Gifted Education Game Day

From left to right, Skylar McCauley, 12, Malikai Atkinson, 8, and Bobbie Bird are seen playing the board game "Robo Rally."

COPPERAS COVE — A monthly meeting of young minds occurred Saturday at the Gifted Education Game Day at Williams/Ledger Elementary School as 20 kids played mentally stimulating board games that challenged their critical thinking skills.

“Board games are not simply a great way to entertain children, but they also build important thinking, logic and social bonding skills,” said Katie Drake, gifted education teacher.

The free event is open to first- through fifth-graders in the gifted education classes at Williams/Ledger and Hettie Halstead Elementary schools on the last Saturday of the month. Drake started the game day three years ago to help foster community building among parents, students and teachers.

But the board games Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island and Robo Rally were anything but boring according to Gage Royer, 12, who planned his strategy for building his home on Catan, while stopping an opponent from building his.

“I like the mental skill involved, because you must really use your mind to figure out your moves,” Royer said.

Sometimes, parents play along with the kids, like Jennyth Peterson, who brought son Axel, 6.

As a family, they play many of the same games at home. “It brings together different ages and skill levels, and I really like watching the older kids mentor the younger ones,” Peterson said.

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