It’s Saturday night, and the family has been waiting in anticipation to watch the next episode of Modern Family. Johnny has prepped a soup to complement everyone’s favourite weekend meal, Ital Familia’s Chicken Feta and Peppadew Pizza – which is bubbling in the oven. And the coffee table in the lounge is set with cold drinks and serviettes. The best night of the week!
Just as everyone is settling down, boom, the lights go down. Load shedding, power failure, whatever. Oh dear, what now? The thing to do is to be well prepared. We know that power outages are a thing, people. So, next time you’re doing the grocery shopping, be sure to buy some extra matches and a few packets of candles. (Wine or cold drink bottles make excellent candleholders, but make sure they cannot fall or be knocked over). But, most importantly, make sure you get a good board game. Whether you choose old favourites like Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders, or a recent version of 30 Seconds, your peeps are about to have a ball.
Not only will you distract the kids from the disappointment of not being able to watch TV, but you will also be teaching them a whole bunch of skills. Since time immemorial games have been powerful ways in which to engage and involve people in a pleasurable activity.
Whilst participating in board games, kids learn practical problem solving and decision-making skills. As part of their social development, they are also, unwittingly, learning to co-operate and work with their siblings in a relaxed and fun environment. Games require an understanding of the rules of the game – and that fairness is essential. Classical board games often need players to apply a measure of practical mathematics and an understanding of the probability of an outcome. But, most importantly, they learn that life is not always fair. The mere roll of the dice can dictate an outcome that might not be within their control. And, they are also taught that losing is not the end of the world.
Equally important is that they are taking a break from their devices. If you pick a word game such as Scrabble you are also boosting their vocabulary and language skills – the basis of most forms of learning.
So, we say, when the power goes, take back the power – and let the games begin.
Enjoy these TastyTips?
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