If your family is so totally intertwined with technology, that a routine which is now functioning within your “normal” behavior at home, is to text your children to come down from their rooms for dinner; you might want to consider expanding your family togetherness activities to include a ginormous increase in playing board games. They stimulate copious amounts of laughter, increasing and releasing happiness endorphins, creating challenges and competitions, and adding pure fun to family life. Many of these games actually increase brain functionality.
1. The Board and the Brain
A recent study conducted at U.C. Berkeley, indicates that board game playing stimulates complex thinking, and strengthens memory formation in children, and memory strengthening in adults. The areas of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are very stimulated. Simply stated, the brain reacts to this entertaining activity, as a large muscle which is being exercised vigorously. Playing these games directly assists the brain in being flexible, adaptive, and active. In order to fully engage in this togetherness play, the mind of each player is focused and occupied. These actions are essentially other forms of a mental workout, and the prize is a reduction in cognitive decline for “parentals”, and quicker response times for children, or a win-win for everyone.
2. Board Games - Entertainment Plus
When a disproportionate amount of time is spent turning home base into silent, screen-time territory, board game offerings, and there is an abundance of excellent, challenging, choices to pick from, are the perfect interactive and positive, noisy alternative. Ironically, family fun night, the bringing-everyone-together event, often creates rivalries, but this is a “good thing”. When siblings compete with each other, or parents, and grandparents, disagreements or meltdowns may arise. Feelings of frustration, impatience, and excitement build as a winner is about to be identified. Ironically, an excellent opportunity to truly communicate, is presented. Sharing feelings, problem solving, being logical, strategizing over cause-and-effect actions, rule following, turn taking, gracious winning and losing, and other life skills are enacted, resulting in family bonding, even more completely, as everyone engages with avid interest, and intellect. No one is bored. Concentration and focus, while playing for extended periods of time, are developed automatically. Anyone can achieve victory. A “life lesson” is experienced.
3. What Grows as Board Games are Played?
Studies have shown that playing board games together, enhances the happiness factor for everyone. Laughter, suspense, skill at rolling dice, or solving mysteries with clues, guessing titles in charades, and outwitting loved ones at anything, totally erases negative thoughts and feelings, while enhancing happiness, and enjoyment. The positivity of these interactions actually “grows” the human immune system. Research has shown that the positive energy exuded from these types of games, produces a chemical reaction which enhances the immune systems ability to fight disease.
4. Side Effects of Board Games - Please Note
Families should be very aware that great board games come with rules, parts, pieces, and, oh yes, side effects. The most obvious effect is, of course, laughter which comes from deep within, and pours forth in abundance, lowering stress levels, blood pressure for older family members, and erasing sadness, fatigue, and even timidity, among shy players. Losing is a motivating side effect. It is a causal effect which inspires players, regardless of age, to make greater efforts to achieve winning status by increasing focus, teaming with others, and being patient. The energy expired in this pursuit creates family memories, inside jokes, and serious moments of heart felt, inter-active relationship building with opponents (family, friends or both) which are lasting and priceless.
5. How Game is Your Family?
Playing board games, often, with your family, provides many crucial tools for building communication, cooperation, and connectivity with loved ones. It encourages curious minds, young and old, to seek greater intellectual stimulation, from a vast and endless source of information. Varying types of board games lead to:
o Forming hobbies
o Displaying and enhancing creativity
o Identifying “favorites” to play again and again
o Learning to plan ahead and follow through
o Offering the real-world, authentic stimulation, which electronics cannot match
Each player, over time, reveals their own unique and individual personality, and finds their place within the family unit. The feelings of truly belonging, being valued, and appreciated, give each person a boost of self-esteem like nothing else in life. There is no limit to the types of board games available, and no downside to time spent together, in the simple pursuits of health, happiness and family bonding.
At Lucky Poke Games, we understand the value of time spent playing board games which offer, fun, surprises, and a chance to engage in poking holes. Visit us soon to find out which of our varied games will capture the curiosity of your family.