The week of Thanksgiving has been designated National Game & Puzzle Week (November 19-25). During this incredibly busy time of preparing food and visiting with relatives, it is important to also spend quality time with the kids. Not only is playing games and putting puzzles together a fun way to spend time together, but can also be beneficial for the entire family. So relax, grab a game or puzzle, and enjoy each other’s company.
Why Games & Puzzles Are Important
For years researchers, have studied the impact that playing games and working puzzles can have on improving cognitive ability and increasing creative thinking. Playing board games can increase a child’s ability to think strategically and improve decision-making skills. A study from Michigan State University points out that children experience a spike in creativity when playing games.
Not only does playing games increase brain power, but when played together they can also improve the connections between family members. Puzzles and games require children to work together with others to solve problems and achieve goals—and doing so while everyone is home for Thanksgiving can help develop skills that will your kids become more successful throughout their lives.
The Best Games & Puzzles
Card games are also good choices for families to play. The decks don’t take up much storage space, and many card games promote academic skills such as match making, and number and pattern recognition. A few fun card games for kids include Rummy, Uno, Old Maid, and Crazy Eights. Of course, as with any other type of game, having fun and spending time together will be one of the primary benefits.
Schools Can Get Involved
Schools can also promote National Game & Puzzle Week by incorporating educational games and activities into their curriculum. Puzzles can be used in math instruction, while brain teasers and riddles can be ways to improve everything from language arts skills to learning science and social studies facts. There are educational games teachers can choose for their classrooms that are appropriate for very young children as well as older students.
Whether it’s in school or at home, once children start playing games and working on puzzles, many will find it’s a fun activity they’ll want to continue. Integrating games into the home and classroom can help children improve social skills, increase critical thinking skills, and make connections to content skills. It’s also a great way to sneak in extra practice!