The rainy days of spring are upon us and summer vacation will soon be peeking around the corner. As a parent, I was always looking for ways to keep my boys off their screens, if only for a while. Board and card games can be a great way to encourage family connections, improve social skills and even support areas where kiddos may struggle in the classroom. Let me show you what I mean!
Take the game Apples to Apples, for example. This fun word association game is a favorite with upper elementary and middle schoolers! Not only is this game great for supporting social skills, it also encourages planning, reasoning, and creative thinking. Because kids don’t have to wait to submit their answers, kids who struggle waiting their turn to play traditional games can still be included and those kids who think outside of the box may find that kind of creative thinking is rewarded in a game like Apples to Apples.
Did you know that taking turns is a foundational skill for conversation and communication? Often, kids on the Autism Spectrum struggle with taking turns during play and researchers believe that this may also inhibit their ability to have conversations with peers and adults. Games for younger ages that encourage turn taking (along with other skills) include Monkey Around, by Peacable Kingdom, or Zingo, by Thinkfun. Traditional Board games like Candy Land and Hi Ho Cherry-O also reinforce turn-taking, along with color recognition and counting.
Below is a chart of some of our favorite games cross-referenced with cognitive skills they encourage.
Do you have a favorite game you like to play at home or in the classroom? Please share it in the comments!
|Reasoning||Memory||Number concepts||Quick thinking||Problem Solving||Motor Skills||Sequencing||Visual Processing||Cause and Effect|
|Apples to Apples||X||X|
|Chutes and Ladders||X||X||X|
|Rat -a-tat Cat||X||X||X||X||X|
|Snug As a Bug In a Rug||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|