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Game On

Sara Glaz

Want an inexpensive way to boost your child’s intelligence, help him improve his social skills, learn good middos — and keep him from tearing the house apart? Look no further than your stash of board and card games.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Growing up, my family’s game cabinet was filled with the usual: chess, checkers, backgammon, and Chutes and Ladders. Yawn. Hit the toy store nowadays, and the choices are endless, with game boxes stacked to the ceiling. Some of these newfangled entertainments come with fancy add-ons like flashing lights, even USB ports. But rest assured — game designers haven’t just attached musical accompaniment to a chess board. Rather, they’ve employed educational consultants and psychologists to create games that offer proven social, cognitive, and emotional benefits. And the best part — they’re super fun, too. Here’s what you can hope your kids will gain as they race their markers around the board. 

Social Skills

You bring out the game, the directions get thrown to the side, and the board is hurriedly set up with all the kids pouncing on their favorite-color game pieces. But no one wants the green marker and everyone wants red. What happens when Chaim says that doubles are allowed in the card game, whileYaelinsists that doubles are absolutely never allowed? One of the most notable social skills that kids (and even adults) develop or improve upon when playing a multi-player game is diplomacy. From an early age, children learn how to be little politicians (and good spouses).


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