Are board games good for your brain? Yes, playing board games stimulates brain parts that are responsible for memorization and complex thinking process for all ages. Participating in everyday essential cognitive skills including decision making, strategy thinking, and problem solving has benefits in both social and psychological aspects.
For elderly, certain board games for dementia help to improve memory and mental health by engaging reasoning skills, logics, and strategize. And for children, it helps to develop critical thinking and boost reasoning by regularly playing board games.
Playing board games is not only about fun and excitement due to the addictive and distracting nature of board games. Many people query if board games are good for your brain, so let’s take a look at some aspects of how board games are brain gyms.
What do board games teach us?
When families are trying to find a delicate balance between real-life bonds and the digital world, board games can provide that emotional connection as a tool to connect, which is why they are better than video games.
Simply order a pizza and get boarding with loved ones to enjoy a fun filled game night.
Some aspects that board games teach us are:
- New chances for early learning: Simple games like recognizing shapes and colors for counting spaces promote hand-eye coordination. It helps dexterity in moving pieces and cards, and also teaches patience and following rules that are essentials for living life.
- Older kids’ brain buzzer: Board games encourage the healthy development of the brain in teens and older kids too. Strategy, logic, and cognitive skills help frontal lobes development in the brain. The frontal lobe executes functional skills such as organizing, planning, and making efficient decisions.
- Boosts language skills: Board games teach flex and expand the vocabulary and spelling skills. This way it enhances memory to remember information and reading comprehension while having fun.
- Sharpens the focus: A continuous and uninterrupted gameplay extends a child’s focus and benefits the concentration of the player. This also improves their commitment to finish the game.
- Teach teamwork: Board games teach cooperative teamwork with efficient decision-making. They also teach you to accept luck, have patience, work together, and other life skills.
- Soothes anxiety: Board games teach you to navigate and provide structure. They encourage interpersonal relationships with your peers. Guessing games help to strike conversations and soothe anxiety.
- Reduce stress: Playing board games helps to reduce stress. The result of playing games is laughter, which is important element for enjoyable learning and increasing creativity. Having a good time with family and friends generally helps to decrease stress levels.
How do board games help brain development?
Playing board games stimulates brain regions that are responsible for complex thought patterns and memory creation for all ages, especially in child development. Most board games require players to use fine motor skills to pick up or move pieces, which improves coordination and dexterity.
Here are some ways that board games help brain development:
- Improving cognitive impairment.
- Modify behavior to healthy ones.
- Shielding against cognitive decline.
- Enhancing attention span.
- Increasing focus and concentration through pattern recognition.
- Focusing on shapes, colors, and memory through matching and identification.
- Improving hand-eye coordination.
- Strengthening the motor centers neural loops of central nervous system.
- Neural reflexes increase the efficiency and speed of information processing.
- Boost literacy and math skills.
- Widen vocabulary usage and speech through language skills.
Psychological Benefits Of Playing Board Games
When playing board games there are significant psychological benefits includes connecting, laughing, soothing anxiety, stress-buster, fun, and excitement. Board game trigger the release of endorphins in the body, which are the feeling good chemicals and happy hormones that have the power to make you feel cheerful, compassionate and positive.
- Promote connection and you can easily interact when meeting new friends over a board game.
- Provide an opportunity to socialize.
- Brain boosters.
- The prefrontal lobes become active encouraging analytical and cognitive thinking.
- The hippocampus engages to boost your IQ.
- Shield against memory loss issues like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and related mental declines.
- Minimize stress and lower your blood pressure
- Enhance fun, excitement, and enthusiasm.
- Are enjoyable and relax your mind.
Boards games are great tool to connect and open up interactions. It helps to display your creative side of personality and brings self-confidence a level up.
For any shy children and timid adults, it pushes them to develop a stronger individuality.
Social Benefits Of Board Games
Not only do board games bring people together, but it is also powerful source in social bonding and development of social skills. Playing board games makes kids and adults learn life skills like taking turns, patience, coping skills, problem-solving, collaboration, conversation striking, flexibility, and compromising.
All these abilities are included with fun, excitement, and learning at the same time.
Here are some social benefits with playing board games:
- Interaction: Generally, board games can range from 1 to 6 number of players. No matter how big or small your group is, it increases interaction and engagement between people by striking conversation.
