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Importance of Games in 2020

“Let’s play a game,” is a phrase that brings smiles to so many faces. Games are a fundamental way that humans interact and learn. They provide so many benefits for people of all interests and abilities.  Children especially love playing games and these activities provide such a great opportunity for them to practice so many skills. In Thrive’s Child Advancement Program (CAP), a mentoring program, the mentor and mentee pairs engage in many worthwhile games and receive so many benefits out of these interactions.

The Thrive offices in the Bozeman Public Schools are filled with various board games, card games, and even art supplies to make your own games. Because games can be such a great icebreaker, CAP Coordinators often suggest that mentors and mentees start off their relationship by playing games as a way to get to know each other. Games “can teach important social skills such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interacting with others.”1 Board games especially can assist with the ability to focus and lengthen attention spans “by encouraging the completion of an exciting enjoyable game.”(1)  

Do you have a child that is competitive and doesn’t like to lose?

 deals with that a lot.  The way to work on those behaviors is to keep playing games!

.  Playing by the game rules also helps children by providing boundaries and for the m to know how far they can push their opponent and the directions. And you do not have to let the child win! Always allowing a child to win does not give them the opportunity to work on skills necessary for life. They are not always going to win at everything in life – and that’s okay. Kids can start learning this notion as early as parents and caregivers allow them, and playing games is a simple and effective way to demonstrate this life skill.

Playing games is important for adults too! Games for adults are a fun way for the adult to fuel their “imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being.”(2)  It was also found in the British Medical Journal that playing games, particularly board games, is a “relevant way to preserve cognition and to prevent cognitive decline or dementia.”3 It also added that “other stimulating leisure activities like reading, traveling, gardening, doing odd jobs or playing sports do not offer the same advantages and ease of practice”(3) as games.   

Games are a fun way to enhance many aspects of your life. So the next time that you hear, “Let’s play a game!” be ready to jump in and PLAY!

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