It’s the holiday season, and for most of us that means time off from school and work, plenty of social gatherings, and lots more family time. Family game nights are a terrific way for families to spend time together during the holidays and in the upcoming winter months. In fact, write Amber and Andy Ankowski for PBS.org: “Numerous studies have shown that children from families who maintain strong lines of communication through frequent get-togethers like game nights and family dinners enjoy benefits to nearly every aspect of their lives…”
For families with differently abled members, it can be challenging to find games that everyone can enjoy together. But no worries! Enabling Devices’ adapted games make family game nights accessible to people of all abilities including Adapted Pie Face, High Roller, Game Spinner, Hi Ho Cherry O, Tic Tac Toe, and Matching Picture Lotto Bingo.
Wondering why family game nights are so important? Read on to learn more!
Social skills practice
Nowadays, almost any game can be played on our smartphones and iPads. That’s all well and good, but taking a break from our devices forces us to interact with each other face-to-face, something extremely valuable, particularly for children with social skills deficits. Games provide opportunities to practice turn-taking, following rules and directions and to win and lose gracefully. “Many developmental studies show that children that are normally withdrawn for whatever reasons, have shown a lot of improvement in their ability to cooperate with playmates, and have even increased their popularity among their playmates because of skills brought about by playing games,” says Families.com.
Improved motor, dexterity and hand-eye coordination skills
Depending upon their disability, game activities such as rolling dice, shuffling cards and even activating a switch provide opportunities to practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while having fun.
Enhanced academic skills
Most games require players to recognize letters, colors, shapes and numbers strengthening math and reading skills. A 2007 study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that preschoolers who played “linear number board games” showed better “numerical knowledge” than peers who did not.
Learning skills, having successful interactions with others and improving one’s game-playing abilities naturally result in the development of higher self-esteem.
With all the benefits we’ve listed, it’s easy to overlook what’s perhaps the most important benefit of game-playing —having fun with the people we love! Enjoy the games and enjoy the holidays!