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Boost your child’s brainpower with these board games

By Rahul Pathak,

Starting from chess to scrabble, board games improve the cognitive capacity of kids in many ways.

Introducing kids to board games at an early age helps them develop certain life skills essential for career advancement.

Board games are an amazing and economic way of spending quality time with your kids and keeping them entertained. Playing a game of chess or monopoly not only enhances your bonding with your child, but also comes with keeps her fruitfully engaged, thanks to the brain benefits they offer. Introducing kids to board games at an early age also helps them develop certain life skills essential for career advancement. These include strategising, reflective thinking, problem solving, decision making and logical thinking. Additionally, these games also lend team spirit to them. Here is a list of four boar games that will be instrumental in enhancing your child’s brainpower.  

Chess 
No list of brain boosting board games is complete without chess. It is a strategy game played on a square chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Chess involves two players and 32 pieces (16 each):  One king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The interesting part is that each piece moves distinctly. The object of the game is to kill or checkmate the opponent's king. However, on many occasions, chess ends in a draw.  

The origin of this board game is controversial. Chaturanga, a war game, is considered to be the earliest precursor of the modern game of chess. It finds mention in our epic Mahabharata. According to historians, Chaturanga flourished in the north western region of India by the 7th century. This game has two significant similarities with the current version of chess: Different pieces have different powers and the victory is dependent on only one piece, the king. Historians also speculate that chaturanga later evolved into shatranj, another board game popular in north India which requires two players 

Brain benefits: Playing chess can help your child enhance concentration. It also plays a crucial role in improving logical thinking, strategy and decision-making skills. This is because every move requires deep thinking.  

Monopoly 
Monopoly, is a real estate-based board game that can be played by two to eight players. The aim is to remain financial solvency while compelling opponents into bankruptcy by buying, renting and developing properties. Each side of the square consists of 10 small rectangles representing properties, railroads, utilities, a jail, various places and events. At the beginning, each player gets a fixed amount of play money. As the game advances, the players then move around the board according to the roll of a pair of dice, buying properties, places or utilities like railway, airport, etc. An unowned property, location, or utility can be bought but if a player lands on a rectangle owned by another, he or she has to pay a rent.  There are certain non-property rectangles as well. Landing on them requires a player to draw a card that may be favourable or unfavourable. A player continues to travel to around the board until he or she is bankrupt, which results in elimination. The last player remaining on the board is the winner. 

Brain benefits: Monopoly teaches the basic concepts of math to kids. It also helps them learn money management and gives them an idea about the principles of investment. 

Scrabble 
In this board-and-tile game, made up of a 225-square board and 100 letter tiles, two to four players compete with one another in forming words with lettered tiles. At the beginning of the game, each player draws seven tiles from a pool and replenishes the supply after each turn. At the end of the game, when one player has no tiles left or the board is deadlocked, the one with the greatest number of points is the winner. Values of unused letters remaining with players are totalled and deducted from their scores. Scrabble follows the principles of crossword puzzle. Originally known as Criss Cross, it was developed in 1931 by an architect named Alfred M. Butts. In 1948, it was redesigned and renamed as Scrabble.  

Brain benefits: It helps a student enhance focus and vocabulary. As the game involves computing the word scores, your child can learn to multiply.  

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