There are so many benefits children can draw from playing board games. It engages them in valuable social interactions that teach them how to be gracious in victory as well as defeat, it ups their confidence and communication skills, and it encourages analytical, strategic and critical thinking, from planning their next move to calculating winning points, all while having fun.
Now, if you really want to stimulate their mental and creative capacities, you can take things to the next level by getting them to make their own board game. Kids are natural game designers.
Making boardgames has lot of art and put all sort of creative juices onto action.
They have to draw the board game with pencil first. Then use markers, or coloured crayons to make it colourful and fun. They will have to make the game pieces and counters.
When designing the game, they will have to invente rules and communicate them. When playing the first few rounds, it’s will become apparent that some rules will not works and will need to be improved. That’s OK—you will talk about why they didn’t.
If you’re up for making a game with your kids, here are some tips to get started:
Get materials ready. Materials you can write on or use. Popsicle sticks, poker chips, as currency or tokens, sheets of paper, Post-it notes, coloured paper to use for playing cards, pencils, markers, sharpies, may be modelling clay, for game pieces, bags to put it all in.
Having more materials than they need encourages serendipity. It also provides a quick solution to the inevitable suggestions your kid will make.
Copy unabashedly. For your first game, use something familiar (like Snakes and Ladders) and just play with the naming and characters. Then add ideas. Don’t try to make an entirely new game the first time—the customisation will be enough.
As soon as you can, play a round of the game. Talk about what worked and what didn’t. See which part of the creation your child likes, and double down on that. Rope in others to play and see where they get stuck or what they don’t understand—and have your child try to explain it to them.
Enjoy the backstory. Making pieces with a character and a backstory is critical for getting kids interested in this.
Scribble rules as they desing the game which means they can adjust and adapt them as they go.
Let it go. The odds are good that you won’t finish the game perfectly. You may want to start on an entirely new one; your kid may lose interest. You have to be okay with that. The goal is to have fun and learn, not to produce a polished game.