Board games are an excellent family bonding activity with both educational and social benefits. They can encourage verbal communication and interaction as well as teaching important social skills such as sharing, waiting and turn-taking skills – not forgetting the elusive skill of being a good sport whether you win or lose.
For families with children across a range of ages or who have a child or children with learning differences, finding games to play that stimulate everyone’s interest (including the adults!) can be especially tricky.
Plyt – Play it & multiply
When their children were at primary school, Lisa and Ian McCartney were keen to help them improve their numeracy skills and looked for a game that they could play together to do this. They tried various things but found that games that were suitable for one child were too easy or difficult for the other and in all cases, they as adults had to ‘dumb down’ to play on the same level as the children.
That’s when they came up with the idea for Plyt – a competitive maths game where everyone is challenged at their own level but anyone can win regardless of age or ability.
Players choose a number of dice to roll (from 2 up to 5) and must correctly multiply the numbers showing on the face of each dice to move on to the next space on the board. Younger players can just add the numbers until they’re ready to start multiplying. With special Chance Card squares dotted around the board there’s always an element of surprise to make things more exciting too.
When Plyt asked us if we would be interested in sponsoring the daily Plyter competition for Autism Awareness Month we were only too pleased to work with them. The ability for everyone to be challenged at their own level makes the game ideal for children with autism and their families to play.
There are many children on the autistic spectrum who have a good ability with numbers so Plyt takes advantage of this strength and interest whilst encouraging participation in an activity with others and teaching social skills. Siblings, friends and parents can play alongside at their own level and everyone grows in confidence and ability.