Educational board games are a great way to teach kids various skills. Often, they are also fun and help develop fine and gross motor skills.
Many educational board games require players to be able to focus and think strategically. This helps improve their visual, perceptual, and cognitive skills.
Periodic Table Game
This interactive game focuses on helping students understand where various elements are found in the periodic table. It is played similarly to the popular ball sort game, except instead of grouping balls by color, the elements in this game are sorted into tubes based on which group they belong in. Players score points for correctly sorting the elements and earning a new goal card.
The goal cards contain three informational boxes: the element name, symbol, and atomic number. During each turn, the player moves their marker on the academic track, earns lab tokens for each researched element, and places them on a completed goal card.
Among the educational board games for kids, this is an excellent way to help students learn how atoms make up different substances, including solids, liquids, and gases. The gameplay is a cross between a crossword puzzle and pixel art, giving students an extra fun boost. They answer cryptic questions to unlock squares on the periodic table and can even produce their pixel art once they are familiar with the elements.
Photosynthesis is another excellent example of an easy-to-learn, beautiful-looking game that requires meaningful strategy and tactical decision-making. This tree-growing game features a simple mechanic that allows players to grow their color-coordinated forest and earn points from the trees when they have reached their entire life cycle by cutting them down and planting new ones. The players score victory points by placing their green scoring tokens on a tree in direct sunlight, with those trees closer to the center earning more points.
Photosynthesis differs from similar games because it utilizes a moving sun to determine which trees receive light. This adds some depth to the game as players must consider where they want their new trees to germinate and which taller trees they will harvest next. There is also a bit of cutthroat nature to the game as your tree placement often impacts other players, and it can be challenging to find space for all your trees without blocking out the sun or making others jealous.
The tan, wood-gray, and white tree cutouts are exceptionally well-made, and the package is visually appealing. However, the components would mean little if the gameplay wasn’t fun and engaging. Players can plant, upgrade, and grow trees while earning victory points by placing their scoring tokens on the appropriate tree.
Snakes and Ladders Game
This classic board game is one of the best-known educational games in the world. It teaches counting and basic addition skills as children move their game pieces along the 10×10 squares numbered from 1 to 100—the first player to reach 100 wins. Ladders and snakes are dotted across the board, propelling players up or down. Children enjoy the unpredictability of their outcomes, ascending through ladders or descending via snakes.
In addition to teaching young children social skills that will benefit them in school and adulthood, the game promotes fair play and turn-taking. The game can be a great way to reinforce sight words, as each space is marked with a word or set of letters. Players can move their tokens to the corresponding box on the board if they roll a number corresponding to a sight word.
Some moral lessons are toned down in more recent versions of the game. Nevertheless, the snakes and ladders remain a common metaphor for life’s ups and downs.
Scattergories is a creative thinking category-based party game that requires players to think fast and be creative. The game was first published in 1988 by Parker Brothers, which was purchased by Hasbro a few years later and is now published worldwide under the Milton Bradley brand. Players start the game by rolling an alphabet die to select a letter. Then, they race to find a unique answer that starts with the chosen letter in each round of categories. The first player to reach 25 points wins the game.
Scattergories can be customized for different topics and can be played at parties, family game nights, or as a team-building activity in the workplace. For example, fall-themed Scattergories can include categories such as “Fall Activities,” “Thanksgiving Foods,” and “Halloween Costumes.”
The Scattergories Game is a fun and interactive way to make learning enjoyable for kids and adults of all ages. Playing the game can help players become more creative and quick-witted, enhancing their memory and focus and assisting them in solving problems. It also fosters communication and collaboration by requiring players to work together to develop answers. Moreover, the game is an excellent option for classrooms because it can be used to teach students about geography, as well as to practice their vocabulary. The game can also teach students how to express their thoughts and emotions.