Children learn through play; so what better tool than board games to stimulate the use of the minority language? The issue is often finding the time, or sometimes the right circumstances so smaller children do not disrupt the game.
We had a few board games at home, but did not use them often. Until about a month ago, when I came up with the idea of organising every week a “Saturday Family Board Games Night” for my 5-year-old daughter, my husband and I. The fact that we set a regular schedule means we finally make time for it and commit ourselves. And when it has become a success with your child, there is no way you can back out!
We chose Saturday nights, as our daughter is usually less tired than a week-day and does not have to go early to bed because of school the next day.
So every Saturday nights after diner, we put our 2-year-old to bed and have our eldest do her bedtime routine. But before going to bed, we let her pick 3 games and play together for almost 1 hour, no more as we notice she grows restless as she grows tired.
Last Saturday, we could notice how she had improved her reading and spelling skills whilst playing Junior Scrabble and Brainbox “Once upon a time”. It is very exciting to see those improvements and motivates me to pursue these family games night, even when I am tired or not in the mood.
Ever since we organised the first of these family games nights, they have been a huge hit with my eldest daughter and she regularly asks for them during the week!
It is a time for communication, family fun and bonding. My eldest often misses the time when she had our full and undivided attention; hence this is unique chance for her to experience this again.
Language-wise, it is a great opportunity for her to develop her minority languages since playing as a group requires speaking and listening.
School-wise, it is the occasion for the child to use his/her other skills such as numeracy, reading, observation or deduction. You can position the skills you wish them to develop through your choice of board games when you purchase them.
And the child also learns about game playing and following the rules.
Need board games ideas?
Here is what we have so far (I hope to be able to write posts about my favourites in the near future):
- Pick-up sticks
- Junior Scrabble
- Time’s Up Kids
- Brainbox “Once upon a time”
- Hungry Hippos
- Guess who Mr. Men and Little Miss edition
- Funny Bunny
- Tell Tale of Fairytales
And some more I am eyeing :