Using board games to support your child in developing their Computational Thinking.

Computational Thinking is an essential skill set for 21st Century learning and working. Computational Thinking is not about thinking like a Computer, it is about problem solving so that a final solution could be completed using a computer.

We can break Computational Thinking into 4 distinct areas;

· Decomposition – Breaking the problem into smaller chunks, which are easier to think about.

· Abstraction – Changing how the problem is looked at, identifying only the important details.

· Pattern Recognition – Looking for similarities between our current problem and past problems to see if there is some previous knowledge/solution we can think about. 

· Algorithms – Creating a step by step plan of action.

 In our Year 7 Computing lessons this past week, we have used a board game to not only deliver some database concepts, but also to encourage development of Computational Thinking in a fun and exciting way. We played a modified version of Archers of NAND by Pablo Garaizar where players are using command cards to select areas of the board to attack/defend.


Board games are great way of developing Computational Thinking as well as a great way to engage with others and develop those interpersonal skills.

Using a popular game, Ticket to Ride, we’ll demonstrate where these skills can be developed.  Ticket to Ride is a game where players are tasked with creating train routes between cities to complete objective cards. Players can claim sections of routes by playing train cards. Click here for a how to play video This game encourages players to break their routes in to sections (Decomposition) rewards players who plan ahead (Algorithms). In playing the game, players will become less interested in other places they are not connecting, focusing on the details they need (Abstraction), experienced players will also be watching what other players are doing to see if they are competing for the same locations (Pattern recognition)

If you are interested in using board games there are plenty of games out there and ways to play;

· Purchasing a physical game – Board games have grown in popularity and many retailers now stock popular games such as Ticket to Ride, Downforce & Scotland Yard.

· Purchasing a digital game – Some board games are available to purchase on digital stores such as Steam, PlayStation & Xbox Stores.

· Playing online – Some board games can be played for free in web browser using websites such as Tabletopia & Board Game Arena.

· Printing & Playing – Some games are available to be downloaded, printed out and played. A good source of these are Asmodee & PNPArcade.

Board games are a great way of developing Computational Thinking as well as fun activity to bring friends and families together, which can boost wellbeing and improve communication skills.

Mr Thornewill - Subject Lead Computing






08 Jul 2021

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