10 Educational Games To Play With Your Kids

Written by

Mindy White

3:28 pm
01/12/15

Photography by James Kicinski-McCoy

Kids love games, whether it’s playing with friends, family, or their own imaginations. A great way to spark young creative minds is to introduce educational games for playtime. If it’s a board game with dice, a deck of cards, or even electronic media, they all do one thing—inspire kids to be strategic, creative, and fair. These days, there are literally thousands of games to choose from, but we think the classic ones rule the vote. We’ve gathered a list below of our favorite educational games to inspire a weekly game night for you and the family!

Chutes And Ladders. Best for kids ages 3 to 5, and focuses on counting skills, sportsmanship, and taking turns. This classic game is ideal for young children who are just beginning to recognize numbers. We all remember playing Chutes And Ladders when we were kids. This childhood treasure challenges young minds to race to the top of the game board without sliding down. The game is so thrilling, it’ll even have your older kids on the edge their seats.

Bananagrams. Ideal for ages 7 and up, and uses 1-8 players. This is an exciting, fast, and educational word game that requires no paper, pencil, or board. Players race against each other to be the first one to complete a crossword grid using all of their letter tiles. Kids and adults everywhere both love this game, and it’s compact and easy to to take and play anywhere. Bananagrams is great for learning letters, spelling, reading, and building vocabulary.

Scrabble. Intended for ages 8+, and uses 2 to 4 players. Similar to Bananagrams, this classic game inspires learning by having each player put letters together, build words, add up their points, and win! This game has been played by millions around the world for decades, by sparking a word-on-word showdown that’s both thrilling and fun. Scrabble is also the winner of the Classic Award by Parent’s Choice Awards.

Cariboo. Best of ages 3 years and up. A recognition game. Cranium Cariboo is a whimsical treasure hunt game that makes learning fun with a focus on numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. This game includes both beginner and advanced cards, making players of all ages feel comfortable. Little ones love every minute of Cariboo, because every game is different. Each turn allows a chance to match exciting drawings, unlock secret doors, discover hidden treasure, and you never know where the treasure balls will be hiding!

Memory. Recommended for ages 36 months – 6+, and can be played alone or with a small group. Yet another classic game, that helps to develop concentration and memory. Children learn about taking turns and matchmaking by collecting easy-to-remember card pairs of cute puppies, elephants, suns, and other recognizable objects. The player with the highest amount of matching cards wins.

Sorry! Intended for ages 6+. Players of all ages have been chasing each another around since 1934 with this family favorite. It’s a game of luck and determination that teaches patience and strategy. It’s known as the game of “sweet revenge,” since players can send each other back to the starting line to begin all over again. Sorry! not only teaches counting skills, but also gives a good lesson in sportsmanship.

Blokus. Ideal for ages 5 and up. This award-winning family strategy game challenges creative thinking and healthy brain activity with a simple to understand concept of building. Players form images in their mind before placing the pieces on the board. Exciting for both kids and adults of up to four players, this competitive game is all about geometry skills and some major strategic thinking.

Battleship. Best for ages 7+ and 2 players. Another childhood game that inspires strategy in a duel of combat using math and fair play. Calling out targets and hitting or missing using red and white pegs, little ones hunt down, launch, and destroy their opponent’s ships while trying to hide and protect their own. Kids can have a head-to-head battle anywhere, as this game is compact and portable.

Chess. Recommended for ages 4 and up. This two-player strategy board game helps promote intellectual growth and develop essential critical thinking skills. It’s been played for generations and enjoyed by millions of people, of all ages. Another game that can be played virtually anywhere, with it’s compact, easy-to-setup board. Teach the kids young and you might just have another Bobby Fischer on your hands.

Connect Four. Intended for ages 6+ and 2 players. This thrilling table-top board game inspires both strategy and competition. Its simple set up and rules make it ideal for young ones, and yet, is exciting enough to keep older kids and adults eager to play. Simply connect 4 disks in a row without your opponent intercepting to win!

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