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 Easter Egg: As my family began to play more and more board games, I realized that I could actually call them “imagination games.” So many of the family games that we played inspired us to use our imaginations to solve the problem and/or to win. Playing family board games for imagination enhancement is both fun and smart!

image of children playing games and laughing - suggesting the concept of imagination games

Board Games Can Help Kids Develop Imagination

When my boys were little, we loved pretend play. (Confession: many times the boys still do!) But the older they get, the more complex their pretend play has become and so the more it relies on their imaginations. So we keep looking for fun ways to nurture those imagination skills.

Having a weekly family game night is a great way to gather the entire family to spend some much needed quality time together. It’s one of the few times that we come together and leave all our baggage at the door, so to speak.

We don’t talk about what’s not working, the latest tween drama with friends, why somebody doesn’t like broccoli; or how we can do something better next time.

It’s just us. Just having fun and connecting with one another.

If you want a list of quick and easy ways to connect with each other every day, grab the cheat sheet below.

Ways to Be Present Every Day With Your Kids

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One of my favorite ways to connect on the regular is through board games, card games, or imaginative games. When you pull out a board game and sit down with each other, life becomes a little easier and more exciting. The wheels inside your noggin’ start turning – maybe a little smoke comes out of your ears as you play to win!

Board games can help you get back on the imagination train, and help your family transport themselves to just about anywhere they wish…There is a theme and an adventure in every game, just look for the one that best match your interests, and let the fun begin! Below, you’ll find a few popular starter games.

John Garcia, Board Game Dad

Playing video games and watching television just doesn’t get those creative juices flowing. Video based media, by definition, just doesn’t leave much to the imagination. These are several really popular games that use creativity and imagination for the win!

A Few Good Starters

Board Games Create Challenges

Imagination is not just about playing house or pretending to be an astronaut. Sometimes using your imagination is necessary to help you solve problems and push through challenges. The object of nearly every board game out there is to defeat your opponent, so you have to actively think creatively to reach a solution.

And let’s face it – our tweens and teens are facing plenty of challenges “out there.” So it’s imperative that we make home a safe refuge where our kids can practice and overcome various challenges within the safe confines of home.

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Many games have more than one way to win. Others require that you actively strategize to block your opponent’s progress as you continue to forge ahead. And even others require that a group work together to win collectively – yep; can’t hurt to build those skills!

Some games are easier than others, while a number of games actually require you, and your kids, to do a little bit of extra thinking and strategizing. Strategy is all about using your brain and engaging in deep thought. Sometimes you just have to use your imagination to visualize the best route to beat your opponent.

These are two of our favorite games with terrific challenges to overcome:

Imagination Games With Good Challenges

Creation From Imagination For The Win!

I read this super juicy tidbit recently and wanted to share it with you here:

In 2019, LinkedIn cited creativity as one of the most important skills for career success. And it’s no wonder. Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly disparate things, and to generate innovative solutions. When you’re creative, you’re able to turn new and imaginative ideas into reality. From Branson and Ferris to Spielberg and Jobs, business leaders say creativity in the workplace is essential.

The Number One Soft Skill Employers Seek

Let’s review: creativity in the workplace is essential.

So why not focus on intentionally developing your child’s creativity with fun family games? These are a few of our all-time favorites in this category:

Think On Your Feet!

Story Imagination Games

While story cubes are not exactly a board game, they are are quite similar. Story cubes are simply a set of dice with very simple images on them, and sometimes a few words. These games allow imaginations to run wild, as they are very vague. It is up to the people playing to roll the dice, and then run with the images by using them to start a story.

Like good conversation starters, these games jump start wild story telling and not only enhance a child’s imagination – but also social skills.

Players can make up their own settings, characters, plots, and endings. Players get to determine each detail of their story. They can put it together in silly, serious, or hysterical ways. One player may lead the story in one direction. But then others can change things up using their own details and visions. The best part is, that everyone’s way of thinking is different, so no two games or stories will ever be the same!

Story Games!

Board Games Can Be Relaxing

I can’t focus when I’m stressed – plain and simple. But, by having fun – I regain my calm and release my stress. And one of the most fun things I can think of to do is to have a few belly laughs and a great board game.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that this is true for my tween and my teen. When they’ve had a difficult or stressful day, they just want down time. But after that down time, laughter and connection are great medicine.

And when I relax, my creative juices begin to flow! There are so many that I love – but these are definitely at the top of my family’s list (notice that Snake Oil appears here as well as above – it’s because it’s probably our #1 favorite game!)

Our Family Favorites!

When our kids play on electronics constantly, their brain doesn’t have a need to be creative or use their imagination. Board games help kids to develop an imagination in so many ways. Because in board games, there isn’t always one out come.

The next time that you wonder how you can help your child grow, learn, and use their imagination more – family board games are the way to go!

two images of happy family board games - children laughing and having fun - suggesting the concept of imagination games

Family Board Games Nurture Connection

Intentionally making time to come together, share experiences, connect, create, and laugh is one of my favorite things about our family.

With the amount of screen time embedded in our lives today, board games provide a refreshing break. Although the online world provides access to amazing content, all of us need social interaction and imagination games are a great way to connect. 

The Resurgence of Board Games

Specifically with imagination games, we come to know one another on a deeper, more emotional level.

And here’s another bonus! Often with tweens and teens, it’s so tough to know what’s going on in their world. They aren’t exactly open books like they were when they were younger. They give lots of answers like, “fine;” “ok;” and “good.” But imagination games can give us a view of some of the thoughts and possibly struggles they are confronting each day.

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image of children playing games and laughing plus a second image of a child's hand moving a game piece on a board game - suggesting the concept of creative games