We have been playing classical board games like Ludo and Snakes & Ladders for past 3-4 days. So, while I was coaxed again into another game of Snakes & Ladders, I realized just how wonderful these games are. This game was doing more than its share of entertaining my 5 year old and it’s then it dawned on me what all it is capable of teaching young children.
Math: A lot of numeracy skills can be imparted by this game. These include Number recognition, Addition, Subitizing and Counting. This board game is just the apt way to teach a young child how to identify numbers and add them. I was pleasantly surprised how my son was progressing on counting and addition while playing this game.
Sense of Direction: For younger children who still cannot read the numbers, it is a great fun way to teach up-down, left and right.
Reasoning: While you are playing with your child, ask her to find the longest, shortest snake and ladder. Explore the board for patters on the snakes and try to find the odd snake out.
Self Regulation: Of course all board games build that skill – both in you and your child. As a mother, it was a lesson in patience and controlling my emotions when my 5 year old was acting all silly and trying his best to irk me. For him, a lesson on giving turns, waiting for turns and losing the game.
We are learning a lot with this game. For me the most important lesson was that not everything has to revolve around learning to teach important lessons. As parents we are too anxious to make our children smart and intelligent. We spend absurd amount of money on educational toys and aids. Not undermining their importance, all I am trying to say is that we need loosen ourselves if we are to succeed in our goal of raising smart children. We need to invest in games for the pure joy of entertainment and family bonding. Learning will take care of itself.
Also read: Spatial Awareness: An Essential Life Skill
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