In The Benefits of Board Games Alvin Rosenfield makes the case that spending time playing games with your kids is a worthwhile endeavor. This whole article resonates with me.
Board games have distinct boundaries. Living in a complex society, children need clear limits to feel safe. By circumscribing the playing field — much as tennis courts and football fields will do later — board games can help your child weave her wild and erratic side into a more organized, mature, and socially acceptable personality. After all, staying within the boundaries (not intruding on others’ space, for example) is crucial to leading a successful social and academic life.
The article also includes a few solid game recommendations.