There is Always Time For Family Game Night

There is Always Time For Family Game Night

By Raymond Shipley

With the advent of technology comes a major caveat to the traditional family: lack of togetherness. Despite having on-call entertainment at the tip of one's fingers, the closeness of family during fun times seems ever more distant. 
Some men have poker night while women play Bunko. But with all the adult bonding between friends it is easy to assume the people with whom we live don't take us for granted, despite the inevitability. 
Family game night is a simple and fun way to spend an evening together as a family. And it just so happens to lead to child development benefits such as problem solving and good sportsmanship.

Among the many benefits are improved hand-eye coordination and better grades. Games like Operation, Jenga and any card game force one to become more adept at the fine motor skills that require success in the game, and these skills assist with activities such as sports, writing and playing instruments. Likewise, many games call upon the player to use academic skills like math, vocabulary and general knowledge. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon showed that academic games can improve classroom performance in areas such as identifying numbers, counting and comparing numerical magnitudes. Chutes & Ladders, Uno and Scrabble are great games for development of these skills, and fun even for relatively young children.

Strategy games cultivate problem solving as well. Research from the University of Florida found that kids who practice solving problems with their parents develop better memory techniques and more success at independent problem solving. In addition to encouraging the practice of problem solving, these games also showcase effective techniques from which they can learn. When playing one should be sure to explain how a problem is approached and broken down into steps, as well as the thought process that leads to action. Such conversations will provide useful insight into their own thinking and lead to greater success in real-life situations. Monopoly is a great problem-solving game, and Chess has been linked to an increase in IQ.

Family Game Night also bonds the family together. Studies have shown that children from families who maintain strong lines of communication through frequent get-togethers enjoy benefits in nearly every aspect of life. Larger vocabulary starting at age two, higher reading scores, better relationships, more positive parent-child relationships and better emotional well-being and life satisfaction are just some of the benefits of family bonding through things such as Family Game Night.

For fun and for family, it is time to spend some evenings together playing games and uniting as a family. 

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