Recently I was watching my two girls engaged in a board game we were recently sent to review called Crozzit. It’s a very fun game with a simple objective: build an uninterrupted road from one end of the board to the other. The first player to do so wins. Sounds easy enough, right? But like other strategy games for 2 players, like chess or checkers, it can be surprisingly hard to meet your objective!
And perhaps more importantly, what I have noticed as my girls process each game they play together after the winner has been declared, is that this game is helping them to better understand the perspective of others.
You see, you don’t have to be thinking 5 or 6 moves ahead in order to be successful, but you do need to think 1-2 moves ahead, and that includes being able to think about what your opponent is most likely to do in response to your move. Of course being able to do this helps with your ability to improve your own strategy, and therefore, to win more games. But there’s a bigger lesson here, and that’s one of learning to look at something from a perspective other than your own. Being able to consider the impact a decision you make will have on others PRIOR to making that decision is a pretty amazing capability, and one that I would love for my children to develop. I never really thought about a board game being one of the ways in which this could be developed, but as I watched them play, I realized that’s exactly what was happening.
Maybe today’s a great day for 2 person board game with you and one of your children? You can model this behavior by doing your strategic thinking out loud, and by encouraging them to give it a try, too!