Hi everyone, Sarah here to share another board game post with you all. Today I’m going to talk about board games you can use to teach your kids (and have fun playing the game with them as well). While I think all board games can be used as a teaching tool, especially in the realm of critical thinking, taking turns, teamwork and problem solving, I wanted to focus on games that help teach scholastic concepts.
First on my list is Animal Upon Animal. This is basically a stacking game where you are trying to get rid of all of your pieces without knocking down the tower of animals. What I really like about this game is that as you play you can discuss colors as well as the different animals as you place them. Even though this is marketed as a preschool game I’ve seen many games of this played solely with adults with everyone that was playing thoroughly enjoying the game. I love when you can find a good preschool game that adults enjoy as well and this one definitely fits in this category.
Another good preschool game is Robot Turtles. This one teaches programming concepts as you figure out the moves you need to make to get your turtle to the jewel. This game is fantastic as it allows you to advance in complexity as you play more games. The basic game is pretty simple but as you move ahead in the game there are obstacles added to make reaching the goal a little more difficult each time. I also really like that in this game everybody wins. It’s not about who gets there first, but just about figuring out what you need to do in order to collect the jewel.
Timeline is a fantastic series of games that teach about history. In this game you are dealt a hand of double sided cards (one side with an event, the other side with the event and date) and a card is then placed date side up in the center of the table to create the beginning of the timeline. On your turn you choose a card from your hand and decide where you think you falls in the timeline. If you guess right your card stays on the table in the correct spot on the timeline, however, if you are wrong the card goes away and you draw a new card to replace it in your hand. The goal is to get rid of all of the cards in your hand but of course, as more and more cards get placed on the timeline the harder it is to figure out where your cards fit into the line. I really like that the different timeline decks can be played alone or shuffled together to make for a more advanced game.
Cardline is very similar to Timeline, but in Cardline Globetrotter you are lining up different country cards to meet different criteria such as population, land size or pollution. There is also an animal version of Cardline where you line up the animal cards to meet criteria such as size, weight and lifespan of the animals.
The 10 Days series is a great resource for teaching geography. In 10 Days in the USA you are dealt a hand of cards and you line them up on your player board in the order they were dealt. As you progress through the game you draw cards and replace the cards on your board as you connect the states with plane, car or feet cards. Different states have different rules as to how you can travel between them (i.e. if your states border each other you can walk there with the feet cards or if the states are the same color on the board you can travel from one to the other via plane). Everything is laid out on the map in front of you so as you try to figure out how you can travel from one state to the other you start learning the geography of the United States. There are quite a few games in this series including 10 Days in Asia and 10 Days in Africa and I find the games to be a really fun way to learn about world geography.
The last game I’ve picked to share is an older game and one that’s great for playing with teens. Balderdash is about making up your own answers for questions and then trying to figure out from all of the answers given which is the correct one. It not only teaches things such as vocabulary and history but also teaches some storytelling skills as everyone makes up the answers to the questions posed. This game is one of the most hilarious games I’ve ever played, so much fun.
As you can see, games don’t have to be boring to be educational. I’d love to know what your favorite educational games to play with your children are. I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and happy gaming!