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10 Ways to Encourage Playing Board Games

From fostering family unity to developing key learning skills, board games are one of the healthiest and most rewarding activites that families engage in.  The below list comes from extensive research in talking with parents, heads of game companies, and game store owners.  So this winter, cuddle up with your family and play one of your favorite games.

CHECK OUT:  Buy Board Games at Barnes & Noble

To Do #1:  Make Time

Set aside a specific time to play at least one game each week.  Parents need to make themselves available to their kids.  Some people call this “game night.”  Otherwise more aptly call it “turn off the computer/TV night.”

CHECK OUT:  Have kids older than 10?  You'll LOVE this game - Settlers of Catan.


To Do #2:  Start 'em Young!

Start playing games early with your kids.  And don't make excuses that you'll play another day...do it today.

CHECK OUT:   This Tea Party Game for pre-school children is an award-winner!


To Do #3:  Introduce New Games Regularly

Introduce new games regularly, avg. 1 per month, and create a mix of classic games you played as a child along with newer games

CHECK OUT:  Browse a selection of the world's classic games...you've played 'em!


To Do #4: Let Them Pick

Let your child pick out the game

CHECK OUT:  We know a little girl that asks to play the game Animal Soup all of the time.


To Do #5:  Move the Family Computer

Place the home computer in a central spot, i.e. kitchen, so that the family dynamic can become more spontaneous.  It’s easier to say, “Let’s play a game now” and pull your child away from the computer in the kitchen than to attempt the same thing when your daughter is embedded in her bedroom.

CHECK OUT:  If you need something to help turn the computer off (we're kidding of course).


To Do #6:  It's THEIR Move, Not Yours

Encourage risk taking but let children make their own moves within the game.  It's their decision and their strategy, not yours.  If you're always telling them how to play, they won't want to.

CHECK OUT:  Strategy games are often the most challenging to play in a family setting...but also the most rewarding.  Check out these great strategy games for sale.


To Do #7:  Games Should Be Visible

Keep your favorite family games visible around the house – pull them out of the closet!

CHECK OUT:  In fact, put them on a game shelf!


To Do #8:  Ask Them to Teach You

Encourage your child to learn a game first and then teach YOU to play.  The sense of ownership they'll feel as they walk you through the rules and then put the game in play can't be replicated.

CHECK OUT:  Check out these family games - many that are easy for children to learn first.


To Do #9:  Play Games You Like Too

Games are inherently “educational” so play the ones you like as a parent.  Your excitement will come through the experience with your child.

CHECK OUT:  A great game that's quick, simple and easy to play - yet strategic!


To Do #10:  No Video Games

It's a no-brainer...get rid of the video games and do something as a family...play a board game.  It requires a lot more thinking, patience and communication - the types of things that will make your children world leaders in whatever field they end up pursuing.  Now...don't get us wrong...we love a good game of Wii like everyone else but there's something to be said about a sit-down board game experience.


Have a list or site to suggest?  Contact us.

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