The humble board game can be much more than just that. Not only can these games provide hours of entertainment for your family, but some also allow your child to work on developmental issues at the same time.
This is a family classic that has stood the test of time. The object of ‘Guess Who’ is to be the first to identify the person on your opponent’s chosen card. By asking yes or no questions, you try to figure out who is on the mystery card. Great for: Improving visual motor and visual perceptual skills, organisational skills, focus, and attention. Through the asking of questions, it also aids language development, information processing and social skills.
A little like Bingo, this fast-paced game gets players to match pictures. By sliding the Zinger, they reveal two tiles that may match the images on their cards. Great for: Visual motor and perceptual skills, fine motor and grasping skills and social skills. Zingo can also be used to help with speech and language development – see our article from a speech therapist here.
Jenga requires players to pull out a block at a time from the tower, without making the structure tumble down. It requires players to be aware and focused and, importantly, in control of their actions. Great for: Fine-motor skills, self-monitoring, flexible thinking and impulse control
Connect Four provides an opportunity for children to develop their skills in strategy. It requires planning to get four of the same coloured discs in a row in any direction (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). To win, a player has to think both critically and logically, while also focusing on what their opponent is doing. Great for: Developing the skills of divided attention, critical thinking and forward planning
Hopscotch can be played on a DIY mat (think felt and a glue gun if you’re feeling crafty), or one ordered online. Otherwise, go back to basics and use some tape on the floor or chalk outside on the driveway or in the courtyard. Great for: Gross motor and coordination skills, numeracy skills and social skills
Twister is a classic family game that gets kids moving and laughing too as everyone gets tangled up in knots! It’s fun to play, entertaining to watch, and it helps to teach children the difference between left and right. Great for: Gross motor and coordination skills, social skills, flexible thinking and forward planning
Best suited to older children, MindTrap is all about riddles and word problems. There is a scenario on each card that encourages players to use critical thinking to answer a tricky question. It can be played either in teams or individually. Great for: Flexible thinking Is it time for a family board game afternoon soon? Your kids will be having so much fun they won’t even notice they’re learning. And you’ll feel good knowing you’re helping their development through play.