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In this time of schools moving online and families all over the world schooling from home, many parents are looking for enrichment activities or ways to make learning more fun at home. And one fabulous way to do that is with board games. So, we’re sharing 20+ of the best educational board games with you today! We are certainly big fans of board games in general at our house (dice games and card games are included in that as well)! In fact, we have a whole post about some of our very favorite family games here.
And during this time, we’ve discovered that you can stay connected with friends and family during this time by playing board games over video chat!! (<– you can click there to see what games work best and the logistics of how to play with friends)!
Benefits to Playing Board Games
As someone with a psychology degree and as a former teacher, I know that playing board games (of any kind really) is great for all ages, but especially for kids. Playing board games can increase memory function, help develop reasoning skills, help build social skills, teach sportsmanship and more! It can be such a family-strengthening activity too. So, we HIGHLY recommend playing games as a family right now!
To take it up a notch though, you can focus playing games that have some additional educational value built-in – ones where kids really are needing to focus on things like strategy, or numbers, or words. Some games definitely have more of those “educational” topics built-in. So with that in mind, our list of best educational board games follows.
They’re divided by section, but keep in mind that some of them overlap and could go in more than 1 category. We’ll start with our favorite general strategy games!
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Best Strategy Games
Storytime Chess (Ages 3+) – If your kids are new to the game of chess, this game is a MUST! We were recently sent this to try out and are already so impressed! The boys were so excited to get it set up and dive right in. Our oldest already knew how to play, but the younger two are still learning. So, this is PERFECT! From the makers, “Story Time Chess is a board game that teacheschess to young children using silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces, a unique chess board, and an engaging card game. The stories and supporting materials communicate the rules of chess to children ages 3 and up in a way that makes learning chess simple and fun. Best of all, no chess experience is required for parents or children to learn.” Use code CHESSLANDIA for a 10% discount on Story Time Chess here through April 30th!
Quirkle (Ages 6+) – This strategy game is fun for all ages. It could help younger kids with shape recognition and pattern-building skills as well.
Otrio (Ages 6+) – The concept here is just tic-tac-toe, but the bar is raised with this one. It can often be trickier than you’d think!
Splendor (Ages 10+) – WE LOVE THIS GAME! It is definitely for older kids and a bit more complex than some of the others on this list. But we highly highly recommend it as a very good strategy game (with some math involved as well)! To take it up a notch, you can also get the Splendor Expansion pack gives you 4 additional ways to play the game!
Sequence (Ages 7+) – This one is a good mix of a standard card deck game and board game. So in addition to strategy-building, the game can be a great introduction to all the card deck numbers and suits for kids who don’t know them already. For younger kids, you can start with Sequence for Kids!
Tiki Topple (Ages 10+) – This is a strategy game where the object of the game is to get your secret tikis to the top of the totem and score the most points. My boys LOVE it and our 7 year old even can play. So, you probably can go as young as age 7-8 on this one!
Educational Word Games
Boggle (Ages 8+) – This one is basically a head-to-head word search game and it’s one of our very favorite word games. This is a REALLY good one for kids to work on vocabulary building, word recognition, etc. And if you don’t have the game already, we recommend going with a bigger version like Big Boggle or Super Big Boggle.
Scrabble (Ages 8+) – A word game classic! Where Boggle is more of a word search game, Scrabble is a crossword game where you build off each other’s words on the board. There can be some strategy involved here too!
Bananagrams (Ages 7+) – This is a crossword-style game like Scrabble, but with your own personal board. It’s a great game for kids to practice spelling and vocabulary building.
Quiddler (Ages 6+) – In this card game, the goal is to arrange all the cards in your hand into one or more words. So, it’s another great one to practice spelling, vocabulary building, and more!
Educational Math Games
Qwixx (Ages 8+) – In this dice game, kids will combine use some simple addition skills and strategy to fill out their score sheets. My boys love this one! And it’s one that you can play over video chat with friends!!
Dragonwood (Ages 8+) – This one is a card and dice strategy game that involves creatures and fantasy things like dragons. But it also involves some basic math skills with your dice rolling, so it’s a good way to reinforce those concepts.
Yahtzee (Ages 8+) – A good combination of a simple dice game, plus strategy and basic math facts! This one is especially great because you only need to score sheets and 5 dice to play!
Skyjo (Ages 8+) – In this fast-paced card game, the goal is to try to get as few points as possible. And there’s negative numbers in the deck! So, it’s a great one for building basic math skills!
Tangrams (Ages 8+) – While tangrams technically aren’t a game, there’s a lot of fun things you can do with them and there are some fun puzzle games built around them. These are a classical for developing spatial reasoning and some geometry concepts!
Good Geography Games
Pandemic (Ages 13+) – This one is definitely for older kids, but it’s one of our personal favorites. It is GREAT for geography, strategy, and a little public health science too. So it’s rather appropriate during this time!
Ticket to Ride (Ages 8+) – This strategic board game is will take you all over the USA or Europe (depending on which game version you have) to connect train routes & score points.
The Scrambled States of America (Ages 8+) – This is a GREAT geography one, especially for your 4th & 5th graders learning their states!
Risk (Ages 10+) – A classic strategy game for decades!! This one isn’t quite as strong on geography as some of the others. But it definitely is a big component to the game and one that will help reinforce some geographic learning.
So, hope this list of the best educational board games was helpful in sparking some fun ideas for learning at home! Are there any games we missed? Let us know what games are YOUR favorite!
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