Card games can be a beneficial means for children to build character, develop executive function skills, and learn healthy bonding norms. According to an article recently published in The Wall Street Journal, “card games can teach math and memory skills, as well as strategic thinking, psychologist and sociologists say.” Executive function skill development, such as working memory and strategic thinking, is fundamental to preparing children for successful academic life, as well as future employment.
Families and schools who encourage children to engage in card games also establish healthy bonding norms. The Wall Street Journal says “the conversation and friendly rivalry that come with sitting down to play cards can strengthen family ties.” And children will mirror the healthy norms established in caregiver relationships as they socialize and form connections outside the family in their schools and communities.
Defining strong character traits in children is another key component of playing games, as they “can build children’s confidence: The rules are the same for everyone, and it is fun to play a game in which anyone can win.” In family settings and school settings alike, card games can simulate real-life problem solving and strategizing, giving children the opportunity to face challenges in a controlled environment so they can take what they learn and apply it to their lives.
It turns out there are multiple compelling reasons card games have prospered from one generation to the next. They bridge age gaps and social constructs, bringing children to an equal playing field, building problem solving skills and emboldening children with the confidence they need to face life’s challenges. Who would have thought a simple game of Go Fish could facilitate the foundational development needed for success in life? In the midst of fun and laughter, children gain the character and skills necessary for happy and healthy lives.