The best educational games for kids are sometimes the games that don’t even seem like they are educational. The games are fun and engaging. Each player can make substantial choices throughout the game. The gameplay makes you think.
Kids and even adults become more engaged in games that have greater levels of choice than those that don’t. The holidays are a perfect time to take out board games that won’t make you bored, but engaged! We have put together a list of our top 10 educational games for kids that we love and think your family will too!
What you should look for when choosing educational games for kids:
- Think about the skills you would like to improve. For example, pattern recognition, communication skills, critical thinking, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, reading, comprehension, vocabulary, writing, math, and spelling.
- Can you play the game over many years? Will this be a game your kids will enjoy for years to come?
- Is this a game where kids have a choice or is everything a chance? Kids are more engaged when they can make choices.
Top 10 Educational Games for Kids
Keep in mind that different educational games focus on different learning skills.
This is a great educational card game where you make words with the cards you are dealt. This is a great vocabulary and word-building game that can be a bit less daunting to play than Scrabble. Quiddler improves 10 areas of learning including spelling skills.
2nd Grade to Adult
2. The Sentence Zone
The Sentence Zone is a sentence-building educational game where you get points for building sentences. Nouns are blue, and verbs are red. Every part of speech is color-coded and worth a different amount of points.
Younger kids work on just building a simple sentence, and with older kids, you can build complex sentences. It is much easier to understand the English language when you can visualize the parts of speech with colors.
The Sentence Zone improves 18 areas of learning including writing skills and grammar skills.
1st Grade to Adult
3. Apples to Apples Junior
Improves 13 areas of learning including vocabulary and comparison skills. This game is great for drawing comparisons and associations.
5th Grade to Adult
4. Settlers of Catan
This is a family favorite of ours, and it has become quite popular across the world. There are even tournaments that play this game. This game is where you collect resources (wood, brick, wool, ore, and wheat), trade with your friends, and build roads and settlements.
The rules can seem a little complex at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a blast!
Settlers of Catan is a strategy game that improves executive function and working memory skills. For younger kids, try Catan Junior for kids 6 to 10 years old.
3rd Grade to Adult
5. Which Word Is It?
Get points for making words! This educational game makes you think as you put word parts together. Kids can see how different word parts can make different words. This game improves phonics, vocabulary, and word attack skills.
You can get this printable card game in our Reading Program or our Spelling Program. Don’t like printing? We also include games in the print material box. This is just one of the games you will get in our programs’ reading and spelling curriculum for 3rd to 8th grade. We also have different educational games for younger kids (kindergarten to 2nd grade) to work on phonics and word-building skills.
This game is great for working on your visual perception skills. There are cards with different colors, shadings, shapes, and the number of shapes. You try to make ‘sets’ of three cards where each feature is either the same or completely different. There are no turns in this game. Everyone tries to make sets of cards at the same time.
5th Grade to Adult
7. Rummy Cube
This is another favorite to play with the family. It is similar to Rummy the card game where you make sets of the same number or runs of the same color, but you play with tiles.
3rd Grade to Adult
This game is similar to Scrabble but with math calculations. You can start with just addition and add subtraction, multiplication, and division depending on where your kids are at with their math skills.
3rd Grade to Adult
This game improves executive function, planning, and strategizing skills. It also improves math skills, fractions, and spatial awareness skills.
D. Moore states, “I originally bought this game for my classroom to help my students develop thinking skills. When it first arrived, I took the game home to figure out how to play it before introducing it to my students–and I was hooked! My own children are ages 10 and 11 and they love the game (we are buying a game for home), but I teach students up to age 18 and they enjoy the game just as much. Educationally, it helps younger students develop a better understanding of spatial relations and planning ahead. For older students (and adults) it helps to develop various strategy skills.”
We just came across this game, but it looks like a blast! This game works on hand-eye coordination skills and spatial awareness. This game is in hot demand and may arrive after Christmas.
Ages 8 to Adult
Rock Me Archimedes
More Educational Games for Kids
Dust off your old chessboard, pull out your playing cards, and take out your puzzles. Games are a great way to engage kids and work on their learning skills, especially over the holidays. When kids are having fun, it makes learning so much easier.
What are your favorite games? Let us know in the comments below.