Coping Skills. #20. Playing Board Games

Growing up, I loved to play board games.  In fact, people did not have the time to play with me as much as I longed to do so.  Thus I would set up my dolls, stuffed animals, pictures, and even movies that represented a certain character to play a game.

Board games are still enjoyable.  Some can be a struggle for those whose brains work slower, have a hard time reading others, or are highly competitive.  Yet, these games can bring about a fun evening and help you to confront fears or weaknesses in a less stressful environment.

There are many different types of board games.  However I am going to highlight five main ones as well as list ones similar to it.  These all can be used for coping but some might work better for you than others.


The game of Life

Rewriting Your Life Games

Life is one of my brother’s favorite games.  When you play this, you get to choose to transform your job, family, and house.  Instead of worrying about your real life, you can laugh over surprise twists, squeal after having twins, or ponder whether to buy the cheap split-level house or the fancy Victorian mansion.  Every time you play, the ending and story is different.

Some argue that this game emphasizes hurrying through life or materialism.  If you earn a small salary or are stuck being the sales person, playing might seem pointless or even depressing.  However, I believe that games like this give you the chance to imagine and enjoy a totally different lifestyle.

Similar games include these:  Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Lost Cities, etc.

Getting to Know People Games

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples game

Apples to Apples probably is a game that everyone knows and loves.  If you have been in treatment often, you have encountered this in groups multiple times.  However, there is a reason that we play it so often.  This game not only is fun but also helps us to learn more about others.  Players must guess what others view as scary, beautiful, funny, and confusing.

Aspergers causes me to struggle reading and understanding others.  Games like this teach me how to treat others because I learn their preferences, points of view, and personalities.  Those who do not struggle with relating to others also can enjoy this game as they grow closer to the other players.  Even if you know someone well, you might be surprised at how much more you can learn.

Similar games include these:  Whoonu, Like It or Lump It, Awkward Family Photos, Caption It If You Can, Imaginiff, etc.



Balderdash Game

Working with Words Games

Balderdash scares me a bit but is an amazing game.  In this game, people guess what an uncommon word means.  Then one player reads all of the guessed definitions as well as the real one.  Everyone guesses which definition was real.  Not only do you learn new words, this game also causes much laughter.

Many word games are fast paced which might be fun or very stressful for you.  However, there are games like Balderdash that involve thinking and creativity concerning words at a slower pace.  Thus, if you struggle with Scrabble or Boggle because of their rapid speed, you might enjoy Balderdash more.

Similar games include these:  Bananagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, Taboo, Scattergories, etc.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Games


Jenga Game

Jenga involves creating a tower of blocks and slowly removing bottom ones.  These are then put on the top.  Thus, the tower continues to grow until someone finally knocks it over.  These game causes anxiety but also excitement as you carefully remove blocks and hope that the tower will not crash.

If this is too stressful for you, there are many other games that involve critical thinking.  However, these types of games often do bring a component of increased pressure.  Sometimes I need to sit out on these games because of the high tension they can cause.  Yet they also bring about much laughter and can be a good way to deal with anxiety.

Similar games include these:  Skip-Bo, Uno, Chess, Checkers, Trivial Pursuit, etc.


Cranium Game

Interacitve and Energizing Games

Cranium is not just a board game that you sit around the table playing.  For this game, you need to run around the house finding things, model clay into objects, act out words, and much more.  If you do not like to sit still and play a boring game, this is the right thing to try.

These games can be very fun but also tiring for some people.  If you are easily overwhelmed, maybe save this game for a smaller group of people who you trust.  Extremely interactive games can become noisy quickly.

Similar games include these:  Pictionary, Quelf, etc.



11 thoughts on “Coping Skills. #20. Playing Board Games

  1. Great post, I enjoy playing board games. I particularly had a lot of fun playing Jenga, especially with my family 🙂

  2. Marneymae says:

    what a super post!
    a game review – with other options, no less…
    apples to apples is such a fun game – i only learned about it two years ago when a friend began having game night…
    it’s so much fun

  3. quirkybooks says:

    I love board games, although I don’t usually get the time to play them nowadays. I haven’t tried any of the ones featured. Being a writer, I love scrabble.

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