The Benefits of Board Games in After-School Programs

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Manuel Zavala

After-school programs are more than just a place for students to hang out until their parents are off work. They can also be a valuable tool for students to learn, grow and develop new skills in a fun and interactive way. One activity that has been gaining popularity in after-school programs is board games. 

Board games may seem like simple entertainment, but they provide numerous benefits for students. This blog will explore the advantages of using board games in after-school programs and why more schools should incorporate them into their after-school programs.

How Do Board Games Add Value to After-School Programs?

Board games offer a variety of advantages for after-school programs. The most obvious benefit is that they provide students with an enjoyable and engaging way to pass the time. In addition, board games can help children develop essential skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, decision-making, and even social etiquette. Students can practice these skills in a safe and relaxed environment by playing board games together in a positive environment.

Board games also help foster teamwork and camaraderie among children of different ages. Players must work together to create strategies and solutions to complete the game’s objectives or win the competition; This teaches children valuable lessons about cooperation and respecting others’ ideas while striving to reach their individual goals.

One advantage of using board games in after-school programs, which often goes unnoticed, is their ability to encourage curiosity and exploration in students. Board games require players to think outside the box to come up with creative solutions or strategies that lead them towards completing the game; This helps students become more open-minded when learning new things since students will be using the latest techniques to solve problems and achieve success. Exploration is the key to most careers, and students who know how to create solutions on the fly will be well off in many facets of life.

Finally, incorporating board games into after-school programs can help reduce student stress levels by providing a healthy outlet for energy and emotions they may have during the day. Students can play these games competitively or cooperatively so everyone involved can get something out of it regardless of skill level or experience; This keeps students entertained and allows them some much-needed time away from all the pressures associated with homework and other daily tasks.

What Are Some Skills Students Learn From Board Games?

Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: Board games require players to think ahead and strategize, improving problem-solving skills. For example, playing a game like chess can teach students to anticipate their opponent’s moves and think critically about their own. Students can apply these skills to academic subjects, such as math and science, and help students become more confident problem-solvers.

  • Foster Social Skills: Board games can also promote social skills and teamwork. Many board games require players to work together towards a common goal or compete against each other in a friendly manner. It also gives players a chance to learn interactions with different players they come across and make mental notes for future situations. These activities help students learn to communicate effectively, cooperate with others, and build positive peer relationships.
  • Improve Cognitive Function: Board games also improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Games requiring players to remember rules or follow complex sequences can help students develop short-term and long-term memory skills. Additionally, playing board games can help students focus, improve their attention span, and learn patience when making moves.
  • Develop Creativity: Board games often require players to think outside the box and create creative solutions to problems; This can help students develop their creative skills and encourage them to think differently about daily situations. Games like Cranium or Pictionary can stimulate creativity in students and help them develop innovative thinking skills that can benefit them in future projects and challenges.
  • Reduce Stress: Finally, board games can create a fun, low-stress environment for students to relax and unwind after a long school day. After-school programs can be stressful for some students, but playing a game with friends can reduce stress and help them feel more relaxed and at ease; This can ultimately lead to better mental health and a more positive attitude toward school and learning. Some students have to do back-to-back learning with their regular classes and after-school lessons, so releasing some stress and practicing essential skills will be a game changer for the youth.
  • Time Away From Technology: It’s no secret that many of us are glued to our phones or computer. So, having the whole board game experience with some cards or a board adds to the feel. Students can play these games outside and get students back into nature. Students can also visualize their moves better with a physical board than with a digital one.

Student Hires Programs

Our objective at Student Hires is to uplift the disadvantaged youth in our community by offering them practical, experience-based learning opportunities. 

To do so, we work with college students who serve as mentors and inspirational figures for K-12 kids. Our programs are designed to give these young people the skills and knowledge they’ll need to thrive in their chosen fields.

We also run a summer program called Luv2Play that provides daily meals. We offer various nutritious food options that we know our children will like. Disrupting the poverty cycle and providing pupils with all they require to achieve their full potential is one of our main goals.


Board games are a fun and low-cost activity to incorporate into after-school programs. Not only do they provide an opportunity for students to interact and build relationships with their peers, but they also promote growth and development in various areas. By playing board games, students can improve their problem-solving skills, social skills, cognitive function, and creativity and reduce stress.

More importantly, board games create a fun, relaxed environment encouraging students to enjoy learning. Every after-school program should include some games to develop a wholesome, holistic environment that will enable students to grow.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

Related Articles

More From the Author

6 Things Parents Should Consider When Choosing an Afterschool Program
Riverside Unified School District Transitional Kindergarten Registration Now Open!
How Minecraft Teaches Basic Education Skills
5 Reasons Why Afterschool Programs Are Important For Your Child
3 Ways Afterschool Programs Are Funded
4 Ways Afterschool Programs Can Promote Career Readiness

Leave a Comment

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}