You’d be forgiven for brushing aside a game of Chinese Checkers based on its appearance. It’s an underwhelming board with holes forming a star shape and marbles or pegs in six colors. No flashy graphics. No lights. No sounds. But don’t underestimate this simple game – its benefits for your brain and mental health are simply incredible!
Chinese Checkers enhances your overall brain and mental health, from developing cognitive skills like problem-solving, reasoning, and memory to improving your mood and helping you manage stress. Playing Chinese Checkers can even help strengthen your self-control and social skills.
Who knew a piece of board and marbles could do all that! Read on to be wowed by 12 amazing ways Chinese Checkers is beneficial for your brain and mental health.
1. Chinese Checkers Develops Cognitive Skills
Playing Chinese Checkers gives your brain a good workout, strengthening various cognitive skills.
Chinese Checkers also develops what’s known as your executive functions. Executive functions are the super cognitive skills that manage simpler cognitive skills and abilities.
Problem-solving, decision-making, planning, and organizing are among the executive functions board games strengthen.
Here’s a glance at a few more of the brain skills board games can develop:
- Attention. This lets you tune out distractions to focus on what’s important for achieving your goals.
- Abstract reasoning. This involves thinking about things you can’t see or touch, like ideas or principles.
- Spatial reasoning. This type of thinking is about objects and how they relate to each other and move in space.
2. Chinese Checkers Boosts Memory
You might not realize it, but you’re training your memory while playing Chinese Checkers.
By trying to remember patterns, moves, and previously effective tactics to try again, you’re activating areas of your brain responsible for storing and remembering information.
3. Chinese Checkers Improves Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills help your eyes and the little muscles in your wrists, hands, and fingers work together to perform detailed tasks like writing, fastening buttons, and brushing your teeth.
You’ll give your fine motor skills tons of practice while moving your pieces across the Chinese Checkers board!
Fine motor skills and cognition are connected, so developing fine motor skills can boost brain development, especially in children.
Adults whose fine motor skills have been negatively affected by stroke, injury, or aging can also benefit from fine motor skill activities.
4. Chinese Checkers Can Help Prevent Brain Diseases
Playing board games like Chinese Checkers is one way to keep your brain active and sharp as you age. In fact, research has found you might be able to drop your dementia risk by 15% by playing board games.
Chinese Checkers is challenging enough to engage your grey matter but not so challenging that it feels overwhelming. This balance makes playing this board game pleasurable, mentally stimulating, and satisfying. Experts say these are qualities you should look for in activities to exercise your brain and cut your risks of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
5. Chinese Checkers Develops Emotional Intelligence
Chinese Checkers helps you grow your EQ, which involves good social skills and managing your emotions.
Experts say EQ might be more important than IQ for successful living, so strong EQ is sure to enhance your mental wellbeing.
Board games’ light context is perfect for building your EQ skills because there’s nothing serious at stake. You consider other players by practicing fairness (turn-taking and following the same rules) and manage your emotions by, say, not exploding in rage when another player blocks your path.
6. Chinese Checkers Encourages Socializing
Board games bring people together. It’s because games make it easier for us to interact with others, whether we’re playing with strangers or best friends. And they’re the ultimate icebreaker for shy people.
Social interaction is essential to brain health and mental wellbeing.
Socializing can boost your brain in multiple ways, including improving your memory and protecting you from brain diseases that come with aging.
People with strong social networks tend to feel happier and more secure, especially in troubling times.
7. Chinese Checkers Enhances Family Relationships
Fun routines like game night help family members bond.
Chinese Checkers is an especially good choice for board-game-bonding sessions because its simple rules make it suitable for all ages – both gran and the little ones can easily learn and remember how to play. You can also play more challenging versions of Chinese Checkers as players get the hang of how the game works.
Regular quality family time helps kids feel safe and supported and gives them a sense of belonging, all factors which improve mental wellbeing.
8. Chinese Checkers Gives A Break From The Digital World
So much of modern life is screen-based. We work, play, study, and socialize online. All the time we spend behind our screens can make our stress levels soar, so health experts recommend regular digital detoxes where we disconnect from our tech devices.
Getting away from your screen can make you feel more mindful, content, and relaxed.
And what could complement your digital detox better than a game of Chinese Checkers? Your brain will be free of digital demands, and you’ll have a chance to recharge as you touch real objects and connect with people face to face.
9. Chinese Checkers Helps You Manage Stress
Playing Chinese Checkers lets you escape day-to-day pressures.
While you unwind over a good board game, you’re distracted from negative emotions and forget your worries. It’s a relaxing, rewarding experience. And this drops your stress levels.
Chinese Checkers might also bring up happy childhood memories. Playing this board game could remind you of simpler, carefree days, making you feel comforted and calm.
10. Chinese Checkers Can Fight Depression
Regularly playing Chinese Checkers can drop your depression risk.
A combination of factors gives Chinese Checkers its depression-busting effects. There’s the uplifting social interaction, a sense of purpose (even if it’s just trying to figure out the best way to get all your pieces across the board), stress relief (uncontrolled stress can cause depression), and feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment.
11. Chinese Checkers Releases Feel-Good Brain Chemicals
Chinese Checkers isn’t the most entertaining board game. Still, it offers plenty of opportunities to chuckle between strategizing – for example, when a player masterminds a way to leap across the board.
And when you laugh, you release happiness brain chemicals and stop stress hormones in their tracks.
The feel-good brain chemicals you release when you’re having fun are called endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, and all these chemicals make you feel blissed out.
12. Chinese Checkers Can Help You Take Charge Of Your Life
Strategizing ways to get all your pieces to the opposite side of the Chinese Checkers board creates brain connections that can help you set and ace goals in your everyday life.
While playing Chinese Checkers, you develop self-control, patience, and flexibility. For example, you might have visualized the perfect way across the board but need to tweak your plans when a player moves their piece in the way.
When you feel in control of your life, your self-esteem and confidence grow, improving your mental health.
If you doubted Chinese Checkers’ brain and mental-health-boosting benefits before reading this article, it’s likely you’re now convinced this simple board game deserves your attention.
Add Chinese Checkers to your game night line-up, and expect to get smarter, happier, more relaxed, and more disciplined. You’ll then up your chances of winning not only board games but also the game of life!