Educational Board games are a fantastic asset to homeschooling!
I think almost all board games have benefits. Board games teach children how to be team player, how to think strategically, how to be a good loser – or a good winner 🙂 They can help with memory and help children develop their logic skills. They can even help to lengthen a child’s attention span and ability to focus.
But some games really up the ante and provide a whole host of educational opportunities too!
We tend to use board games to support and enhance homeschool projects – as well as just for good old fashioned entertainment 🙂 It is a great way to bring a topic to life – a perfect compliment to lapbooks or unit studies. They make an exciting resource that will keep your children inspired to learn.
I learned early on to avoid games that are designed to be overly ‘educational’. They tend to be uninspiring and the children resist playing them. And why spoil it? There are so many fantastic games available covering a host of subjects, that there really is no need to settle for the mediocre.
Here are my top 50+ ideas for board games (by subject). I have also included some notable mentions that are hard to classify as ‘educational’ but really need to be on your shelf 🙂 Some of games recommended we haven’t played, but I wanted to show you just how many opportunities there are to include board games into your learning.
Educational Board Games
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Lots of board games involve some simple math (especially if dice are involved), but some really shine.
When my children were small they really liked the Orchard board games. For example, Bus Stop, which covers addition and subtraction, was a particular favorite. And dice games like Yahtzee soon became part of our routine.
Money based games usually work well for counting bigger numbers. As well as the obvious Monopoly, try games like Pay Day (which I think they have changed since we bought it) or Allowance. I always wanted to try the Rich Dad, Poor Dad game (Cashflow) but never had the budget for it.
(Click on the images below to see some examples)
Science and Nature
A big favorite in our household was the now unavailable Wild Life game. The aim of the game was to travel the world collecting animals for your zoo. Not very politically correct, but taught us a lot about all kinds of animals, their habitat and which country they came from – worth seeing if you can pick up a second-hand copy.
When I was pulling together all my ideas for this article, I came across the Professor Noggins games. As we have never tried these I asked on my Facebook page if anyone else had. They got a big thumbs up so I have included these games in my recommendations too.
I love travelling the world via a board game 🙂 The Ticket to Ride and ’10 Days In’ games both have several versions for different countries or continents. On balance I probably prefer playing Ticket to Ride but we learned a lot of African countries from out 10 Days game.
If you are reading fictional classics together then board games can be a great activity to combine this with.
ABC and 123
So I got this far down the page and thought maybe I hadn’t included enough for the little ones. Here are some ideas to make up for that 🙂 Candyland was always a favorite in our household – and has the advantage of teaching colors.
Even though I have gone well past 50 recommendations, I can’t stop! Here are a few more notable mentions that I didn’t want you to miss 🙂 Some games just need to mentioned even if they are not obviously ‘educational’.
If you have a recommendation too, I would love to hear it. Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.