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Ready to Play a Game?

Updated on February 6, 2020
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Natasha is a freelance writer and author who has been writing self-help articles for over 20 years.

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Good "Old-Fashioned Fun"

These days, there is no shortage to the list of games people of all ages can play - in addition to electronic ones across different genres and skill sets. Each year, they continue to be produced, and remain hot gift-giving choices for the holidays. There is something about being able to compete with others (or one's self) that makes game-play so appealing. Back in the day, you couldn't go wrong with "old-fashioned" favorites like Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Clue, Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, Bingo, Horseshoes, Euchre, or even Cribbage to pass the time in the absence of batteries and electricity. Games built camaraderie between participants and relieved stress or boredom, whether at home, on the go, camp, work, and military barracks. Winners earned bragging rights and sometimes even money. Over the decades, the variety of games multiplied, and became more complex as the demand grew for more entertainment. More was done to market to children as well as adults, to give the toy and game industries more of an every day influence in the home. However, you have to admit, games geared for even the youngest of minds do equip children with the ability to hone their skills in a way that makes sense to them, while building an understand of how the world works, in that they:

  • learn how to take turns, work in groups, and follow directions
  • develop logic, spelling, and math skills
  • exercise knowledge in current events, geography, history, sports, and the arts
  • learn social cues
  • indulge in role play

Without being given the opportunity to explore who they are through games, children will find school and social settings more difficult to enjoy as they mature into adults!

Children Who Are Prepared Turn Into Productive Adults

Parents and other caregivers are tasked with giving children a means to succeed in life. The balance of repetition and risk help illustrate and reinforce a point or skill set without notes or bookwork. Linked below is one teacher's commentary on the value of games in the classroom.

Hands-On Entertainment

At home, you can make learning fun! These classic toddler and preschool favorites never go out of style:

Best-loved toddler games

  • Candy Land
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Go Fish
  • Old Maid
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Memory

Games for elementary schoolers

Once children have mastered basic concepts, they can go on to develop spelling skills, numbers, and money with more challenging games, such as:

  • Zingo
  • Scrabble
  • Uno
  • Yahtzee, Cosmic Cows (this author's family favorite!), or Farkle
  • The Game of Life
  • Apples to Apples
  • Monopoly

Games for older youth and adults

It goes without saying that adults can play games meant for children along with children, but there should always be a variety of entertaining games of different challenges so that as kids get older, they will continue build higher thinking and reasoning skills, and memorize facts and figures. Keep their brains sharp with:

  • Clue
  • Blokus
  • Amazing States
  • Bananagrams
  • Shut the Box
  • Trivia Pursuit and other trivia-type games
  • Connect 4
  • Battleship

A Look at Milton Bradley and the Game of Life's Origins

There's No Wrong Way to Play

If nothing else, games are meant to be fun. When it comes to playing games with your children, don't be afraid to make your own rules (together) or come up with new game ideas of your own! Playtime is bonding time, and provides an outlet from the stress of every day life. Playing the kinds of games suggested for the purpose of this article will help foster communication between parents and children, as well as children and their peers, giving everyone to more actively engage the mind, and not have to suffer the frustration of broken parts, updates to download, or technical errors that can result from electronic or computerized games. Best of all, board games and the like are affordable, portable, durable, and can provide you with countless hours of entertainment for years to come!

Your Favorite Type of Game

What types of games do you most enjoy?

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