Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

How to Take the 'Bored' out of Board Games

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

How to Take the 'Bored' out of Board Games

Article excerpt

Byline: Cassie Hamer

WHEN given a choice between playing Barbies, playing a board game, or stabbing myself in the eye, I normally choose a board game (though the eye-stabbing thing runs a close second).

For me, a game of Snakes and Ladders or Zingo is a bit like going for a run - there may be a little pain involved, but it also may turn out to be fun, and I know it's good for us.

Board games are undeniably great for kids

They're a disguised lesson in logic, problem solving, literacy and numeracy.

They get kids off their screens and talking (maybe even laughing) with you, and then there's also that important life lesson - learning how to lose gracefully.

Now, the irrefutable benefits of board games may be sad news for some parents who hate them and find they always end in tears. But believe me, there are ways to avoid the crying. Well, the kids' crying at least.

1. Don't underestimate your child's capabilities, but don't overestimate them either. If your child can't read or write, then don't start them off with Monopoly. Start with something simple, like Hungry Hippo or Snap. Conversely, you'd probably be pretty amazed at the complexity that kids can handle. Even a four-year-old can read a dice, which opens up a whole world of possibilities. At my girls' school, kids in kindergarten learn chess. I'm not saying they've got all the moves nailed, but given the right instruction, kids can learn even the most complex of games.

2. Break the rules or make your own. My girls are now aged four, six and eight, which means they've reached the point where we can finally all play games together. However, we do make accommodations for the youngest, which means occasionally bending the rules. To avoid accusations of cheating from her sisters, we set the ground rules at the start. …

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