Board Games are the perfect antidote to tech for engaging young minds-to the point where kids will be participating in a learning opportunity without even realising it. And with the focus on family and friends getting together, Christmas is the ideal time to have everyone-children and grown-ups alike-join in some traditional festive fun.
Scrabble is a great way to improve vocabulary and spelling. It also helps with numbers as each player needs to count up their word score at the end of their ‘go’.
The kids’ version is brilliant for younger or less fluent readers as it instils confidence with spelling in a playful way. The two sided-board enables the game to be played at different levels according to age and ability. (Scrabble Junior is suitable for age 6 +.)
Involving a combination of luck, strategy and people skills, Monopoly has been a classic board game for over a hundred years. Played in a group, it provides an opportunity for players to interact as well as to observe how others think and analyse. The game helps children to improve their mathematical skills and teaches them the value of money. (Junior monopoly is suitable for ages 5-8 and the original version is for ages 8-99!) Parentingtoddlers.com
Another fantastic game that inspires and prompts players to create words is Boggle.
Its main difference from Scrabble is that it progresses at a much faster pace. A three-minute timer challenges the players to come up with as many words as possible within the time frame.
According to speechlanguage-resources.com, the combination of brainstorming and creative word play makes it a wonderful educational tool. It’s reported that Speech Therapists and educators find Boggle a brilliantly effective way to generate language and word-learning skills quickly and easily in children. (Boggle Junior is for age 3 and up. Original Boggle is for age 8 and up.)
Beat the Parents
If you like the sound of a generation game for modern times, then ‘Beat the Parents’ should fit the bill. Pitting the children against the grown-ups, parents are asked questions most kids can answer while kids are asked questions most parents can answer. Although suitable for age 6 and up, there’s a fair amount of reading involved with this game.
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition
Featuring separate cards for kids and adults, this game is guaranteed to bring out the competitive spirit, giving the children an equal chance to triumph over the oldies. Whether playing individually or in a team, it provides an opportunity to simultaneously boost and show-off their knowledge on topics from geography to sports and leisure. (For players age 8 and over.)
And after exercising all that brain power, how about indulging in some entertainment of the physically active kind? Twister will get everyone moving-as well as laughing out loud.
Just give your Christmas Dinner time to settle before unleashing your inner contortionist!