One of our favorite ways to have some big family fun while also working on important, goal-centered skills is board games!
Playing board games has so many amazing benefits for our kiddos! With many different kinds of games available for all ages, there will always be something for everyone. Most games, no matter the objective, age or ability level, will provide the opportunity to work on big skills.
It’s time to dust off those board games and play with a purpose!
In general, the benefits of playing board games are far reaching and really powerful!
Gathering as a family, or with a group of friends, gives kids the chance to get away from screens, engage with each other and practice important social skills.
Over a fun board game, conversation comes easily, teamwork and camaraderie are inevitable. Kids experience a positive boost in confidence and get a fun break from everyday stressors.
Making game time a part of your weekly routine will benefit everyone!
So much awesome speech and language practice happens over a family board game!
Kids learn new vocabulary and game specific language and they have the opportunity to practice explaining the rules of the game – all great language building work! Even just the conversation that happens while playing is excellent for language development.
Board games also give kiddos a chance to work on active listening skills as they listen to, and then put into practice, the rules of the game. Give kids the chance to relay the rules to other players to check for comprehension and celebrate using good listening ears!
Board games provide some great motor work for our kids. Manipulating small pieces, practicing hand-eye coordination and working those spatial skills are some of the many benefits to board games.
Games like Jenga, Suspend and Perfection test your kiddo’s coordination, spatial reasoning and work those small muscles in the hands and wrists – all so important when building strong fine motor skills!
Games that require core strength, balance and full body coordination will be beneficial while also being a blast!
So much of what our social workers focus on in therapy can be practiced in a fun, safe setting when you break out the board games!
Through game playing, kids have the chance to practice with, and strengthen, some really important social/emotional skills.
- Social skills like turn taking, cooperation and sharing
- Following directions, active listening and being respectful of others
- Being a good sport, congratulating others and being able to learn from failure when they lose
- Complimenting others on a job well done and being happy for other player’s success
Executive Functioning Benefits
A term that’s used a lot in therapy is “executive functioning” and while it may sound like a big, overwhelming term it simply means the self management system of the brain that allows us to plan, focus our attention and juggle multiple things at once.
Executive functioning is a large umbrella term for a lot of smaller, but very important skills that help kids and adults move through their day successfully.
Playing board games addresses so many of the important executive functioning skills at one time! It really is an amazing all-in-one activity!
Some of the executive functioning skills used during game play include:
- Comprehension of spoken and written directions
- Logic and reasoning skills
- Increase of auditory and visual processing speed
- Improvement of critical thinking skills
- Works attention span and the ability to attend to the activity
- Teaches problem solving, strategic thinking and planning of next steps
Part of our mission at Beyond Speech Therapy Specialists is to always be playing with a purpose. We love seeing our kids, and their families, learning, growing and finding success through everyday play!
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to work on those big skills, dust off those board games and play with a purpose!