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16 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Play Dots and Boxes (the Classic Pencil and Paper Game)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Thanks to the dots and boxes game, formal education is not the only way your kids can learn and grow. Since the diverse advantages games, in general, have on children’s development is no longer news, we’ve compiled in this piece 16 reasons why your kids should play the classic dots and boxes pencil and paper game.

One of the crucial reasons your kids should play dots and boxes is the game’s impact on providing them with the needed skills to understand and grasp the concept of logic in a more practical form. You’d also find that this game helps sharpen kids’ thought processing, not to mention that it is a great way for kids to interact and develop social skills.

1. The Game Rules are Easy to Learn and Understand

The dots and boxes game has a set of very simple rules. These are;

  • Win as many boxes as you can in the grid by drawing lines from one dot to the next. 
  • Drawing the fourth line grants you possession of a box, and you get to take another turn for every box you close.
  • The player with the most boxes wins after connecting the dots.

The game is quite straightforward and is one of the easiest ways to keep a child busy. It is also quite easy to learn and does not require kids to obtain any additional skills before playing.

2. This Game Helps Sharpen Kid’s Thought Processing

One of the benefits of playing dots and boxes is that it gives directions on how a player thinks. When children play the game, it can help with making their thinking process sharper, faster, and clearer. Kids will be able to predict moves before the opponent even makes them.

3. Kids Get to Understand the Concept of Logic Better

It is one thing to understand a concept theoretically and another to experience that concept practically. The dots and boxes game is needed to aid in the developmental processes kids undergo as it helps create sound reasoning on how things work.

4. It Helps to Control Impulsive Behavior in Kids

Kids can be very impulsive, and parents must be able to figure out how to teach them to control those impulses at a young age. Dots and boxes can help check impulsiveness in kids. 

This is mainly because the game involves critical thinking, which means children have to think before making any moves; this helps them keep their impulses in check.

5. Dots and Boxes is a Brain-Boosting Game

Games that help children understand and communicate (which also influence their ability to think) are brain-boosting games. It is referred to as cognitive play. Since dots and boxes pack these benefits, it is an ideal game for kids.

6. Social Interaction is Encouraged Among Children

Dots and boxes is a multiplayer game that involves two players, sometimes more. With dots and boxes, children are encouraged to play games with one another instead of playing video games by themselves.

Kids talk to themselves, strategize, are more outspoken, and sometimes argue because they get to play dots and boxes together.

7. The Game Helps Support Learning

There is no one way to train a child. Various effective methods work for learning, and playing games is one of them. The game of dots and boxes is well-grounded in the mathematical field and can help kids understand mathematics concepts, like geometry, better.

Also, while it may not involve the numerical aspect as much, except when they need to count scores, kids get to familiarize themselves with mathematical shapes.

8. It is a Great Way for Kids to Practice Innate and Acquired Skills

When it comes to acquiring and mastering skills, repetition is key, and with dots and boxes, children get to practice both their mathematical and developmental skills even while playing games and having fun.

9. Kids Get to Practice Pen Control

After learning to walk, speak and even eat properly, it’s only natural that kids learn to write with a pen or pencil. Playing dots and boxes can help kids better control their pen movement.

While drawing straight lines might be easy for most adults, kids need constant practice. Drawing the lines in dots and boxes helps them learn the motor skills they need for writing.

10. Dots and Boxes is a Safe Way to Keep the Mind Occupied

We understand how busy adulting and parenting can be, but thanks to dots and boxes, you can keep the kids busy while taking a few minutes to get things sorted.

For this short period, the kids will be so focused on drawing the perfect lines, strategizing, and planning how to acquire as many boxes as possible.

11. Kids Grasp the Concept of Playing Fair

At the end of most dots and boxes games, there will always be a winner and loser. Your kid must learn how to accept losses and lose gracefully. We dare say that it is quite distasteful to see kids and even adults in public throwing tantrums because they lost a game.

Playing and practicing dots and boxes at home with your kids helps them understand there is a chance they lose the game, but kids have to learn to accept that loss without problems.

12. Kids Get to Learn About Healthy Rivalry

Healthy competition increases a child’s desire to win and be better. It helps them focus, set goals, and motivates them to do better. The dots and boxes game can teach a child the importance of healthy competitions and the reward of winning.

13. It Helps Your Kids Understand Empathy

It is one thing to be excited about winning but another thing to gloat excessively. Kids must understand that when they win, they can share that feeling by empathizing with their opponents when the other party loses.

After a game of dots and boxes, your kid should learn that if they score more points than their opponent, they should empathize with them.

14. Kids Learn to Speak Up

Kids are often cheated during games, especially when they play with older kids. They might cringe because they fear being bullied or wish to make more friends even when they know others are cheating.

Encouraging your kids to play games like dots and boxes and even rewarding them when they win makes them want more, encouraging them to speak up outside when they feel their opponent is cheating them.

15. It helps to Improve the Attention Lifespan of Kids

Naturally, kids are not very attentive. They can play with an object this minute and the next pick up another item. It is important to introduce games to help your child focus and stay attentive to their daily routine. 

Dots and boxes is a game that requires the player’s full attention. Due to the strategy involved, players have to be fully focused when playing the game, which is one of the reasons it is a great game for your kids.

16. Dots and Boxes Help Your Kids Have Fun

Kids need to understand that they are allowed to play games and have fun. It is not just schooling activities that they are allowed to do. They can have fun under the supervision of their parents, and for a parent concerned about their kid playing too much, what other game to help your child relax, have fun, and still learn than the classic game of dots and boxes.

All Things Considered

Children are one of the most complex groups of humans that we have. What a parent exposes them to can be the difference between a bright future or otherwise. 

It is important that parents know how to regulate and manage the games they allow their kids to play. This is why cognitive games like dots and boxes are recommended. They boost your kid’s minds and enable them to tap into their social, mental, and even creative skills.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.