To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week we’ve put together our list of the 10 Best Educational Board Games. Many games are already inherently educational, encouraging critical thinking, strategy, teamwork, logic, and patience. However, there are some wonderful games that are excellent for teaching a variety of skills such as math, history, spelling, and much more.
Top 10 Board Games that Encourage Learning
1 – Sushi Go (Math)
Sushi Go is not only adorable and fun, it is also packed full of math. In the game, you draft sushi cards to collect the best plate of sushi you can. In order to win and score points, you have to figure out which combinations of sushi will score the most. For example, for every set of tempura, you score 5 points, but for every three sashimi, you score 10 points. Dumpling points expand exponentially the more you have! It’s great to play with the whole family and encourages kids to do the math and calculate their score.
2 – Periodic (Chemistry)
Do you know what elements are liquid at room temperature? Periodic: A Game of the Elements teaches you how elements in the periodic table are related to each other, and traits they have in common. Your goal is to move around the board by using periodic trends to research elements. For example, one player could move by increasing their atomic radius to move from Chlorine (r=35.5) to Tin (r=118.7) by spending the right amount of energy tokens. Research the listed elements on each goal card to get victory points, and have fun learning more about the periodic table.
3 – Fluxx (Math/Anatomy)
Fluxx is a staple pocket card game! This game is all about everything changing (being in flux) at all times. In the game, the rules of how to play and how you actually win change constantly. It’s a chaotic and fun game for the whole family and there are several versions that we recommend! Make sure to try out Math, Chemistry, and Anatomy Fluxx.
4 – Timeline – History
The game Timeline is the perfect way to brush up on your history knowledge. No other game comes close to making history fun! You start with a card depicting an event with the date of its occurrence on the back (that you don’t look at yet). Choose a card from your hand and guess if that event came before or after the ones already on the table. The game gets more and more complicated as the timeline fills up and you have more events to place new cards before, after, or between. There’s a large variety of Timeline games, so you never get bored. Some of our favorites are Inventions, Discoveries, and Music & Cinema.
5 – Cardline – Animal Science
Check out Cardline! This game is made by the same creators as Timeline, but there is one key difference: instead of creating a timeline of events you line up animals. At the start of the game you choose a specific metric to play with, size, age, or height, then throughout the game you line up animals from smallest to largest or youngest to oldest. This one is great for kids that are a little younger and may not have history knowledge yet, but are super into animals. Make sure to check out Cardline Animals and Cardline Dinosaurs.
6 – Dr Eureka – Order of Operations and Dexterity
Dr Eureka is a favorite game amongst kids! This is a game that is great for the whole family, even with larger age differences. Everyone has three test tubes each containing two balls of one color (pink, green, and orange). At the start of the round a card is flipped over and it’s a race to rearrange the balls in the test tubes to match the order in the cards! The trick? You can’t touch the balls with your hands or fingers, you must carefully balance them back and forth. To adjust the difficulty level for younger kids just allow them to use their hands to rearrange the balls. You can also increase the difficulty by making everyone hold all test tubes and cannot put them down. This is a great game to get kids to sit back and slow down, figure out what order they have to do things in, then race to move things around.
7 – Bananagrams – Spelling
Bananagrams is an addictive game that offers fun for the whole family. It’s fast, frantic, and keeps everyone engaged while also building and spelling words. Use all of your letters to build a word grid, and the first player to complete their grid earns the coveted title of “Top Banana”!
8 – Freedom – The Underground Railroad – History and Cooperation
In Freedom – The Underground Railroad everyone assumes the roles of important historical abolitionists. Players work together, as a team, to help slaves move from southern states to freedom in Canada via the use of underground railroads. This game is packed full of facts from a very important time in history and also teaches working together as a team.
9 – The Color Monster – Emotional Intelligence
In The Color Monster, players work together and collaborate to help the Monster figure out his emotions. The game encourages discussions of our different emotions in order to understand them. Players will pick emotions such as happiness, sadness, or anger and will then choose a memory that relates to that emotion.
10 – Robo Rally – Programming
In Robo Rally every player assumes the role of one of the robots who all work at an automobile factory at the assembly line. But on the weekends, the robots let loose and have an epic race in the factory. At the start of the round, all of the player’s program in the moves that their robot will be making. The trick? You have no idea what the moves of the other robots will be and everyone’s actions will happen at once. Once you have finished programming in your moves it’s time to execute them. Robots will crash into each other, attach each other, get stuck on conveyor belts, and lots of chaotic things. Whoever reaches the checkpoint first, wins!
There are of course many more wonderful educational board games out there. Here are some that we highly recommend as honorable mentions:
There you have it! The top games we, here at Mox Boarding House, recommend that add a little more education into playtime. Need some more game suggestions? Check out our 2 Player Game recommendations blog post here. For more recommendations visit us at Mox and ask our staff for advice, we’re here to match the perfect game to your needs.
-See you at Mox