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 – Qwirkle (Math)
Patterns are the heart of math. Qwirkle offers players a fun way to learn how to recognize and build patterns to earn points. In the game, you will take turns placing tiles of corresponding shapes and colors in a column or row. But pay attention, tiles that match both will earn you extra points! Every layout is different, giving the game immense replayability; and Mindware has released multiple versions of the game including a travel size edition that is perfect for family getaways.
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 – Trekking The National Parks (Nature/History)
Check out Trekking The National Parks! This game gives players the opportunity to explore and learn about US National Parks in a new and exciting way. Players collect numbers cards that are categorized by camping staples such as hiking boots, campfires, boats, mountains, and forests. Then, it’s a race to the available parks on the board to claim them as your own and collect victory points. But be careful, the cards you spend to move across the board are the same that you’ll spend to acquire the parks and additional powers that come with them. Each park card comes packed with historical facts about that location, and when the first player has acquired 5 park cards the game ends and everyone scores.
6 – Dr Eureka (Order of Operations/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 – Black History Flash Cards – History
Black History Flashcards give you the opportunity to continue your education at home by learning about the history and achievements of black people in the world. There are multiple 52 card decks focusing on women, S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Pre-1492, and Afro-Latino/Caribbean history. Black History Flashcards from Urban Intellectuals is a fun and easy way to keep the whole family learning.
9 – Friends and Neighbors: The Helping Game (Emotional Intelligence)
In Friends and Neighbors, players work together and create matches that help our friends and neighbors mitigate their difficult emotions. In the game, players will pull tokens from the Helping Bag that may or may be able to offer help to someone on the board. The game encourages discussions of our different emotions in order to understand them and learn empathy, and comes with a social and emotional parent guide.
10 – Quirky Circuits (Programming)
In Quirky Circuits, players will have to work together in an unconventional way to program their adorable robots. Throughout the game, players will add commands to the cooperative pool without knowing what contributions other players have made. On a good turn, your robo-friend may complete its task, however a bad turn can unleash mayhem. Quirky Circuits offers 21 different scenarios that get increasingly difficult, and answers life’s big questions. As creator Nikki Valens once said, “If you’ve ever wondered how your roomba managed to get itself stuck under a chair, this game will show you how that happened”. Read more about Nikki here.
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