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Gifted Children/Board games for kids

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Question
Hi Darlene!
Could you give me your opinion on what to look for when selecting board games for gifted children?
Thank you so much!
Kelly

Answer
Darleen Claire Wodzenski, Parent Educator & Lecturer
Darleen Claire Wodzens  
Hello, Kelly

I am so happy that you are on top of the finer aspects of your child's development. Playing games is a great way to have fun while your child balances out the spectrum of abilities. Of course, your gifted child is already powerful in the areas of strength and ability. My first consideration would be to evaluate that areas in which your child needs growth. Then I would look for themes that will challenge and grow those areas!

If your wonderful child is great at Math and Science but not very socially competent, then I would focus on games that promote social interaction. A charades type game is a fun example. Such a game promotes use of nonverbal communication in a socially engaging environment. Role-playing games are equally rich in social interaction. As the parent, you will naturally know which areas to promote through game playing to help your child become a well rounded person.

If your child needs to develop motor control and coordination, consider some games that involve movement. Puzzles, Jenga, and Twister are some simple examples. Some puzzles are quite complex, even making 3 dimensional images. If your child would like to improve memory and retention, consider a memory based game.

Games that involve creativity are fabulous for gifted learners. Some card games require ingenuity and creativity. While a card game, Pinochle is an example of a game that requires counting cards, using logic to deduce what cards opponents are holding, and strategizing to maximize points. Chess is always a lovely thinking game. Other games of strategy can develop the critical mind.

Here is a website with board game ideas for gifted and talented learners. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/smart_board_games.htm

Please look for games that are developmentally appropriate. Even though gifted and talented learners may be beyond their years academically and cognitively, they are still children. Keeping the content and topics of games to an appropriate range based on age is important to support your child's optimal social development.

I love that you asked this question! Best of luck! I hope you and your child have many happy hours playing board games and just plain having fun together!

Happy Parenting!

Darleen Claire Wodzenski, MS ESE, QPPE
ParentBlog.org
DarleenClaire.com

Gifted Children

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Darleen Claire Wodzenski, MS ESE, MA CMHC, PhD Candidate

Expertise

Gifted children require a bit more creativity and flexibility when it comes to parenting, education and child rearing. Please ask questions pertaining to parenting, self-esteem and body issues, relationships, social development, learning models and educational philosophies, family and sibling issues, dating, emotional development, self-harming, philosophy and spirituality, mental health, etc... My Brain-Based approach to raising and educating gifted learners reflects a blended philosophy that draws on graduate training and education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Exceptional Student Education, Ministerial Studies, and Neurophysiology. Perhaps most important is that I am a mother and grandmother who has raised a few gifted children in my time. I look forward to learning about your gifted and talented learner! Happy Parenting!

Experience

I enjoy drawing from a diverse background in learning models, therapeutic strategies, and parenting techniques to create solutions that are effective, gentle and uplifting. Parenting is a gift that keeps on giving, and even challenges are laced with tender moments and great opportunities to share meaningful experiences with your child. My greatest experiences have been as a parent, grandparent, teacher, counselor, and interventionist for children with gifted or talented abilities - as well as children with mental health, developmental, emotional, and learning challenges. In some cases, my clients were dually exceptional, meaning they were gifted or talented and also had an exceptional need or challenge. I love to incorporate brain-based strategies into parenting, education, and development. My goal is to support parents and families to help their gifted and talented children become more joyful and effective in school and in life.

Organizations
The Orchard Human Services, Inc.; http://orchardhumanservices.org/ PsychoNeuroEducational Institute, LLC (PNEinstitute.org) American Counseling Association; http://counseling.org Council for Exceptional Children; http://www.cec.sped.org/am/template.cfm?section=Home

Publications
YourTango.com, ParentBlog.org, Envision Health, The Local News

Education/Credentials
My educational background includes a Masters Degree in Exceptional Student Education, a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am currently a PhD Candidate, pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology with a focus on Integrated Approaches For Developmental and Mental Health Challenges including Autism. My life has been with rich with such experiences as a parent and grandparent; teaching special education, piano and dance; as well as tutoring college students from the undergraduate to graduate level. The sum total of my experiences, education and life has left me with a tender heart for gifted children. Their special gifts can leave them vulnerable in unusual ways, and we need to handle them with kid gloves so that their innocence and inner beauty are preserved as they grow into adulthood.

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