If you’ve stumbled onto this website, you’ll notice we contend modern tabletop board games are the perfect vehicle for cognitive skill development.
One of the most common questions is, how can my child or my students develop skills playing a board game? The simple answer is: board games place students in situations to solve problems, compete, collaborate, and make decisions.
The United States Department of Education (USDE) recently announced more than $700 million of competitive grants going towards science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives (STEM). On the website explaining the grant and background for STEM education, here’s the lead-in to explain the importance of the work:
“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.”
We agree with this assertion made by the USDE, and double down on our claim that children develop skills when actively engaged through the focused repetition provided by a well-designed board game.
Take either Alan R. Moon’s Ticket to Ride, or Matt Leacock’s Pandemic; these games prepare youth to bring their prior background knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and evaluate evidence to make decisions.
In Ticket to Ride, the players putting together different sets of common cards to complete routes by connecting cities with train lines. Gamers are competing against each other and using the limited resources of the game.
In Pandemic, players work together and collaborate to defeat the game. The game scenario is one in which a virus has generated worldwide destruction, and creative problem solving is necessary to mitigate each potential outbreak.
Both games provide different skill-building opportunities, and that’s just the beginning. With more than 2,000 modern tabletop board games published every year, Game Schooler is committed to continuing to review, rate, and rundown the best skill-building games for teachers and families to use for skill development.