Hardly can anyone associate English Pubs with an educational atmosphere appropriate for small children. However, a board game that has originally been a part of British Pub culture has today become one of the most popular classic family entertainments, which is also highly educational and beneficial for players of all ages. Today we shall tell you about “Shut the Box” – a wooden board math game, which is a perfect match for any company and occasion:
- A fun and challenging board game for a company of friends;
- An engaging way to teach your children math;
- A scientifically-proven toll to help you develop and preserve your cognitive skills;
- Or just a relaxing way to spend some quality time alone with yourself, since, unlike many board games, Shut the Box works perfectly for solo players also!
History and interesting facts
Although “Shut the Box” is widely famous as the board game of British Pubs, nobody knows exactly where it comes from. There are lots of theories and guesses which point at Northern France, Great Britain, and even Zambia, where it is apparently quite popular for more than two hundred years!
The key to this mystery might be the fact that “Shut the Box”, also famous as “Canoga”, has originally been quite popular among sailors. Traveling all over the world, meeting at seaports of numerous colonial countries, they used board games as the international language of communication, and “Shut the Box” might have been one of the most popular among them.
The first records of “Shut the Box” played on British soil date back only to the middle of the XX century, which allows suggesting that England is not the motherland of this game. To be precise, the book “Pub Games of England” describes “shut the Box” as “…game… brought to the South of England from the Channel Islands in 1958 by a Mr.’ Chalky’ Towbridge”. Sadly, history has not preserved us any data on who exactly was “Mr. Chalky”. However, from the book, we know that he was one of the forefathers of the glorious game from Manchester pubs that is now a beloved entertainment for families worldwide and even an object of particular research from scientists.
A game from the past for the children of the future
Lack of quality live communication might be one of the main modern concerns. While global digitalization is undoubtfully making our life more convenient, vivid, and safe, it seems to take away something significant.
The recent Pandemic of COVID-19 has demonstrated to us that we might have been taking such things as live communication and family gatherings for granted. Today, when the restrictions are being lifted and borders are opening slowly but surely, families and friends are to come together to make up for the practically lost 2020.
And board games seem to become the ultimate mainstream entertainment that can bring together friends and family members of all ages. From this point, “Shut the Box” is a perfect communication starter, a way to entertain your kid’s friends at a sleepover and, of course, a pub game!
The portable design of this flip block wooden block games allows you to safely transport it and take it to any location: picnics, outdoor decks, airport waiting rooms, playgrounds, etc.
All the board game elements are made out of fine and sturdy wood, which makes it perfectly safe for children of all ages.
The rules of the game and its variations are easy to comprehend. Therefore it is very engaging even for children who tend to lose interest in an activity once it seems to become too complicated, or vice-versa, monotonous. However, the game stays pretty challenging, requires attention, develops mathematical skills, and instantly becomes pretty competitive. Except for developing mathematical skills, “Shut the Box” inspires you or your children to follow the course of events and stay concentrated.
You might have heard about the common concern about the Attention Span and how researchers connect with the increasing ability to focus with the growing involvement with digital devices, especially among children. Games like “Shut the Box” provide a directly opposite experience to you and your children.
This game encourages us to lay off smartphones and tablets and come together for a fun quality time as a family or friends.
Benefits of “Shut the Box” board game for all ages
Yes, uniting people and distracting them from gadgets and television might be the main benefit of such games that comes to mind. But did you know that through this game, you can improve your child’s grades, boost up your professional qualities and even protect your elder relatives from age-related health complications?
Let’s take a closer look at how you and your family can benefit from “Shut the Box” today.
- Encourage math fluency. The main distinguishing factor of “Shut the Board” is that it encourages players to do the math but leaves space for imagination and creativity. During the round, you or your child learn to add numbers but can use different variations to get the final sum. For example, to get 9, you can do 5+4, 3+6, or 4+3+2.
Eventually, you develop the ability to do the math automatically after just one glance at the equation, without the need to think too much or use a calculator. This skill is called “Math Fluency”. Not only will it help your kid a lot in the classroom, but it will instantly boost up his or her self-esteem, which will inevitably affect the grades and the overall perception of the school.
- Develops attention and teaches to concentrate. Lack of concentration is common for grown-ups also. Indeed, how can you stay focused on one task when there are so many thoughts in your head and notifications on your dashboard? However, concentration and focus are the main tools you will need while playing “Shut the Box”.
Recreational, on the one hand, it trains your brain to shut down all the side-noises and think precisely about a certain task. After playing “Shut the Box” for a while, you will start noticing that you may take your routine chores or job tasks like the game steps and feel excited about completing one step before moving to another. Such consistency and focus are among the most wanted qualities today, which will help your children in their education and social life and you in your career.
- Develops and preserves cognitive skills. Solving Jig puzzles or playing board games is one of the integral parts of prophylactics and treatment of numerous age-related deviations and even mental diseases. An article published in “Journal of Transitional Engineering in Health and Medicine” describes massive clinical research that proves that Alzheimer’s patients that have been introduced to math-oriented board games such as “Shut the Box” have demonstrated the most positive tendencies. Both in the early and late stages, playing those games with partners of various ages caused a significant slowdown in the development of the disease.
- Prophylactics and treatment of depression. “Shut the Box” is popular not only among families and pub-goers but also numerous healthcare experts, including psychotherapists. Recent research held in South Western France demonstrates that math-focused board games such as “Shut the Box” can come up pretty efficiently in the prophylactics and treatment of depression. Especially the forms of depression associated with loneliness to the notorious loss of the taste of life, so common for modern city-dwellers. Unlike most board games. “Shut the Box” can be played alone. Simultaneously, its unpredictability and the meaningfulness of each step show the significant therapeutic effect of depression patients.
Board games have always been a means to kill time or entertain friends and family members. Some of them have evolved greatly throughout the years but preserved their main qualities. Success in a board game traditionally depends on the ability to concentrate, calculate your actions and moves of fellow-players and think out of the box to be unpredictable for them.
Originally a means of international communication, a way to make friends fare away from the motherland and take the mind away from the rough and vicious daily routine of sailors and fishermen, “Shut the Box” has developed into a fun and engaging entertainment for families, a way to encourage children to learn and achieve, a tool for healthcare professionals to assist their patients and much more!