We Won! Board Games Promote Health in Families

BY LAUREN FISCHER

Are hectic holiday schedules and dark winter evenings putting your family in a funk? Well, dust off Candy Land, Monopoly and Sorry because a good old-fashioned family game night may be just what the doctor ordered. This kind of quality family time promotes family bonding, creates joyful memories and decreases the body’s stress response according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In addition to colors, numbers and vocabulary, games help children develop life skills necessary to become successful adults according to the AAP. Following rules and taking turns develop self regulation skills while communication and conflict resolution with other players develop social skills. Games are also an opportunity for children to exercise creativity, collaboration and problem solving.

Whether you’re looking to challenge your teen or delight your little one, here are a few of the best board games to get your family game night going.

Perfect for Little Ones

Relish in the nostalgia while engaging the youngest members of your family with these classic childhood board games.

Candy Land – Practice colors and counting while racing along the rainbow path towards sweet victory for the player who reaches the Candy Castle first.

Chutes and Ladders – Help your children navigate numbers as well as the good deeds that launch you up the ladders and the naughty deeds that send you sliding down the chutes.

Operation – Young children practice fine motor skills while removing Cavity Sam’s ailments like a headphone headache. Wait for everyone to squeal with joy when the tweezers touch the side of the cavity and Sam’s nose lights up and the buzzer

goes off.

Challenge Accepted

To win these games, you must focus, strategize and out-smart your opponents.

Clue – Become a detective and delve deep into a who-done-it murder mystery. Was it Mrs. Peacock with the lead pipe in the library?

Checkers – Strategically move your checkers diagonally square by square as you capture your opponent’s checkers one by one.

Sorry! – Hope for lucky cards and plan your plays wisely to be the first player to get all their pawns safely home. Just don’t be Sorry! and get sent back to the start.

Blokus – Challenge your spatial thinking while trying to get all of your pieces onto the board by filling your territory and blocking opponents.

Aggravation – Up to six players must try to send their marbles all the way around the board using die rolls and potentially dangerous shortcuts.

Monopoly – The classic property-trading game has room for eight players and lots of competition. Themed Monopoly boards are available ranging from Star Wars to national parks so hold a family meeting and pick the perfect board.

New Twists on Classic Games

Monopoly Deal is a card-game version of the traditional board game. It’s portable, includes the strategy and luck of the original game and only takes 15 minutes a round.

The goal of Mexican Train is to play all of the tiles in your hand onto multiple chains or “trains” extending from the central station. Figuring out strategies to get all of your tiles on the train faster will keep you saying, “one more game!”

Heads Up is a hilarious, app-based guessing game where team members shout out clues to help the person holding the phone to their forehead guess the word on the card before time runs out. Categories range from celebrities to at’s so ‘90s and it can be played with up to 100 players!