Board games are the ultimate classic toy. They have been around since the beginning of humanity, and have become an essential part of childhood experiences worldwide. We are lucky enough to now live in their golden age, where board games are more popular than ever. Every year, new innovative brands arise, and we have access to an incredible diversity of games.
Genres include strategy, role-playing, card and skill games. While certain games are designed for you to move or react quickly, others require deep concentration. This ultimately means that there is a perfect board game for every child. We've designed this article to help you find what that is for your little one, or even for yourself!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 The best board games
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about board games
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- The market offers an incredible variety of board games, with countless categories to choose from. There's everything you want from simple dice games, to elaborate role-playing or strategy games.
- Playing is the absolute best activity if you want your child to learn. Board games will encourage his or her cognitive, motor and social development while having fun.
- We encourage you to search for games that will entertain your child as well as yourself. This will allow you to have afternoons of family games. Teamwork and healthy competition also contribute to strengthening family ties.
The best board games
There truly is a board game for every taste. We want to help you find just the right game for you, whether it's to entertain your child and his friends or for a family night at home. We've selected our favourite board games in the following section to get you started in your search.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about board games
Board games are the perfect gift, with each one being unique. The almost endlessness of concepts and genres can be overwhelming when you're on the hunt for the perfect game for your child. In the following section, we've discussed some of the most frequently asked questions about board games to give you all the information you need.
What types of board games are available out there?
|Category||Way of playing||Characteristics|
|Dice games||They are based on throwing a die and moving a token on a board. They include some of the most classic and iconic games, such as the Game of the Goose.||Winning mostly relies on chance, and games tend to be shorter. They are generally easy to understand.|
|Strategy games||These games involve players developing a series of strategies to achieve a goal.||They can be cooperative or individual. They depend on players' analytical, planning or deduction skills.|
|Card games||Card games are only played with cards, whether traditional or specifically designed for the game, such as Uno or Dixit.||Each game is unique. Some are purely random, while others involve strategy, skill or deduction.|
|Role-playing games||These games involve a narrator, and the players must take on the role of a character.||They test players' storytelling skills, communication and imagination. The games tend to be very long.|
What are the benefits of board games?
- They contribute to cognitive and motor development: Board games, and more specifically those with attractive and colourful designs, contribute to the cognitive development of children. They help them better identify shapes, numbers, letters and colours. Games with different pieces also stimulate motor skills and coordination.
- They stimulate social skills: Playing a board game with other children helps them to learn bout healthy competition and cooperation. Children therefore train their patience, generosity and even their understanding of justice. They may even learn to analyse other players' strategies and adapt their own.
- They allow quality family time: One of the best ways to make the most out of board games is to play them as a family. Game nights are ideal to spend some time with your child while being away from screens. Teamwork and healthy competition are also concepts that are uniting.
Should I play board games with my children?
Easy board games are fantastic didactic tools for your youngest children. As they grow, you'll be able to play games that you can also enjoy and that are more challenging for all ages. That way, you can organise family game night and spend quality time together.
When can my child start playing board games?
Children will be attracted to more complex board games as they grow up. There really is no age limit for board games, and teenagers may have a preference for role-playing or strategy games. There are also excellent options that any adult will enjoy if you're looking for a fun way to spend an evening with your friends.
Board games are more popular than ever, which also means that the market offers an incredible diversity. This is great news, and we bet you want to find the perfect game for your child. In the next section, we've discussed some of the most important criteria to consider when looking for your new board game. They are the following:
Age of your child
Your child will be able to start experimenting with board games around the age of 4. In that regard, it is crucial that you provide the right games for the stage of life they are in. Opt for short games if you don't want younger kids to lose interest. Because children of that age are so energetic, we recommend a game that involves movement.
Classic games like Uno or Monopoly can be introduced a little later in life. Children can understand just about any board game around the age of 8. This will be the appropriate time for you to initiate them to more complex games, like strategy games. You'll also be able to enjoy your time playing with your children.
Number of players
This is naturally a key element to consider when buying any board game. We encourage you to go for a product tailored for more people if you're not quite sure how many players you'll have. Most games can be played when you have guests over, or during a family evening.
You should also think about when you'll be playing the game. If you have several children, some game are ideal for playing in pairs. Other games, on the other hand, are more tailored for large groups: they are perfect for a family evening or for your child's birthday party.
The personality of your child and his interests will naturally determine which type of game you should go for. Extroverted children, for instance, will particularly enjoy games that involve singing or miming. Narrative games like Dixit are great for creative kids who love to tell stories. If your child is very alert, you might be interested in strategy or deduction games.
Didactic games are also a fantastic way to contribute to the development of our kids. You can also find products that encourage physical activity if you want your child to exert himself. Certain games available on the market are designed to test the flexibility, balance, coordination and even the rhythm of the players.
Difficulty and length
The complexity of a board game is a big differentiating factor, and one that will strongly influence which you choose. Role-playing games and certain strategy games, for instance, are harder to understand and entail more rules, but they are fascinating to play. These games that are more complex immerse the players in elaborate fictitious worlds and can last several hours – or more.
That being said, please do remember that not every child and teenager enjoys these harder games. As we mentioned earlier, try and stick to simpler and shorter games if your child is still under 8. Complicated games that require a lot of patience will most likely bore kids of that age.
As you've probably understood, board games don't have to be explicitly didactic to contribute to your child's cognitive development. Most games actually allow kids to work with different skills and learn while playing. Simply think about the skills you want to stimulate in your child and look for games that provide the right playing environment for this.
In our selection of board games, we've tried to include games that also contribute to the development of various skills in your children. Monopoly, for instance, serves as an introduction to money management. Scrabble, on the other hand, will help expand their vocabulary and they'll start playing with letters in a fun way.
Board games are always an excellent gift idea, whether it is for a boy or a girl. Their ever-growing popularity means that the market has an almost infinite offer of all genres and types. There is always a board game out there suitable for everyone, regardless of age, personality or interests.
Your child's development can also greatly benefit from playing board games, as they allow kids to learn while having fun. We can't encourage you enough to choose a board game that you can also play with your children, as they are a great way to spend quality time together.
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(Source of featured image: Artem Oleshko: 70148148/ 123rf.com)