A positive move - enhancing academic performance through board games


Board games have been a cherished pastime for generations, bringing families and friends together for hours of fun and entertainment. However, recent research has unveiled a surprising benefit beyond leisure: board games may have a positive impact on academic performance, particularly in critical thinking and mathematics. This article delves into the findings of a study conducted by researchers at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, and explores whether board games can also help curb excessive technology usage among children.

The Research Study

The study conducted by researchers at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile sought to examine the potential benefits of board games on students’ cognitive development and academic achievements. The researchers recruited a diverse group of children from various socio-economic backgrounds and age groups. The participants were then divided into two groups: one that actively engaged in regular board game sessions and another control group that did not partake in such activities.

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

The results of the study indicated that children who regularly played board games demonstrated significant improvement in critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Board games, especially those that involve strategic planning and decision-making, can stimulate the mind and encourage players to think critically. Games like chess, for instance, require players to anticipate their opponent’s moves, assess the consequences of their own actions, and formulate long-term strategies. These mental exercises directly translate to improved analytical skills, a crucial asset in academic pursuits.

Enhanced Mathematical Abilities

Board games often involve numerical concepts, calculation, and logic, making them an ideal tool for bolstering mathematical abilities. Games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, and Sudoku require players to perform basic arithmetic, apply logical reasoning, and make mathematical calculations on the fly. By engaging in these activities, children subconsciously develop a stronger grasp of mathematical principles, which can positively impact their performance in math-related subjects at school.

Building Social Skills and Collaboration

Apart from academic benefits, board games also foster social skills and collaboration among children. Playing board games encourages healthy competition, teamwork, and effective communication. As children engage with their peers, they learn to take turns, share resources, and respect others’ opinions. These social interactions are invaluable in enhancing overall emotional intelligence and positively influence their relationships with peers and teachers in the school environment.

Curbing Technology Dependency

In today’s digital age, children are exposed to various technological devices from an early age, which can lead to excessive screen time and potential negative consequences on their well-being. The research from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile suggests that regular engagement in board games could serve as a productive alternative to technology. Board games provide an immersive and interactive experience that captivates children’s attention without resorting to screen time. Consequently, they may spend less time on electronic devices, leading to improved focus and better overall academic performance.


The research conducted by Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile sheds light on the potential benefits of incorporating board games into a child’s routine. These analog pastimes have the power to enhance critical thinking, mathematical abilities, and social skills, all of which contribute to improved academic performance. Moreover, board games can serve as a healthy alternative to excessive technology usage, promoting a balanced lifestyle for children.

As parents and educators, it is essential to recognize the educational potential of board games and integrate them into children’s daily lives. By doing so, we can provide them with an enjoyable and enriching way to develop valuable skills, setting the stage for success not only in the classroom but also in life. So, the next time you gather with family and friends, consider pulling out a board game – the benefits might just extend far beyond the game itself.

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