Playing Monopoly with your kids may be a frustrating experience at times, but it turns out, family game night may be teaching them more than you realize. New research finds that playing board games can help young kids build stronger math skills.
Researchers analyzed 19 studies about the individual impact of 25 games on learning. The games include familiar favorites like Dominoes, Chutes and Ladders and The Great Race. After playing about 52% of the games, kids showed at least some improvement in math skills compared to kids who didn’t play them and after playing about 32% of the games, kids showed significant improvement in math speed and accuracy.
And it doesn’t take much playing to see these results. According to lead study author Jaime Andrés Balladares Hernández, assistant professor of education at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the improvements were seen after kids play an average of 20 minutes a day, twice a week, for a month and a half. “Investing in bringing board games into schools could be a powerful way to improve results and make learning more fun,” he says, adding that playing board games at home with the family is also a good chance to connect.