6 Great Educational Board Games

Although old fashioned board games like Monopoly and Risk are being phased out in favor of video games and apps, some people still enjoy the old kind of gaming. Entire families still sit down to play games together. If you are one of those families, I want to suggest a handful of excellent games that can help develop the intellect of the children.

Turn your family game night into something educational, photo by andrewmalone

Turn your family game night into something educational, photo by andrewmalone

If you aren’t one of those families, maybe getting one of these games would be a great way to start off a new tradition? Board games bring a family together to interact and have fun… but they can also teach you something.

Scrabble – Scrabble is one of the most basic board games out there, and that is its appeal. A grid-style game board, and a bag of tiles, each tile with a letter on it. Players have seven tiles, and use each turn to spell words with their letters. Each passing turn fills up the board, and requires deft placing of additional letters to build new words. Like chess, masters of the game can battle each other, but newbies can have just as much fun learning how to play.

Qwirkle – This game is similar to Scrabble, with one key difference – instead of matching up letters into words, the players match colors and shapes into patterns. It is a great game for younger children, teaching them spatial relationships, matching, and patterns.

Stare! Junior Edition – This memory and concentration game is great for families, and builds concentration, memory, and attention to detail. Two to six people can play at once, taking turns staring at a detailed picture for thirty seconds, before being asked specific questions about the picture they were staring at. There are one hundred a sixty picutres, and over nine hundred questions.

Wit’s End, Junior Edition – Think Trivial Pursuit, only more educational, and aimed at children aged eight to twelve. Wit’s End uses over twelve hundred questions (half for 8 to 10 year olds, the other half for 11 and 12 year olds, to keep it fair) based in geography, science, history, and literature. Rhymes and riddles, matching and ordering/sequencing, putting things into groups, its good elementary school material, packaged to make it bright colorful and fun.

Bananagrams – Just like Scrabble, plays are given a set amount of letters which they use to make words. This game is much less restrictive than Scrabble, though, with no board, and without taking turns. The players work seperately, trying to use up every letter they have in different word combinations.

Hit or Miss – This game tests the mental processes in the best possible way. Each round, players are given a category, and have forty five seconds to write down as many words they can think of that fit the category. It’s quick, creative, and endlessly entertaining.

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