There’s a very popular book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. It’s a great book that highlights the most important lessons in life and how they are introduced at an early age. Well, we feel the same way about board games. Some of life’s most important lessons can be learned by playing board games.
An article we read earlier this summer listed 25 life lessons that children can learn from playing board games and it packs quite a punch. Some of the lessons that really stood out to us are:
- Good sportsmanship
- Respecting rules and ethics
- Analyze your options
- How to plan ahead
- Every move has consequences
- You can sin some and lose some, and still end the game with dignity
- Even when the odds are not in your favor, you can still turn the game around, so never give up
As we went through the list, we couldn’t help but think that we’d much rather have our children learn some of these lessons in an environment that’s more forgiving than when the stakes are high and they’re grown and out on their own.
For example, we all face disappointment in life. And when we do, we have to choose how we’re going to deal with it. If we’ve never felt those feelings before, who knows what we’ll do. But if we’ve experienced those feelings before – like losing at a game – then we can at least be familiar with those feelings and respond appropriately.
Of course, as we look around us we also think there are many adults who haven’t learned many of these lessons. I think we could make a similar list of – Lesson that adults can learn from playing board games.
Love – the most important lesson of all
But all that said, I think there’s one big life lesson that this list missed. As you know, we do most of our board game playing as a family or at least with family members. And one of the biggest life lessons that we think our children learn from playing board games is that they’re loved.
Taking time to spend with your children in an activity that requires you to sit down together, to face one another, to talk to each other, and to enjoy each other’s company shows your children that you love them. They’ll know that you value them and value being with them. So when times are tough and they need someone to turn to or when times are great and they want to share their success, they’ll know you’re there for them.
Don’t just tell your children that you love them. Pull out a game, sit down, and show your children that you love them. It’s a life lesson they really want to learn.
- The Board Game Family