Logic and intuition tell us that there is a connection between play and learning. We see it every day with instinctual interactions in the animal kingdom (i.e., learning to hunt, learning how to forage for food, learning how to protect yourself from prey). Researchers have been studying the connection between play and learning in humans for years. How can board and strategy games contribute to the early elementary student learning? Games can easily accommodate different learning styles visual, auditory and kinesthetic. “Well designed games create an engaging atmosphere, provide a nonthreatening, playful, yet competitive environment in which to focus on content and reinforce and apply learning. Mistakes are useful and point out what we need to learn.” Children learn best when they are engaged and invested in the subject.
Encouraging students to reflect on what choices they made and why helps them to make the connection between the games and improving their general logic and reasoning skills.Teachers have long recognized that providing opportunities for students to be actively engaged in learning promotes long-term growth and knowledge. Board games, logic puzzles and brain teasers can stimulate the brain by teaching skills that will improve verbal skills, problem solving, reasoning skills, memory, concentration, patience, flexibility, adaptability, leadership skills and encourage collaborative thinking. School is not all fun and games, but playing games in school can be a means to unlocking hidden potential.