family playing games

I have fond memories of playing games with my family, my siblings, my cousins, and even my friends. Research reveals that board, card, and cooperative games all have many benefits for individuals and families.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine2 found that senior citizens who engaged in mental activities such as board games and crossword puzzles had reduced dementia and those without dementia were less likely to develop dementia. Participating in one mental activity a week reduced the risk of dementia by 7 percent and participating more frequently reduced the risk up to 63 percent.

The benefits of games include but aren’t limited to…

  • Increasing intelligence, because they make you think
  • Teaching children how to deal with losing
  • Learning to think logistically and cognitively to strategize to win
  • Cooperative games teach relationship skills1, which include…
    • Negotiation skills
    • Decision-making skills
    • Sharing resources
    • The ability to listen
  • Teaches about the connectivity of life (how one choice affects other things)
  • Educational games can be used to teach different subjects; math, science, or a new language
  • Games allow families to spend quality time together
    • Allow families to focus on each other while playing a game, rather than focusing on a screen to play a video game or watch a movie
    • Communication is used to play the game
    • More interaction than a movie or video game
      • Allows family members to get to know one another better
      • Builds family relationships
    • Different games can teach specific skills

So instead of having family movie night this Friday, dust off one of the old board games, pop some popcorn, and enjoy spending some quality time with the whole family.

For more information see:

1 Loyons, S. (2015). Benefits of cooperative games. Retrieved from

2 Lewis, K. (2013). Board games can offer many benefits for families. Retrieved from

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