Games are usually inherently fun, which is why we play most of them in the first place. From the time we first played Candy Land to the hours and hours we spent trying to win it all in Monopoly, board games have provided a lot of us with hours and hours of entertainment over the years.

However, many of those very trivia board games actually have fundamental benefits that you may not be aware of. We’re taking a look at several of them today to help you understand a bit of the underlying magic in some of your favorite pastimes.

Some Obvious Benefits

Now, of course, there are games such as the aforementioned Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders that are readily apparent in the benefits they teach our toddlers and adolescents. These include color recognition, counting, and sportsmanship, as well as provide opportunities for family bonding.

Then there are those like Scrabble and Boggle that help with spelling and learning how to work under pressure with time limits and of course, Monopoly offers the benefit of teaching and sharpening money and math skills.

However, if you’re wanting to experience some specific benefits from some fun games, you’ll want to keep reading.

Better Problem-Solving Skills

No matter what your age is, strengthening your problem-solving techniques and skills is something you can almost always use. Try a game like Sudoku with some easier puzzles while you learn and before long, you’ll likely be surprised at your progress as you successfully take on harder and harder challenges.

Training yourself to think 2,3, and 4 or more moves ahead and what their consequences are is a huge benefit of Sudoku and if you want to straighten your problem-solving skills, it’s the perfect game to start with.

Helping Sharpen Your Memory

An unfortunate side-effect of getting older is that our memory tends to get a little worse for wear as the year’s progress. Trivia games are a great way to exercise your brain and ones like Boom Again are a blast as well.

Boom Again includes trivia on the best movies, music, and other entertainment from the ‘50s, ‘60s, & ‘70s, and you’re going to love the questions on pop culture, street slang, classic commercials, and much more. Stimulating your brain and racking your memory for the answers to many of the things you know and/or grew up with is a great way to benefit your memory and mental health.

Protection Against Cognitive Aging

While not necessarily a “game” per se, there are experts and even research that indicates that working with jigsaw puzzles “taps multiple cognitive abilities” and has been shown to be a beneficial protective factor against cognitive aging. Finding how each piece fits together in order to complete the larger picture exercises the brain in ways most never realized and thanks to the digital age, you can have more fun than ever with them.

With options ranging from as small as one or two hundred pieces up to 10s of thousands and companies that have prints on virtually everything under the sun, you can go simple or go all out. Furthermore, there are even companies available online that will print what image you want and turn it into however many pieces you desire all at very reasonable rates.

The benefits of games in our lives go far behind being simply fun and time-consumers so the next time you sit down for one of your favorites, try to consider what underlying benefits you may be privy to.