“Man does not stop playing because he is getting old, but he is getting older because he stops playing”. Raise your hand if you among us have rediscovered the value of this phrase by George Bernard Shaw during the lockdown. There are many families who, between quarantines and periods of coercion in the home, to the tedious request of the dwarves of the house: “what do we do? what do we play? “he thought of something that entertained not only the little ones but also us adults. Also because” When children start growing up, it becomes harder and harder for a parent to play with them because they need a higher quality in the game “, he says. Andrea Ligabue, gambling expert and gambling consultant. And here is the rediscovery of the magical power of board games. And then you go to marathons with boxing games, play Uno, Catan or the great classic of the classics, the timeless and infinite Monopoly. The good news is that in addition to entertaining them, you have given your children a great educational gift, and not just because it’s important to play with them, rediscover the joy of being together.
There is scientific evidence confirming the benefits of level board games: “The advantage here is that the role of playful animator is played by the game itself. It is not the parent who has to create a fun moment, but I just have to participate, he does not have to be an instructor, but acting with the kids.In addition, the benefits for the mind are undeniable: cognitive skills, memory, problem solving, decision-making skills.In addition, let’s face it, we managed to keep them a little away from videos, consoles & co. even though they, like Ligabue claims should not be demonized: “The analog game is not the opposite of the digital, it must not be perceived as a” cure “for the online game. Both have the potential to develop skills and abilities. What matters is the balance: up to the age of 12, online gaming may not become prevalent or record hours devoted to outdoor life or study, but the role and profits you play online even during the pandemic are undeniable. they allowed the children to stay connected with their peers and to play together, even at a distance. “
So ready everyone at the starting point … Where do we start? Reading the rules is perhaps the biggest obstacle …
True, this can be bypassed-but not unless you’re a techie who knows what he’s doing. An explanation of the 10 minute rules may be enough to then start making a first round of the game and then learn by playing as the games start. Easier them in the “goose game” style, but it must be said that they focus on a logic of winning and losing by mere luck, by a trivial roll of the dice, and therefore cancel out the concept of choice and abilities. They can be a good start, but you need to go to phase two as soon as you need quality shots.
How to choose the right ones?
The latest generation of games are fun and well-designed to entertain adults as well as those at 8+. Let us rely on some references from the sector, which select very interesting titles, such as the German Spiel Awards of the year. or the award for Game of the Year in Italy, where there is also a little girl on the jury, and she is my daughter: she participated in it when she was 10, they took it to have the point of view as a girl accustomed to play). Not to be missed from May 20-22 at Modena Play – Festival del Gioco (2022.play-modena.it): these are areas where someone is playing and explaining the game to you, and it’s easier select.
Your advice by age group?
5 or 6 years Viva Topo, a game with mice that must make choices every dice roll. From the age of 8, Ticket to ride is the strategy game that every family should have at home in my opinion. Or Dixit, where if everyone guesses I lose, if no one guesses I lose, then it’s a mechanism that makes you want to play. Also Just One, a collaborative game where you have to guess words, with a few simple rules and therefore ideal for everyone, children and grandparents included.
And the great classics?
Monopoly always likes it and has the cultural advantage of uniting generations and has included a number of widespread playful knowledge and a vocabulary that you can talk about, still like it, but I would not suggest it to children as a first game, despite everything has an 80 year old mechanic and it never ends … ditto the risk. Modern games, on the other hand, always have a limited duration with a mechanism that they keep in play to the last.
The educational games?
These are the ones they like the least, the kids immediately smell that something is going on beyond the game, and they feel a little under pressure: better the “studied” ad hoc such as Stone Age Junior, it’s fun but helpful , because during a game gives 300 mathematical operations without being aware of it.
What’s new to try?
My city, winner of this year’s game. A game that follows the rules you must build your city by assembling tiles.
How do you teach yourself to deal with defeat?
Me and my kids as a kid in the first explanatory games, I always made them win. And not because I considered it “educational”, but to create the pleasure of playing in them, to make them understand that their commitment paid off, not to create frustration. Gradually, I added more difficulties, and they also learned to lose more peacefully. It is also essential to work with the concept of winning: explain that if you play in 4, it is not that there are 3 who lose and one who wins, there are 3 who do not win and one who wins. And the one who wins is the exception. And the winner must be empathetic and sympathetic and compliment the other players in a kind of fair play. Be admired, but do not envy winners. The beauty is to play together, enjoy the moment and not think about the last minute, whether you win or lose.
In short, does play make you grow well?
With the modern section of the GAME Science Research Center, of which I am the coordinator, we propose gaming activities in the area’s primary schools to measure the pedagogical impact on the school. There are various studies that show how a few hours of board games can bridge the gap between the different math skills and cognitive aspects between children with different sociocultural backgrounds. Gambling has positive consequences, even in adulthood, also in the form of prevention of pathological addictions such as gambling pathia, because it affects the aspect of sociability, sharing rules, on the habit of being in relation to others. As with the elderly, it trains the mind and delays the onset of senile dementia.
And it’s fun…
A non-trivial benefit: we laugh together, endorphins are released.
And they all reached happier and happier goals.
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