The Magic of Board Games

By UBC Camps

Enjoy screen-free fun and adventure with the simplicity of board games!

Board games can transport us to other worlds! They are also an excellent way to practice adaptability and decisiveness, utilizing strategy to attain specific goals. Many board games work well with mixed age sibling groups, such as memory, snakes & ladders, or dice games. Below are three classic dice games that the whole family can play:

  • Timeless! Take turns rolling one die. For every number rolled, a body part is added. You can make your beetle as easy or complicated as you like. Try this with any drawing.
  • Take turns rolling one die. Players aim to climb the mountain in numerical order. Whoever reaches the top and climbs back down again first wins. Try setting the mountain up differently (ex. reaching the top through a maze of numbers), or adding in a few ‘creative rules’ (ex. if you roll the same number two turns in a row, you get ‘lost in the woods’ and miss a turn).
  • You can play this game with however many dice you want. Players take turns rolling the dice and adding their cumulative rolls, or points, together. A player can roll as many times as they want during their turn, with the end goal of reaching 100 points. BUT, if a 1 is rolled, the player’s turn ends and all points gained that turn are lost. Bonus: a great way for kids to gain math confidence!


Other games, like Jenga®, are especially good at improving fine motor skills; and improved fine motor skills can translate to children being able to tie their shoes with ease, or improved handwriting. Cat’s Cradle, while not *technically* a board game, is another great fine motor skill developer, and simply requires a piece of yarn or string.

The bottom line: enjoying a board game doesn’t have to be expensive! Other timeless board games, like chess or checkers, can be made from colored pebbles, and older children can even design their own homemade board games. You can download our game board template here.

Share your family’s board game night by tagging @ubccamps, using #ubcplaylearn