The boy came back from school one day and said something about 'Snakes, ladders'. Apparently, he has been playing this game at school (for some strange reason). Remembering that i had loads of board games at my mom's, i had her bring over a set of Snakes & ladders.
As expected, it was huge hit with the boy! He insist to play EVERYDAY.
After playing and watching him play, i discover the greatness of a simple board game like this.
1) It brings the family together. We've been playing as a family and it has been nothing short of fun!
2) It teaches the child to take turn. Sonshine boy was eager to have his turn but he eventually learnt that he has to wait and let others have their turn. This also taught him about the sequence of players, who plays first, second and third then back to first, second etc.
3) And this is the most important (for me), he learns to lose graciously and to play fairly. Initially, he got extremely upset that he was lagging behind and losing. He would cry but insist on playing. He would ask grandma (who gives in to him) and us to give in to him. But we insist that we all play fairly. I am glad that since then, he accepts when he doesn't win but will insist on trying, and trying and trying again until he wins. That's the spirit!
4) He learns that although he is trailing behind, he can still win as long as the game is not over yet. If you are familiar with the game, even if you're on top, you may just fall back down in the next turn. The last can eventually become the winner.
I hope he will later on learn that, in life, although we may seemingly be weaker or losing, it doesn't mean it will be the end of it all. He can still conquer the odds and emerge as victorious.
5) I didn't do this with the boy cause i wanted him to just play. But if you're teaching your kid addition right now, this may be a good time to play Snakes & ladders. For instance, if your token is at space number 4, player throws a 4. You can turn it into a maths lesson. Ask your kid, what is 4 + 4? The answer is where the token should be. And by counting each step to space 8, you give a great visual to the kid, why 4 + 4 is 8. :) Good learning fun!