10 Ways Board Gaming Improves Students Skills


Board games are more than just a fun group activity. They allow you to have a great time with friends, get a lot of positive emotions, all the while working on your skills. So, naturally, it is no coincidence that gaming is prominent among novelty successful teaching methods. 

Students that love board gaming tend to obtain many positive qualities that greatly help them in their studies while practicing their hobby. Today we will discuss main ways in which board gaming benefits students and helps them perform better in class. Keep reading to discover unexpected positives of gaming for students. 

How Board Games Help Students Expand their Skill Set

Although a correlation between board gaming and learning new skills may not be easily distinguishable at first, once you understand all its merits you’ll be astonished by how capable this universally loved activity is for helping students on their academic path. 

Board gaming can:

1. Boost math skills.

Most board games require players to count points, moves, cards, etc. This is often helpful to younger students, as they generally have a hard time with mathematical tasks. Even if they have the skills, they often lack patience, focus, and self-confidence to complete the assignments on a high level. In this case, maths focussed board games can help greatly, as they allow students to practice counting without the stress or self-doubt that often accompanies more formal lessons. 

2. Help students work on communication skills.

Any group activity usually calls for numerous participants who interact with one another. Such a setting helps students learn to get along with people. Students can build negotiation skills with the help of board games. In addition, many board games help develop an ability to persuade, cooperate, coordinate efforts, reason, etc. Thus, board games utilise student’s pastimes to develop critical social skills.

3. Improve memory and cognitive skills.

Activities such as puzzles have amazing cognitive benefits and help students with problem-solving. Playing is especially useful for the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain, as these two regions are responsible for memory and thinking. Board games help the brain maintain its mental capacity.

4. Inspire imagination.

Although different types of gaming are beneficial for the mind, board gaming stands out, as it offers an additional bonus of boosting a student’s imagination. Such activities don’t rely on graphics or visuals to keep players entertained as much as video games do. 

Students need imagination as well as creativity for many tasks and activities, which is why it’s important to develop these skills using all available tools. 

5. Teach new information.

Almost every board game teaches us something new. Games can not only deliver some basic facts but make complicated concepts like, for example, a market economy, easy for a person of any age to understand. There are many educational board games that can transform a regular lesson into an entertaining and engaging activity.

6. Foster perseverance and concentration.

Any student needs to be able to focus on one task or activity for a prolonged time without being distracted. Board games develop this skill. They often require players to keep their concentration, pay attention to their competitors, remain sharp and fully engaged until the end. Youth often has severe problems with patience and concentration, so utilising elements of play is a good idea that will definitely pay off.

7. Develop logic and strategic thinking.

Most board games require you to track the actions of your opponents, predict their future moves and build your tactics on this. As a result, players develop strategic thinking, ingenuity, deduction, and seeing cause-and-effect relationships.

8. Promote a positive attitude towards challenging tasks.

Each game is associated with overcoming obstacles. Sometimes players make mistakes and fail, but this only makes them more excited to try again. 

Being capable of treating challenges as minor complications that you can handle is an important skill that every student needs. Board gaming can help students perceive difficult learning tasks as interesting challenges and not fear them.

9. Leadership and teamwork skills.

Many games don’t just rely on players’ individual actions but demand a group effort. Young people often find it hard to take the spotlight and distinguish themselves from the group. Board gaming can help combat this hesitancy and make a young person more self-confident and resolute.

Working effectively as a team is not always easy, so using games to build teamwork helps students properly engage with their peers and operate within a group, which is crucial for their future.

10. Public speaking.

Many students struggle with public speaking, finding it very stressful and challenging. Games can remedy such a situation, offering a safe environment for practicing one’s speech. 

Study hard, play harder!

Board games are a fun and creative way of removing a lot of students’ fears and insecurities, promoting learning and self-growth. Knowing how to endure failures, show perseverance and willpower, and skillfully build relationships with peers will go a long way in making a student much happier and capable of taking on any tasks or challenges life throws at them. 

Article supplied by Angela Baker

Angela Baker
Author: Angela Baker

Angela Baker
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  1. I can’t say I’ve read extensively from articles for SEN, but this one caught my eye. The conclusions are sensible, but perhaps a research citation or two would’ve been nice. Saying that board games increase cognitive abilities is perhaps a bridge too far; even the purveyors of centers that claim to boost cognitive abilities through actual face-valid activities that target brain-based functioning don’t have good data to back up their assertions. Maybe dial back some of the blanket claims, especially with a super-ordinate category of “board games” encompassing so many and varied activities.

  2. Thank you for this excellent article. I would like to use this in my school Newsletter. I will, of course, credit Angela Baker.

    Best wishes,
    Lindsey Woodford, Headteacher, St. Saviour’s CE Primary School, London, W9 2JD


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