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Top Ten Educational Games for Kids

Updated on March 13, 2015

Games to Help Make Learning Fun! Homeschooling With Games

For those of us who grew up in the days before electronic games, board games were a staple of our family time. Gathering around the kitchen table for a long game of Monopoly or Scrabble was pure heaven to those of us who are game people. Yahtzee was packed for every single camping trip over the years. But looking at the board game experiences of our life, I realize the educational value to most every game. Educational and fun....can't beat that!

The games chosen in this lens are all games we love in our family. We use them during school hours to supplement our ordinary curriculum and after school to have some fun! Some are classics and some are newer games to our game shelf but all have helped us learn important skills that translate over into real life.

Please note that this is my Top Ten Educational Games list, the one I made by looking in my game closet and thinking about how much we have used most of these particular games over the span of many, many years. There are the classics like Monopoly, Sequence, Scrabble, and Yahtzee as well as a few new favorites to the list like Brain Box and 10 Days in the USA.

I tried to pick games that are educational as well as entertaining because playing games after all is about fun!

Note to homeschoolers:

One last note. In our changing economy, homeschoolers are always looking at value for the dollar spent in educational materials. Board games are a great investment and will give your child the long-lasting benefit of skills that are solidified by playing games as a family.

Board games give you lots of rewards for your educational dollar! Don't pass up the value of skills learned while playing games.

Valuable Resource for Parents and Teachers

A Board Game Education
A Board Game Education

Amazon's Product Description:" This book is an entertaining and valuable resource for parents, teachers, educators, and anyone who appreciates the fun and entertainment provided by classic, traditional board games. It provides an informative analysis of how classic board games that everyone has played_and probably owns_are not only great family entertainment but also develop core educational skills that have been proven to lead to academic achievement. "

 

Connect Four - Logic and strategy

Perfect for Visual-Spatial Learners!

Connect Four
Connect Four

Classic logic game that is enjoyed by children of all ages. We started playing this when our children were in preschool but we still pull it out now that they are in high school. It seems like a simple concept but the game is ever changing as your opponent changes the playing field with every piece he plays. Where will you go next? Strategy and planning ahead will make you the winner.

 

Sequence - Logic and Strategy

Sequence Game
Sequence Game

This board game is a wonderful way to improve thinking ahead and is simple enough for children (and adults) of all ages. We like the combination of cards and the board in this game and it is always a fun way to pass the time on a rainy day. (Don't tell your children they are playing an educational game and they will never know!)

 

Why Did We Pick These Games?

Connect Four: Classic logic game that is enjoyed by children of all ages. We started playing this when our children were in preschool but we still pull it out now that they are in high school. It seems like a simple concept but the game is ever changing as your opponent changes the playing field with every piece he plays. Where will you go next? Strategy and planning ahead will make you the winner.

Sequence: This board game is a wonderful way to improve thinking ahead and is simple enough for children (and adults) of all ages. We like the combination of cards and the board in this game and it is always a fun way to pass the time on a rainy day. (Don't tell your children they are playing an educational game and they will never know!)

Monopoly - Math and Strategy

Monopoly
Monopoly

Who didn't learn more about counting money while playing this classic board game? Rolling dice, planning ahead, counting spaces, handling money, and learning how to build up a hotel empire are all part of the fun and learning with this game. My children always wanted to be the one to read the Chance cards and to be the Banker. (Sneaking in reading and math skills makes this a great board game for Friday fun days.) The value of money and the power of owning houses and hotels helps bump this board game up to the level of adults

 

Yahtzee - Math, Probability, and Strategy

Yahtzee Classic Dice Game
Yahtzee Classic Dice Game

Our family has grown up playing this classic dice game. Math, math, nothing but math.....adding and multiplication skills are honed as you play this fun and entertaining game. Sidenote: We recently talked about probability and the chances of rolling a Yahtzee during our high school algebra course. I love it when my kids make connections between their more formal learning time and our free time.

 

What Are the Chances?

Have you ever rolled a Yahtze in one roll?

