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Why I LOVE Collaborative Board Games

Becky Will, M.Ed.

Board games. They teach us how to take turns, problem-solve, follow rules and how to be a good sport right?! Well, yes…and no in my case. I grew up in a board game-loving household. I was taught many games from a young age, Clue, Scrabble, Yatzee, Rummikub, etc. Some of my fondest memories are playing board games with my mom and my grandmother. As I became a parent, I had to stock up on all the classics. Our shelves are loaded with Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Guess Who, Connect 4, Trouble, Uno & more! As soon as my son became old enough, I knew it was time to slowly introduce him into board games and I was jazzed!

We started around kindergarten playing Candyland because it is a perfect game for color recognition, counting & turn-taking, plus the board itself is always so fun to look at and admire! I learned after a few rounds of the game that my son was having a hard time coping with losing. I could see his anxiety and frustration rise as I got closer to the candy castle. As we played multiple rounds, his behaviors became increasingly more challenging and it became hard for me to enjoy playing too.

Having been a teacher in a classroom of kindergarten and first grade, I can tell you that my dear son is not the only kid that struggles with this. I have had many kiddos LOVE board games, but really struggle with the win-lose aspect of it. Some kids dip out of the game when they know they will lose and some kids manipulate the game to prevent others from winning. I’ve seen it all!

It wasn’t until my son’s birthday when he turned 6 that I was introduced to collaborative board games. We were given Outfoxed by our neighbor and I had no idea what this game was. Knowing our struggles with board games, I was not initially thrilled, but this board game is fantastic! The illustrations are adorable & the directions are simple.

In this game, you work together as a team to use deductive reasoning & clues to try to find out which fox stole the pie. I can’t even tell you how many times we have played this game, often with back to back rounds. Collaborative games are a game-changer for my kid and it has made playing games in my house enjoyable again! Yes, we still need to work on how to lose and how to be a good sport, but we’ll get there in due time!

Interested in learning more? Also check out Peaceable Kingdom/Mindware games which are all amazingly designed and collaborative games. They have oodles of options for all ages and many of them are featured in our totes!

Did you know games are one of the important components to totes? Here’s why! Games teach our children:

- Math & language skills

- Communication skills

- Memory/cognitive skills

- Promote imagination

- Perseverance, concentration and patience

- Leadership/teamwork skills

- Turn-taking & following rules

Check out your local specialist to see which theme and games may interest your family.

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