I play board games all the time with my kids at home. We have at least two dozen board games in our downstairs closet alone. I always buy card games for their stockings. My step-mom who is a retired speech therapist buys my kids games every Christmas and on birthdays. To be honest, we did not own a video game system until this past Christmas when I finally broke down and bought a Wii.
I remember playing Uno with my Grandma P., Yahtzee with my Grandma R., and croquet with Grandpa R. (Ok, so it’s not a board game but it’s old school and he deserves credit). We always played games at my dad’s on Friday nights. (Kerplunk, Clue, and Pig Mania a.k.a. Pass the Pigs were a few favorites). I guess games continue to be a tradition in our family.
Right now, at home, my kids’ favorite game is Boggle. What teacher doesn’t love that?? When my 9-year-old son comes up with words like “value” and “peace” I am quite impressed. Just last night he asked if we would count “homophones.”
There isn’t much time for such fun at school, but today was our last full day of school. With no homework and all our assignments wrapped up, what could I do with my 1st period study hall? Seems like the perfect time for a board game!
I love to see how kids (8th graders) handle themselves in these situations.
Do they read the directions?
Can they take turns?
Do they use strategy?
Are they sore losers?
Many of my students don’t play board games at home with their families. In an age of video games and hectic schedules, this should not surprise me. And it really doesn’t. It just makes me a little sad.
Today we played Pictureka! Six of us gathered around a table and right away, based on a little apprehension and a few grumbles, I knew that they had never played this game before. By the end of the first round, we were laughing and having a great time. Everyone was bummed when the period ended.
Do I need to justify that this game can be educational? I don’t think anyone would actually question my choice on the last day of school in a study hall with with six 8th graders and all our work turned in. (At least I wasn’t showing a video or letting them run wild in the halls!?)
But just in case:
- This game is great for visual processing as it requires students to scan for objects and match pictures.
- It also requires students to find items which fit into particular categories. (Ex. Stinky Things, Things in Space, Things in a Game, etc.)
- And like all board games, reading and following directions, social skills, and strategy all apply.