My family and I have started playing a different board game each weekday afternoon during this lockdown. More often than not when we have downtime we resort to screens be that movie, game or any one of the many platforms we might use for (mindless) scrolling but also keeping up with friends and family! Playing boardgames during family times has become a great way of connecting with everyone and getting everyone OFF their screens for a change and interacting with each other.

Board games are great because they allow players to enter into a controlled state of conflict and take the focus off work, homeschool and the news. The process of engaging in that conflict is fun even when you lose, and the outcome is likely to be different the next time around. A good board game builds in enough chance so that any reasonably skilled player can win. The emphasis is not on who ultimately wins, but on the ingenuity that players display in the process. Well, hopefully anyway!

Another significant feature of board games is that they require us to sit down in the same room together and concentrate on a shared experience in real time. That is becoming increasingly rare in a world in which we now often see our friends and loved ones on social media or Zoom rather than in real life. Even when we used to be able to get together in person, I know that some of my own family’s gatherings of several people have been far more engaged in social media than in simply sitting and having a conversation. Or rather – what I notice is that at the start there is conversation and catching up but as soon as that is “done” out come all the screens again…

So – why not get some favourite board games out and play together? Here are 5 more great reasons:

  1. Playing board games increases your brain power. Playing these games stimulates parts of your brain responsible for cognitive thought and memory formation. So it’s great for strategic thinking, decision-making and problem-solving – with others, in real time.
  2. It can bring laughter and decrease stress levels. Laughter is often a side effect of playing a board game. It’s also a vital ingredient for creativity and stress relief. And we need that right now more than ever!
  3. Playing board games can increase your happiness levels. That’s because they trigger endorphins – the brain’s natural feel-good chemicals.
  4. They bring people together. You often need teamwork in a game. Playing brings people together, no matter their age or background, and helps strengthen bonds.
  5. Board games help enhance creativity and self-confidence. They help us to connect and open up displaying our creative sides pushing us to develop a stronger sense of individuality. These help us to feel included and validated.

And now for a little fun!

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