accommodate younger children if required
  • Be patient and go over the rules carefully so everyone understands
  • Pick the right game for a child’s age. Many games have the appropriate age on the box
  • For 3-4 years, games like Hungry Hippos and Elefun are great in helping develop co-ordination as well as knowledge of colours and shapes
  • 4-5 year olds love games like Monopoly Crazy Cash and Frustration
  • For 5-6 years games like Kerplunk and Mouse Trap will keep the entire family entertained while encouraging children to develop their problem solving skills
  • For the older kids games like Operation, Twister and Pictionary refine their motor skills and require quick thinking. Play fair at all times so children learn to follow the rules
  • Help children if they make a mistake
  • HAVE FUN! 
For details on how to win a hamper of family games click here.