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Bring Out the Board Games Instead of TV

by Tania Cowling | April 27th, 2016 | Elementary, Seasonal

board gameEach year a national initiative aims to make turning off the television a rewarding experience. It’s a time to help families reconnect and children rediscover the simple joys of activities other than digital entertainment. Screen-free week varies from April to May, with 2016’s week from May 2-8. I say, why not bring out the old board games (and some new ones, too) for family entertainment.

Playing board games is an excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together. And, as an added bonus they are rich in learning opportunities. Here are a few of my favorites that never get old.

Sorry – This is a game of counting and sportsmanship. You move your colorful plastic pieces around the board aiming to go home, but your opponent can bump you or make you switch places.

Scrabble or Scrabble Junior – Players have tiles (letters) and are encouraged to use their letters to complete words. Points are given for each letter. It’s a great game for reading and spelling skills, as well as following rules.

Battleship – What child (or even adult) don’t like a game of battle with ships? You and your opponent have your own game board where you hide your ships on a grid and take turns shooting at each other’s vessel. The first to sink all the enemies wins.

Clue — A favorite game of mystery as players become detectives to solve the murder. It’s a game of ‘whodunnit’ with a plethora of characters and rooms around the mansion.

Chinese Checkers – Kids love to move around the star-shaped board using marbles in a checker-like mode.

Life – This game is real life with a spin of a dial. What will you become, who will you marry, and how many kids will you have? It’s all in the game of Life.

Monopoly – I’m sure every parent has had the chance to play Monopoly – the classic real estate game with money and deeds. Hopefully, you don’t get put in jail! The classic game is my favorite, but today there are new editions with new properties and situations such as Boston’s Fenway Park, Houston’s Johnson Space Center, and a slew of college town settings.

Twister – Now, this game gets you on your feet and hands, so to speak. Spin the dial and get down on the ground contorting your body to the directions. “Right foot on the red and left hand on the blue circle” – what fun!

Another activity on family night is grabbing a deck of cards and playing some fun games. Who doesn’t remember playing War, Go Fish, and Memory? There is also Slapjack and Snap. One of my kids’ favorites was an old deck of Old Maid. Oh, the giggles and screams when one of us ended up with the Old Maid card.

So, during this week of no TV, hide the remote and bring out some board games for a night of old-fashioned fun. You may find that this entertainment is so endearing that the children will ask for more nights like this.

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