Parents Turn To Board Games To Help Children Catch Up At School

More than one in five parents of primary and secondary school children are using board games to help boost their education as worries mount about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on pupils’ learning, new research* shows.

The nationwide study by digital games publisher Marmalade Game Studio found nearly two out of three parents (65%) are concerned their children’s education has fallen behind during the pandemic after school closures lead to widespread home learning. The study found that 29% are very concerned.

The UK Government has pledged £5 billion in extra spending to help children catch up and a recent House of Commons Education Committee report** highlighted how at the height of lockdowns children only spent an average of 2.5 hours a day on schoolwork while one in five did no work at home or less than an hour a day.

Extra funding is welcome, but Marmalade Game Studio’s study shows parents are taking control themselves with 21% saying they use board games to help their children learn. That is more than the 13% who are spending money on making more use of tutors or the 10% using tutors for the first time.

Marmalade Game Studio’s games MONOPOLY and Taboo are playing a part in helping kids’ catch up – MONOPOLY helps with arithmetic and supporting numeracy while hugely popular card game Taboo boosts literacy. The game challenges players to describe words without using any of the words listed on the cards and helps expand vocabulary.

Parents in the survey said they were most likely to be spending more time with their children helping with schoolwork – nearly half (48%) said they were doing that while 27% said their partner is putting in extra time with children and 25% are asking for more homework from schools for their children.

Michael Willis, co-CEO at Marmalade Game Studio, said:

Board games are family favourites and fun to play but also have a serious educational side which is clear in our games MONOPOLY and Taboo which help with numeracy and literacy. The pandemic has driven a major switch from traditional board games to online gaming and playing on mobiles and tablets has been a big part of that.

The table below shows how parents are helping out their children as families try to make up for the lost time from the pandemic.

Spending more time with children to help them catch up48%
Partner is spending more time with children to help them catch up27%
Asking for extra homework25%
Playing board games with children21%
Made more use of tutors13%
Other family members are spending more time with our children to help them catch up11%
Started using tutors10%

Marmalade Game Studio’s mobile version of  MONOPOLY, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android,  has now been downloaded five million times and regularly sits at the top of the app download charts around the world. Players can enjoy a “quick mode.,” in-game video chat, single-player mode, additional themes, new tokens, and 36 cities and country boards. All of these options make the mobile version the ultimate way to play MONOPOLY.

Taboo launched on mobile and tablet last year and is free to download on the Apple and Google Play app stores. It includes unlimited remote games via free video chat and unlimited free in-person games.

Written by:  Phil Anderson

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