Why You Should Play With Your Children

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Recently, Parenting Magazine released an article discussing games that help develop brain power as well as that very crucial bond between parent and child.

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They listed about 15 different games, but unless you have a closet you can dedicate to just games, we can narrow that list down to five that cover the basics.

In the age of video games and online gaming, sitting down at the table or in the living room together as a family and playing board or card games seems a little old school. It is during those board games and card games that the best effects on children and parents can be felt.

UNO

Playing UNO with your child or children will help them to develop fine motor skills, recognize numbers and colors, learn how to match cards, count, and learn strategy.

The social interaction from a group card game is beneficial, as well as children learn the rules of appropriate behavior in group settings.

I SPY. This is a sensory game that does not necessarily need a space in a game closet, though there are I Spy games available for purchase.

As a child, we usually played I Spy to pass the time traveling. Children benefit from this game as sight and cognition are engaged together, strengthening the mental processes.

STORY CUBES

This is another in my collection of games. About the size of a thick deck of cards, this game is nine cubes with pictures on each of their six sides, in various themes.

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We have the traveling theme, so there are some pretty amazing pictures to make up stories about. Children benefit from this game because it taps into creativity and helps with making connections between things and finding patterns.

BATTLESHIP

This game is one of the best games for developing logic and critical thinking skills. These are especially important skills to develop in young, blossoming minds as these skills will help them navigate the adult world successfully.

This game also builds strategy and memory and makes learning so much fun for children.

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The benefits here are fairly obvious to identify; children build their vocabulary and learn how to spell a variety of words using a limited amount of letters. Social interaction is also covered in this game as well as the others that are listed here.

Playing games with children provides a variety of benefits beyond boosting their brain power. Parent-child play helps to improve behavior and teaches them how to be part of a team (Pappas, 2011 ).

Parent-child play is also much different than sibling or peer play, in that parents can provide a foundation of structure that cannot be provided by other young minds just learning the rules of the world.

As an adult, we benefit from playing with our children as well. The time spent playing UNO or Scrabble or any other game is time the mind spends relaxing and unwinding.

If your family is anything like mine, there is much laughter involved in family game time, and laughter has proven stress busting benefits.

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The bond between parent and child is strengthened as well, as those fun moments of mom and dad playing with them will stick with them throughout their lifetime. I certainly have many fond memories involving board and card games with my family!

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