- Be a good loser: Board games teach you sportiveness and take losing in your stride. This way it enhances frustration tolerance, following rules, coping skills, resilience, and patience.
- Unplug: Playing board game allows you to stay away from electronic screens and components with off-screen time. Fun is beyond smartphones and computers. Unplug with a board game and consider even playing them outdoors.
- Time-out: Instead of sending your kids for a time-out to their room, try playing a board game to bond and open up a parent-child relationship. It will also help to enhance tolerance to frustration in kids by taking turns and waiting for the right thing to happen all through the game.
- Improves problem solving and judgment: Parents generally dictate the routine for their kids. Board games help in gaping small decisions into tough decisions. These games offer several options for you and your kid’s benefit since practice of judgment and reasoning are developed by selecting the right option and making a decision that is right for them.
- Long-term strategical thinking: When playing crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, quizzes, or battlefield victory, kids will have to apply strategical thinking by planning, organizing, and taking each step with caution. This way they learn tough decision-making and long-time benefit rather than short-term profits.
- Grasping and learning skills: When you want to win, you need to learn and understand the instructions properly and head forward by following the rules. Kids grasp these rules and focus skills are sharpened with board games. Math skills, strategical skills, logical thinking, and so on are some learning skills that you benefit from while playing board games.
- Teamwork: Board games teach players to collaborate, cooperate and work in a team to achieve their target. Work together to win with the help of each other.
- Handling competition: Board games provide healthy competition that ensures both teams benefit in some way or another. Being able to remain ethical and follow the rules while playing games so that everyone has a fair chance to win.
- Remain ethical: Teach them to be truthful and ethical by following the rules of the game. So, winning alone is not the goal of the gameplay. Also, avoiding cheating that ruins the gaming experience for you and the other players.
- Handle emotions: Being a loser or a winner is not the sole goal. When things get tough, we should be able to maturely handle emotions along with them. Same for the winners that they need to win graciously. The benefit of board game is that players will learn not to be sad loser or gloat winner either.
Tips to make board games good for your brain
When you are purchasing board games, ensure they are a positive and good boost to your brain. From strategy to memory games, not every board game provides the same benefits.
Choose wisely what you or your child needs to work on to continue learning in a fun way.
Some tips to enhance brain activity are:
- Choose board games that are handled one at a time.
- Select the game as per toughness to match your skill level.
- Do not focus only on winning, but learn the skill or rather master it. Winning is the outcome of your skill, speed, and your time.
- In self-competition, improve the result, efficiency, or speed when compared to your earlier results.
- Finish the game with lesser moves in lesser time.
- Observe the opponent’s play to counter the attack. Compare their approach to yours and exercise critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Try to improve your winning chances. Plan and move strategically.
Some of the games that are recommended to boost brain activity are:
- Word Games
- Pattern Games
- Fine Motor Skills Games
- Memory Games
- General Knowledge Games
- Problem Solving or Brain Teaser Games
- Strategy Games
- Adventure Games
Board Games for your Brain: Final Thoughts
Board games bring people together and bond as individual to have great time and develop fun memories. In addition, engaging in playing board games helps in practicing vital cognitive skills and also good for brain function for all ages.
These include higher-level thinking, strategical skills, decision making, and solving problems.
Furthermore, board games teach us to improve language skills, sharpen focus and attention, close knit teamwork, soothes anxiety and reduces stress levels. That is why board games help you to balance real life and digital world to detox from.
Most board games stimulate brain functions and increase concentration through pattern recognition.
On psychological benefits, board games promote bond with people to be able to meet new people and become friend instantly. Also, it may help to reduce memory loss that leads to Alzheimer or dementia.
These benefits are caused by endorphins or happy hormones that is released while playing board games.
Not only increasing the bond with family and friends, board game also help you to accept loosing and winning without any emotion and handle feeling no matter what outcome occurs. It helps to work as a team and understand how to handle competition.
When playing board game to improve your brain health, ensure to select the board games that match with your skill level. Avoid focusing on winning only but rather learnt skill and strategy.
Whether you play Monopoly or Clue, you will enjoy and improve your brain health with the help of some fun and entertaining board games.