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Board games: More than fun and games

Turn off the TV and get cozy with some old-fashioned board games.Your kids will have a ball and develop valuable learning skills while they play.

By Melanie Haiken

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More than fun and games

Tonight, put the video games on pause and computers to sleep, and break out the board games. These boxes of old-fashioned fun get everyone in the same room and help family members across generations connect, compete, and have a great time together.

That's not all: Games are an entertaining and painless way to help kids build essential learning skills. In fact, games are one of the best educational tools around, according to Katherine Palmer-Collins, a sixth grade teacher in Orinda, CA. Palmer-Collins says board games help kids develop new skills on the sly — a concept teachers call "accidental learning" — which means there's no anxiety or resistance, only fun. Find out how these 10 beloved board games will help your kids learn.

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Melanie Haiken is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous national magazines including MORE, Real Simple, Fitness Parenting and Ladies Home Journal. She lives in San Rafael California with her two daughters.

Comments from readers

"Public schools are sooo guilty of overlooking the importance of board games. Chess is curricular in many foreign countries. Way to go Great Schools. "