See results

Guess Who? - Logic

Guess Who? Board Game(Discontinued by manufacturer)
Guess Who? Board Game(Discontinued by manufacturer)

Another family favorite for us! This simple game teaches how to use deduction to discover the mystery person. It is a sort of 20 Questions kind of game that is fun for all ages. I love the way it promotes good communication skills and visual discrimination.

 
Educational Board Games for the Family
Educational Board Games for the Family

10 Days in the USA - Geography and strategy

10 Days In The USA Board Game
10 Days In The USA Board Game

This has been the best series of games for our family to use to build our geography skills. Each game will help you become familiar with the states and countries of our world in a way that is fun and entertaining. There is a certain amount of strategy involved in this game so I would suggest them for 8 years and up. Check out 10 Days in Africa, 10 Days in Europe, and 10 Days in Asia as well!

 

Scattergories - Language, Vocabulary, Logic

The Game of Scattergories
The Game of Scattergories

The idea of this game is very simple but it is a wonderful way to help with great vocabulary and thinking quickly. This game can be played with up to six or more players so it a great game for larger families or even in the classroom. We find the more we play it, the better we are at coming up with just the right words for each category.

 

What Sort of Games Does Your Family Like To Play?

When you have the opportunity, which kind of game does your family play the most?

See results

Brain Box USA - Geography and Memory

Brainbox All Around the USA
Brainbox All Around the USA

We love this game because you can play in 10 minutes but it is still challenging and educational. Instead of learning capitals and state birds the old fashioned way, try this game that includes loads of trivia from each state. There are many other versions of this game with a variety of topics.

 

Squint! - Visual Spatial Skills

Squint Game
Squint Game

If you have a visual-spatial learner in your family, give this challenging game a try. Our family has loads of fun and laughs when we play this one together. It will help all ages to learn to "see" better.

 

Choose two player games to encourage logical thinking and strategy. Choose multi-player games to work on team building and social skills. Face to face board games are a welcome change from single player electronic games.

Cranium Family Fun - Team building, Vocabulary, Math, Drawing, Memory

Cranium Family Edition
Cranium Family Edition

This game is one more directly aimed at a family fun night but I include it in this list of Top Ten because it is one of our favorite family games ever. All ages and abilities are able to participate individually or as teams. We have spent hours playing this game and learning more about each other and how to support and encourage one another.

 

Top Ten Educational Games Poll - Vote for your favorite!

Ecuational Games
Ecuational Games

Which of the following games is your favorite?

See results

Top Four Homeschooling Board Games

Since putting the original ten board games together, I have been introduced to some additional more games that are not on my "classics" list. I think you will find these games fun and educational.

The Settlers of Catan
The Settlers of Catan

Strategy game that is different every time you play it. Top Board Game in the US.

 
Carcassonne
Carcassonne

Simple to learn but there is a lot of strategy to learn to win. Challenging and fun.

 
Lost Cities
Lost Cities

This game can be played by two players, is easy to learn, and it can be finished in about 20 minutes.

 

Suggest another game or make a comment. - I love to hear about games that are fun and educational.

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    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      My family loves scrabble. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a fab resource! Just linked to it in our blog www.lifeschoolinc.wordpress.com. Hope it reaches many more folks:) jennifer

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image

      Tom Fattes 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Love a lot of these games. One of my favorite games is Scrabble. There were other games on this list that I have never heard of.

    • BeaGabrielle1 profile image

      BeaGabrielle1 6 years ago

      Bookmarked and SquidLiked! I love playing educational games with the kids! :-)

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Lots of great games here. We have a family game night each week. There are several here we haven't tried yet. Thanks for pulling this list together.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Banangrams (spelling, vocabulary) is one of our favorites. We sometimes use it instead of our spelling program and ask everyone to put at least one word from our studies into their play. A new favorite is Qwirkle. This is a great game because we can all play it together (My children are ages 3- 13) Children learn color and shape recognition, as well as strategy. If your child is scorekeeper, then math also.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wonderful ideas for games! =D

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Another one for logical thinking is Mastermind. That's a favorite here.

      We also love Guess Who and 10 Days games (we have Asia).

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Great selection of games for kids.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      Great recommendations on board games that both educate and entertain. Thanks for sharing.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      Great recommendations on board games that both educate and entertain. Thanks for sharing.