Board Games Bring Peace to the School Cafeteria

It appears that board games may be the answer to world peace, at least world peace in the school cafeteria.  That’s according to a feel good article by Lindsey Christ on ny1, a New York City elevision station. 

Here is how Christ puts it:  “Seven schools across the city are experimenting with ways to improve the middle school cafeteria—a setting infamous for cliques, bullying and boredom.”  I can remember my middle school cafeterias as a place where hamburgers were grey and lunch was taken with a glass of angst. 

It appears that the test appears to be proving that board games may be a great way to make lunch a more pleasant experience.  Indeed, it seems possible that a game like "Trouble" can keep you out of trouble. According to the article, the kids check out games like "Uno", "Connect 4" and a big favorite, Chess on their way to the lunchroom.  

It's working so well that one principal is quoted as saying:  “"I don’t see bullying in there. I don’t see any real issues or problems except for children laughing and having fun. It’s really helped change of the whole dynamic of the lunch room,” Another says he sometimes has to remind children that they need to eat.

It would be great to see this program replicated elsewhere.  In the meantime, if we can only get world leaders to play boardgames together it might make the world a safer place.

2 thoughts

  1. I am running a games club every week at my local Junior school 5 – 11. Great to get different ages groups interacting together and supporting the 3R’s. It is also a great place to test out ideas 😉
    Early next year we hope to develop a games design stage in Design and Technology and then use this as a launch pad to extend out to other schools in the area.
    If anyone else is doing similar would love to hear about it.

  2. I love this! Thank you for posting, Richard!
    We’ve worked for over a decade to get games into school for this reason as well as the benefits of making learning fun and getting kids to think strategically (SI intelligence – one of the highest forms of intelligence). We’ve advocated similar programs in schools for many years through our website, Games for Educators,, and have a monthly newsletter that reaches over 172,000 educators and librarians. We’ve always given educators and librarians free admission to our Chicago Toy & Game Fair for the same reasons. We believe it can be life changing.
    Tanya Thompson of ThinkFun has spoken in Conferences about the benefits of games in schools. There is a principal in LA who has a program titled From Gangsters to Gamesters.
    I’m hoping this is the start of a trend!

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