Episode 172

Friday night was game night when my kiddos were growing up. It was a much-loved part of our busy week when after dinner we’d say, “Let’s play games!

As I’m writing this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, my husband Brian and I have just returned from a trip to visit our grown son, Ben, in California.

And guess what? After dinner most nights during our visit, we’d say, “Let’s play games!” and jump into Ticket to Ride, a favorite board game.

This bought back so many wonderful memories!

In this episode, I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite games with you and why this simple activity is so important for building connection and nurturing growing kiddos.

Press play above to listen to the episode, Let’s Play Games! And check out the highlights and links in the show notes below.

I’ve used affiliate links in this post which means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission from products you purchase via my referral links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Let’s Play Games

The biggest benefit to playing games with your kiddos is connection. And here are just a few skills that playing games can foster:

  • Patience
  • Problem-solving
  • Social skills
  • Language development
  • Cognitive skills such as critical and strategic thinking
  • Communication skills

Research about the value of playing games suggests that ā€œall games use learning theory to some extent.ā€ (Playing Games Can Build 21st-Century Skills. Research Explains How)

Games are designed to help us develop skills and strategies progressively.

Learning, connecting, and relaxing together make playing games an around win for family time!

Ideas for Playing Games

Here are a few quick tips for playing games with your kiddos:

  • Cooperative Games are a wonderful way to introduce games to young children or especially sensitive or competitive children. They’re also a great way to foster working together for neurodivergent kiddos. Check out Family Pastimes Co-operative Games for two of my favorites, Sleeping Grump and Max the Cat.
  • Short games can be nice to sprinkle in throughout your day or when you’re on the go, such as Rat-a-tat Cat, Sushi Go!, and Monopoly Deal.
  • Get your kids active with Movement Games.
  • Incorporate these simple games into your homeschooling day to lighten the mood and build connection: Sprinkle Some Smiles on Your Homeschooling Day with Games.
  • Kapla Blocks are a fun cross between building blocks and a game challenge.
  • Included in my top ten best games for family game night are Ticket to Ride, Apples to Apples, Rummikub, and Bananagrams.
  • Games make great gifts! Share a list with the grandparents.
  • Take advantage of resources like your local library system, too. Many local libraries now have games to check out. This is a wonderful way to try a new game to see if you like.

It’s All About Connection

What are your favorite family games? I’d love to hear!

The benefits of making games a part of your family rhythm and culture will last a lifetime.šŸ’œ

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