Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:34

Going Old-School: How Board and Card Games Can Help Your Child Be a Better Reader

Written by

We know that technology can be helpful for promoting reading if we take advantage of all the options out there. For example, kids can read on Nooks and Kindles, and there are endless software programs and apps that promote reading and vocabulary development. While I believe there is a place and time for these resources, if we solely rely on technology to help children read, they will be missing out on a critical piece that helps their reading improve – social interaction (particularly with an adult). After all, apps, software programs and e-readers are meant to be used 1:1 for the most part. While this allows the child to focus on the task, it is also isolating, not allowing for skills to develop through conversation, team work or parent modeling.

Back in the day

Before there were all these screen gadgets, we had board and card games (Remember them?!). These non-tech sources of fun and learning offered hours of endless entertainment – as well as opportunities for learning while interacting socially with peers, family members and - importantly – adults who model vocabulary, voice inflection and comprehension skills. While most people view board games as just an outlet to pass time on a rainy day, they were (and can still be!) so much more than that if you choose the right ones and play them deliberately.

Since many of us haven’t played board games in so long, how do we know which ones are still around and which ones we should choose if our goal is to improve our child’s reading?

Download my free cheat sheet: Dr. Carroll’s Top 10 Board and Card Games that Promote Reading Skills – Plus, their Basic Components and the Specific Skills They Build!

Access Now >>

You might be wondering when you have time to play these games with your child. Try the following times to break up the monotony of screen usage in your home:

  • Friday night family hour – dinner, then at least one hour of board games before a fun family movie (if everyone is still up!)
  • Make Sunday afternoons tech-free and play board games
  • Any rainy/cold/super-hot day it’s no fun to be outside
  • Tech free vacations, such as a camping trip
  • Tech free car time – OK this one is a little tough for actual board games, but card games that ask questions are doable!
  • Use the “30 minute before or after rule”: 30 minutes before bed, or after a TV show, or 30 minutes before dinner or after dessert/snack is designated board game time.
  • Instead of a read aloud
  • Waiting in the doctor’s office with kids? See car time
  • Afraid the iPad will get ruined with sand on the beach? That’s usually not an issue with a board game (Bring a good sun umbrella!)
  • Suggest your kids play with friends on a play date and provide several fun options (kids can learn from each other as well)

Aside from the numerous benefits of reading, playing board games with your child will help build many other important qualities such as patience, sharing, taking turns, strategizing, concentration and memory skills, logic, cooperation and math. Doesn’t that sound like a load of good for a small time investment?

Download my free cheat sheet: Dr. Carroll’s Top 10 Board and Card Games that Promote Reading Skills – Plus, their Basic Components and the Specific Skills They Build!

Access Now >>

What are the board and card games your family loves? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let me know!

Read 1365 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:01

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.