Elders often fear that children may become addicted to gambling. Several studies show how gaming-loving teens are distracted from their academic goals. As the pandemic forces kids to stay in classrooms and playgrounds, indoor play is more important than ever in a teenager’s life.
In such a situation, several psychologists say that some games can relieve stress in children. They are instrumental in enhancing memory and cognition.
“Interactive play with friends and family improves a child’s emotional and social quotient,” says Dr. Megha Mahajan, Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru. “However, a balance between sports and indoor play in childhood can do wonders,” she adds.
So what are these games that can help you develop key skills? let’s find out
Board games are an essential part of play therapy. Different games have different benefits, e.g. For example, chess promotes concentration, carrom promotes teamwork, Scrabble supports word formation and sharpens vocabulary, snakes and ladders and ludo help with arithmetic and numbers.
“Unlike the instant rewards in video games, any board game requires at least 20 minutes of play to get results. Board games also help build patience,” says Megha.
Jenga, the classic game of stacking the wooden blocks, requires both physical and mental coordination. In this game, the tension around the stability of the building tower is crucial. “It improves hand-eye coordination, improves motor skills and also improves children’s problem-solving skills,” says Hannah Awayz, Counselor, HDFC School, Bengaluru.
Pictionary is meant to be a drawing game where one team member draws and the other members have to identify the pictures. Poorvasha Mathur, child psychologist at Heart it Out, Bengaluru, emphasizes that Pictionary essentially evokes creativity in children. “It’s also a very team-oriented game,” she adds.
It’s an assertive game because you get to have an opinion. It essentially helps you assess the strengths and weaknesses of team members and further decode whether or not you fit into the team.
UNO and other card games
These games are crucial for goal setting. “As an individual or even in a group, children learn emotional regulation and strong observation skills,” Poorvasha says of the benefits of playing cards.
In the age of endless options, moderation is key, Hannah insists. Lumosity and CogniFit are online games that focus on cognitive development, she says. Poorvasha praises mystorybook.com, a game that helps children create their own stories through drawing and coloring. “It helps highlight children’s thought process and their experiences.”
Several online games encourage learning and thinking. Poorvasha suggests Minecraft for math skills and resource management, Tetris for improving memory, visual-spatial thinking and more attention to detail, and Angry Birds for logical thinking.
“I would also recommend that kids and parents create their own games with their own rules and strategies as it encourages creativity,” says Hannah.