I can still fondly remember when my dad taught me to play Chinese Checkers. At the time, I didn’t understand what life lessons were, but he kept trying to teach me that how I played the game would give me the skills to deal with in life as an adult.
Chinese Checkers helps young children as well as adults to learn important life lessons such as cognitive skills, problem-solving, social skills, flexibility, and strategizing. Chinese Checkers allow us to practice some skills that we can use in everyday life to function and overcome issues.
Today I understand the principles my father was trying to teach me, and it makes perfect sense. Now I try to teach my kids the same values and lessons that helped me cope with strategizing and accepting defeat and stay confident that the game is not over until the fat lady sings.
1. Chinese Checkers Develop Social Skills
Social skills are highly important for children and adults alike. We need to be able to interact with other individuals respectably and professionally.
Chinese Checkers teaches you to deal and interact with one person on a face-to-face basis or how to cope with a group. It allows for the development of proper responses and behavior to deal with the different environment settings.
2. Chinese Checkers Develop Strategic Thinking
Planning is a necessary part of daily life. No matter what you are doing, you need to be able to think ahead and plan the next two to three moves in order to be able to overcome situations.
Strategizing helps you think ahead and how to overcome any curveball that gets thrown your way. Not all goes according to plan, and having a backup plan to deal with unforeseen circumstances is always important.
3. Chinese Checkers Development Attention Span
Children, teens, and adults can sometimes suffer from attention span and can bounce from one activity to another. Chinese Checkers is a great way to strengthen the ability to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand by forcing you to focus on the board and the moves you need to play.
It improves the focus and the ability to complete a task started and to see it through to the end.
4. Chinese Checkers Help Deal With Consequences
Consequences are an inevitable part of life, and having the ability to deal with consequences is an important life lesson to have learned.
Sometimes our actions have repercussions, so understanding how your moves will affect the future is an important life lesson—having the ability to understand that not all actions will work out how you expected them.
5. Chinese Checkers Teaches Problem-Solving Skills
Life can be full of conundrums, and solving the easiest to the hardest problem is an imperative skill to master. Nowadays, I see how easily people give up when faced with bigger issues than what they can solve.
This game forces you to deal with the situation at hand and overcome your mountain, use innovative thinking, and find solutions to out-maneuver your opponents. Logical thinking is created in this game as you consider all the possibilities and outcomes.
6. Chinese Checkers Help Increase Memory Capabilities
Memory is so important in daily life, from remembering mundane things like telephone numbers or dates to important actions like meetings and information for future recollection.
Rules are an important part of all games and life. This game is no exception, so boosting your memory as you have to remember and recall the rules of how the game is played.
Unfortunately, as we age, our memory seems to desert us. Playing Chinese Checkers is a way to jog the brain and get the cognitive functions to kick into action. Increasing cognitive functions is an important task in anyone’s life, and it is said to help with Alzheimer’s.
7. Chinese Checkers Promotes Analytical Thinking
Learning from our mistakes and recalling past mistakes to a present problem will allow us to choose a different action for a similar circumstance.
Chinese Checkers are full of opportunities to use analytical thinking as you may come across the same move but will need to formulate a different solution to overcome the problem.
Leaders will often associate analytical thinking with previous circumstances to help them overcome any present situations. Learning from history is how not to repeat them in the future.
8. Chinese Checkers Teaches Patience
Patience is one thing I had very little of as a child, and I think that most kids suffer from this condition today. Patience is required for anyone to be able to deal with any frustrating circumstances that arise.
With technology at the end of our fingertips, we forget to slow things down, and everything needs to go faster. Chinese Checkers is a game of patience. Waiting for your opponent to think and consider their moves and strategy is a time-consuming process.
Waiting was something I struggled with as a kid. My dad was a great strategist and took his time to contemplate every move, which, I must say, drove me mad, but it was a good life lesson in the end.
9. Chinese Checkers Teaches Speed Processing
When starting to play Chinese Checkers, you will need time to learn and understand the game. Figuring our strategies and planning your moves will require concentration, and you may find you are fairly slow at the game.
That’s why this game is such a great teacher for speed processing. As you become accustomed to the rules, your mind will automatically process information in front of you, and your thoughts will start to become faster as you learn to plan and strategize within seconds.
10. Chinese Checkers Promotes The Ability Of Flexibility
Without flexibility, we would all have a very challenging life to deal with. Life is always about being flexible in certain situations and knowing when not to back down.
Understanding that sometimes your moves do not always play out as you wanted them to due to other people’s actions is part of learning how to be flexible. Sometimes the straight path is not the best choice, and you must be flexible enough to understand that and take the scenic route instead.
11. Chinese Checkers Teaches Diplomacy
Well, at least it taught me a great deal of diplomacy. Sometimes showing off and thinking we are superior to others because we won a game can show bad sportsmanship. So being able to win without rubbing it in someone’s face can be a great addition to your talents.
Losing is never a good feeling, and being able to win but still not letting your opponent feel gutted about his loss is a great attribute to have. Sportsmanship is important in any aspect of life, and I find this game teaches some fantastic lessons in sportsmanship and diplomacy.
12. Chinese Checkers Teaches Us Grace
This game is full of lessons on how to be graceful. It teaches you restraint to not always throw your actions and winnings into someone’s face. Having the grace to lose and understand where you made your mistakes will teach you to make a comeback next time.
Nobody likes a know-it-all, and nobody likes it when every mistake is thrown into their face. That’s where grace plays into this game as you study your opponent and learn their thought process to out-maneuver his steps.
13. Chinese Checkers Help With Processing Response Inhibition
I think this phrase has many possibilities for it. Response inhibition is highly important in life as you need to think before you act, and Chinese Checkers teach you this important lesson by applying it to a few circumstances.
People with ADHD would find that Chinese Checkers can teach them a few minor rules on response inhibition.
You need to plan your moves before you willy-nilly move marbles around. Thinking before you act is important not just when planning your next move but also thinking about your actions when you lose or win and how your outbursts will affect people around you.
Being able to shut out noises and concentrate on the task of your game is also an important response inhibition. Distractions are part of our daily life, and working through distracting circumstances but still managing to concentrate and play a great game is a great lesson learned.
I find that this counts for facial expressions too, and people can often misjudge your facial expression, which may be perceived as wrong. So, think before you act, before you look, and before you talk.
Chinese Checkers can help young and old, kids and adults, with very important lessons. Not only is it great to teach restraint and strategies, and how to concentrate and solve problems. It also improves cognitive functions of the brain that are said to help ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s.