Author: Rebecca Knowlden
I might be showing my old-school ways here, but I think the best evenings with family are spent playing board games. There are so many to choose from these days. I know, you’re probably saying, “she’s talking about board games? How is that going to help me?” Well, sometimes it’s the simple, little stuff in life that can have the greatest impact.
Spending time face to face, following the rules, taking turns, working together on teams and seeing others win and lose - these are all great lessons for your children. The games also require the use of critical thinking skills and offer many valuable ‘teachable moments’. The best part is how they provide insights into family members. Who has the temper? Who’s aggressive? Who’s risk-averse? Who’s flexible and who’s the ‘peacemaker’? You get to share everything from heated disagreements to gut-busting laughter. But all of it ends up making a lasting memory.
Board games offer families a fun, shared experience that is unique in our hustle/bustle world. Kids with disabilities learn valuable insights, social skills and vocabulary playing board games with the family. Some of our family favorites were the ones where mom and dad, the typical kids and challenged kids could all have fun and be successful. Some games tend to ‘level the playing field’. You might find that your special-needs child is really good at one of them…which of course builds up their self-esteem. If you need to make slight adjustments to allow the game to work best, go ahead, just be sure that you keep the challenge and fun in the game as it was designed. The point is for everyone to have a great time.
Our Family’s Top 6 board games: Catch Phrase, Tripoly, Mexican Train Dominos, Taboo, Pictionary (kids version), and WhooNu ….there are several other games, but these seem to be the ones we always go back to.
So turn off the TV this week and dust off the board games in your hall closet…and if you don’t have any, track a few down. The kids may grumble at first, but press on – and the good times will follow!
OK, it’s your turn.