Boost kids’ skills and memories with weekly game night

Boost kids' skills and memories with weekly game night

During the cold months of winter is the best time to start thinking how you can get the family all together and have some indoor fun. If you can find the right thing, it might even become a family ritual.

Family rituals help in the development of children and the family as a whole

Once you find an activity the whole family can enjoy together, the key is to repeat and turn it into a family habit, something that’s going to represent you all. The chosen activities don’t even have to be expensive, time consuming or really complicated.
Making memories together leads to creating a sense of inclusion, structure and belonging that is sort of a stamp of authenticity of healthy family life. This creates memories that you can recall with pleasure and, over time, become part of a family’s unique DNA.

There’s no doubt that parenting is challenging and among all of these challenges, it’s also crucial for parents to understand the high-impact benefits of positive, regular habits of family time.

This is an example of how successful parenting has had a major impact on one child after he left home:

“I loved our family time. When we were kids, every Friday was pizza and games night.”
Parents have an enormous role in orchestrating and leading the action around family time. More importantly, as we all know, that family time has actually become a rare scenario nowadays.

Parents have an enormous role in orchestrating and leading the action around family time. More importantly, as we all know, that family time has actually become a rare scenario nowadays.

Why family games count and how to make it right

It is important that during these family gatherings, parents are completely present to their children. This means agreeing that all electronic devices are powered off.
These are the things you can do to make family moments actually matter in the development of your kids and your family as a whole.

Start everything off with a meal

If you really want to make an evening of it, think of beginning with making a simple meal together. This is going to be a wonderful bonding sessions. For example, your routine could become a pizza night followed by games and puzzles.

Young children could knead the dough, and help with spreading the sauce and slicing, dicing, chopping, shredding and arranging the toppings. Buying prepared thin crusts can cut down on the time and the mess of dealing with dough.

Language and cognitive skill building can be incorporated into these easy daily activities, making them fun, natural and interactive. Dinner will be on the table in a flash and your child will be sure to eat their creations as well!

Research identifies meal time talk as central to reinforcing relationships and developing vocabulary among young children.

The benefits of playing games with your children

Playing games is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together.

As an added bonus, board games are also rich in learning opportunities. They satisfy your child’s competitive urges and the desire to master new skills and concepts, such as:

  • letter recognition and reading
  • number and shape recognition, grouping, and counting
  • visual perception and color recognition
  • eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity

Choose a certain game that excites everyone
Games and puzzles provide an excellent platform for creating these shared experiences. They have the potential to promote a range of social and physical skills, concepts, strategy use and language development that will serve your child very well in their academic achievements in math and literacy.

Size, shape, space, patterns and sequences, for example, underlie alphabet recognition, spelling and numeracy. The key is to give little fingers a chance to “learn the world,” developing their fine motor skills and making connections to language.

You could choose from family games like:

  1. Lego: clearly a top favorite, Lego is great for developing concepts of whole-part relationships, how things fit and for promoting fine motor skills. It is creative as well, and there is a resurgence among adults known as Adult Fans of Lego (AFOL) in using these blocks.
  2. Jenga: not only a family game but also a company game, Jenga is a game of physical skill involving 54 blocks arranged in a tower at the beginning of the game. One block is removed by each player in turn, and replaced at the top of the tower, until it comes crashing down. The game evolved from the game creator’s own memories of playing and puzzling with her family.
  3. Scrabble: there had to be a classic on the list. The game reinforces letter recognition and spelling patterns. With younger children, it’s recommended to play as adult-child teams to provide a great learning opportunity. Handling the tiles, arranging and moving them about and placing them on the board are good exercises for fine motor development.
  4. Any type of card or board game for that matter: this means including card tricks the offer endless possibilities for adult-child interaction and fun across age groups. Concepts of “more than” and “less than,” discussions of chance or probabilities as well as sequence and groupings, are given a good work out with a card game. And, on the other had, games like monopoly and activity could set the bar for creativity and negotiations skills.

While you play with kids

This is going top kind of be the best time for a great one on one parent-child talk. This could really make a difference to a child’s language and social development. Significantly, parents should try to become mindful of how much they talk WITH their children, not simply TO them. What matters is taking turns in conversation, where the adult listener models responding and expanding on the previous comments.
For example, if the family is working on a puzzle and the child explains they are putting all the blue puzzle pieces here, the parent might say: “What a great idea, you can group all the puzzle pieces by colour, which helps us find them.” The parent returns attention in a way that gives words to the skill the child is experimenting with; the adult also models the art of taking conversation to the next level.

Completely focusing on the game and the players allows parents to fully hear their child and respond to the child’s comments to open the conversation further, which is central to building children’s vocabularies and understandings.

In addition to offering positive feedback and encouragement, parents can offer the thinking out loud talk in which case adults expose their thinking processes while using a strategy or solving a problem. In this way parents support children’s cognitive development while sharing an activity.