We all know that rec-rooms, or games rooms as they are sometimes known, are great fun – but did you know that apart from being just for the boys to play games and get drunk in, they can actually be a fun place for the whole family, where the kids can learn some great lessons as well? Well they can! So let’s take a look.
Despite more often being associated with pubs and bars rather than wholesome family fun, pool tables can be more harmonious and educational than you might think. When played in teams of two, taking turns to take shots, pool can actually be a great team game. This encourages positive attribute such as team bonding and co-operative working.
Not only that but pool can help children develop a keen eye, as well as a good sense of balance. Get them playing snooker on the table as well and you’ve got some mental arithmetic in the game as well – and they didn’t even know it!
More fast paced than a game of pool, and certainly a great game for any kids with high energy levels (ok so most kids then!), playing air hockey can have a number of benefits. Firstly to play and win at air hockey you need a high degree of hand/eye co-ordination – the pucks ping around the table at quite a pace and to get good you need to time up your hand and your eye.
While we are on the subject of hand/eye co-ordination we had to mention pinball. Thought of by many as just a way to pass the time for teenagers in the 1950s, pinball is actually another great way to build up your child’s co-ordination. With a multi-ball game, you need some serious skill to keep all those balls in play. These same skills help develop the brain and are great if your child would like to be good at sports in the future.
Although many parents first instinct is to keep their children as far away from video games as possible, arcade games are slightly different in that they aren’t designed to keep kids locked in their bedrooms for hour upon hour, they are designed to be played socially. Not only that but the games are more challenge based, and when it’s costing you money to play you need to play well!
Another game which has always been thought to just be the refuge of pub and bar players, foosball is actually a very skilful and tactical game – they even have a world cup! The game is social, interactive, technical and most importantly fun! The level of ball control shown by foosball pros is truly amazing and certainly gives your children something to aspire to.
So there we have it, five games which from the outside look like they are just there for fun, but actually provide a lot more. Don’t forget, when children are having fun they forget they are learning valuable skills, so what better way to teach them?
Hamish is a keen table football player and writes for LibertyGames.co.uk, a UK based games room retailer, foosball specialists and sponsors of the GB Foosball Tream.