I know many people think the term “gaming” is fairly new, but gaming (or simply playing games) has been part of life for thousands of years. When I take a nostalgic stroll through the many decades of my own life (not as many as some may think), some of the best parts include those fabulous family evenings playing board games. There were classics like Escape From Colditz, Mousetrap and Monopoly; Kerplunk was awesome when I was very young, then Cluedo as I got older; a little more obscure was Capital Adventure where general knowledge questions and money would take me around the world.
Whilst I was having fun, I had no idea (and certainly didn’t care) that I was absorbing the educational benefits that go with gaming. There are the obvious social benefits that come from interacting with other: building friendships, using manners, taking turns and developing oral language skills. I learnt to understand rules, agree to them and follow them closely. I projected my thoughts forward in the game to predict outcomes, plan my own strategy and solve ongoing problems. On a basic level, if I played with two dice then I instinctively absorbed all the permutations of pairs of numbers up to 6. I carry with me these number recognition skills which became invaluable when calculating patterns which total 10, the very basis of our number system. Games like Boggle also assisted in helping develop my word recognition and spelling, as did Scrabble. All this while thinking I was just having fun!
Because of this we have decided to invest in some games for the senior block and will be integrating them into group sessions. If you are able to play games at home, then go for it, jump in and make a few memories of your own (and perhaps learn a thing or two at the same time).