Board games can offer many benefits for families

Published: Tuesday, April 16 2013 3:20 p.m. MDT

There are numerous board game options that allow for kids and adults of all ages to play together.

"Because different skill levels from different ages are able to play together, it allows parents to learn more about their kids and kids to learn more about their parents," Vasel said. "The interaction that comes from playing board games allows this to be possible."

Parents can benefit from board games just as much as kids, Mindes said. "In addition to a game being fun, parents can learn along with their kids. This will help parents to improve their relationships with their children."

Certain board games can teach specific skills, such as The Settlers of Catan, which encourages negotiation among the players settling an island. In Pandemic, a disease-fighting game, teamwork is crucial. There are also board games where themes come into play, such as a cop theme in Police Precinct and a firefighter theme in Flash Point: Fire Rescue.

Vasel has a theory why cooperative board games have become so popular.

"Many people don't like competition, so cooperative games allow them to work with others and instead of competing to win, they work together to accomplish a goal," he said.

When it comes to finding the perfect board games for your family, Vasel suggests considering imports and games made by smaller companies. One popular site where smaller companies share their ideas for board games is Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.

Mindes is a profile user on Kickstarter. Over the past 25 years, he has spent the majority of his free time playing and creating games.

"I publish games not only because I love them, but also to help strengthen families," Mindes said.

Each year, the smaller companies learn how to make better board games for our ever-changing world.

"The classics are always fun, but when it comes to teaching life lessons and skills, today's board games are the way to go," said Vasel.

Kylie Lewis recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications.

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