Board Games: Educational Fun for Elementary School-Aged Children
I’ve found, however, that my kids tend to bore easily of the typical games that are available at mass-market retailers. Let’s face it – many of the games are not well-thought out and play more to kids’ natural response to novelty and gimmicks. Once the gimmick wears off, you’re done.
Over the last two years, I’ve found some really fantastic games for school-aged kids. Take a look and consider picking one or more of these up for your next family game night!
Qwirkle has a ton of appeal for adults and kids ages 5 and up. The concept is simple enough – you try to make lines of matching colored and shaped tiles. As you add tiles, you score points, as in Scrabble. If you complete a line of 6 matches, you earn even more points. The deeper you get into this simple game, the more you discover all of the strategy it takes to really be successful. The game lasts about 30 to 45 minutes and my 5 year-old has no problem playing this game along with adults with just a little assistance.
Scrambled States of America
Scrambled States of America is a fast-paced geography game that teaches kids state names, location, capitals, nicknames, and much more. The goal is to win as many state cards as possible by answering challenge questions correctly. Some questions are spotting states on the map, some are word-based challenges (find a state that has a 3-letter word in its capital), others are based on simple matching concepts. This game is best for ages 8 and up, but my 7 and 5 year-olds love this game when we play on teams with parental assistance.
Rat-A-Tat-Cat is a fun card game that helps kids learn math and strategy. Each player gets 4 cards, but only gets to look at two. The goal is to end the game with as few points as possible, and twist cards like “peek” and “swap” always keep the game interesting. Rat-A-Tat-Cat takes 10-15 minutes to play and it’s fast to learn. I recommend this game for ages 5 and up.
Apples to Apples Kids 7+
The adult version of Apples to Apples is great language arts practice. The makers have created a simplified version for kids ages 7 and up (but my 5 year-old has no problem playing with minimal assistance). Each player tries to win the round by selecting a card in their hand that is most like a selected word in the round. Players get to take turns judging and selecting the winning card. Kids find it uproarious to have to find something that’s similar to “grumpy” and pick a card from their hand that says “mom.” They also love to play judge – it’s empowering.
[photo credits: Amazon]
Have fun checking out these great games! Do you have any educational or unique favorites?
Gigi Ross is a mom of 2 from Austin, Texas who keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom, where she shares her sometimes snappish, sometimes neurotic take on parenting and blogging. Gigi is a freelance writer and social media consultant. She is the business columnist for ShePosts and the Managing Editor of Business 2 Blogger. Her writing has been syndicated by Mamapedia, Babble.com, and BlogHer. Connect with Gigi on Twitter at @akludgymom.
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