The Benefits of Playing Board and Card Games
Are Board and Card Games Essential to a Pre-Schoolers’ Development?
Board and card games are a fantastic way for pre-schoolers to have fun with their family while developing social skills necessary for becoming “school-ready.”
Moreover, games help introduce children to basic concepts, such as letters and numbers, before they attend schools, making them better prepared for new topics.
Despite these benefits, children aged one to four do not currently play enough board or card games.
The Play Pyramid suggests that children need a good balance of different types of play for a well-rounded development, and board and card games are a vital part of the pyramid, along with structured social and creative play. Therefore, for healthy development, children should spend more time playing these activities and less time playing alone, watching TV, or using apps.
Choosing the right board and card games for pre-schoolers can be challenging. Here are three essential features to look for when selecting games for toddlers and pre-schoolers:
- The game can be made easier or harder.
- Age recommendations on packaging may not always be accurate because children’s abilities and attention spans vary. Therefore, it is best to find games that can be simplified for young children and made more challenging as they gain confidence. For instance, Orchard Toys’ Old Macdonald Lotto can be made more challenging by turning cards over and finding matching pictures, helping to test memory skills and extend playtime.
- The game can be played alone or with others.
- Some children enjoy competition, while others do not. It is essential to find games that can be played alone or cooperatively to help children learn about friendly competition. A game like Smelly Wellies from Orchard Toys is perfect for pre-schoolers because of its simple gameplay. Younger testers loved matching pairs of patterned wellies together, which is a game they could play alone without much help.
For older children, games can be used to compete with their parents, teaching them how to win and lose respectfully. Parents can model positive reactions when losing, which teaches children not to fear failure and how to handle it.
- The game can be used to start a discussion.
- Engaging children in an activity involves getting them to talk about it and relate it to their daily lives. Starting a conversation can help children focus on the activity, improve their concentration skills, and develop their communication and language skills. Orchard Toys’ Shopping List, based around a supermarket trip, encourages children to have conversations about their shopping habits and what they like to eat.
In conclusion, board and card games are vital to pre-schoolers’ development as they help to develop social skills and introduce basic concepts before attending school. Parents can choose games that can be made easier or harder, played alone or with others, and used to start a conversation to help children become school-ready.