Tips for teaching your kids how to play boardgames

Children enjoy playing board games—they have fun! In addition to the fun factor, board games can be a great, interactive learning tool. When children play board games, they learn valuable skills such as turn taking and being a good sport, and they gain knowledge of basic concepts as they practice good listening, following directions, and responding appropriately. Specifically, many educational board games target answering “WH” questions, categorization, color identification, providing information, sentence repetition, counting skills, describing
skills, grammar/syntax, increasing sentence length, and letter recognition. Children also get to work on fine-motor control as they manipulate and move game board pieces.
Board games range from simple to more complex. Some board games have only a
few pieces, a few spaces, and a few prompts. Other board games are more complex and have many pieces, many spaces, and many prompts. You can choose a board game that matches the child’s abilities. You can also modify a board game to meet the needs of the child. Modifications include using the prompts or cards without the actual game board, using fewer prompts/cards, having fewer players in the game, taking breaks during the game, and using dice with written numbers (1, 2, etc.) versus dots.

Learning to Play a Board Game Step-by-Step
Julie A. Daymut, M.A.

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