While there are many reasons to play family board games, the things kids can learn from board games is number one in my book. I love board games as a learning tool because of how flexible they are. Some people use board games for simple family fun or to supplement and drive home more ‘formal’ teachings, while others full on gameschool and use board games as the main teaching tool for their kids. Keep reading to see a list of all the things kids learn from board games and the games that will teach them!
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100 Things Kids Can Learn From Board Games
(and the board games that will teach them!)
1. Colors – Colors are one of the first thing kids can learn from board games, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is one of our favorites.
2. Shapes – Shapes are another thing toddlers and preschoolers can pick up through board games. Check out Teddy’s Colors and Shapes.
3. Numbers – Board games naturally lend themselves to teach math, Sleeping Queens is great to learn to identify numbers and order them correctly.
4. Letters – Kids can learn to identify letter playing board games, check out the Super Why Letter Game.
5. Letter Sounds – they can also learn the sounds that go with those letters with Alphabet Island.
6. Reading – Zingo is a perfect game to work on beginning reading skills and sight words!
7. Spelling – Boggle is a classic game to learn and improve spelling.
8. Vocabulary – Most games will introduce some new vocabulary, Apples to Apples will introduce tons of new words to your kids! There is also an Apples to Apples Junior Version if you’re looking to play with younger kids.
9. Grammar – Super Sentence Fun Decks contain instructions on fun games that will help your kids learn grammar.
10. Punctuation – Punctuation might seem like something that would be hard to pick up on from a game. These Punctuation Dice are a great game for kids to learn and improve their punctuation skills.
11. Sentence Structure – You’ve Been Sentenced is a great game to work on sentence structure.
13. Shakespeare – Shakespeare the board game!
14. Story Telling – Rory’s Story Cubes is a great game to help kids learn the art of story telling.
16. Addition – Zues on the Loose is a perfect game for solidifying addition skills and working on mental math.
17. Subtraction – Check our Sums in Space, a game for addition and subtraction!
18. Rounding – FREE printable, Roll It! Rounding Game.
19. Multiplication – there are lots of games that will help with memorizing times tables, but Kingdomino will really help drive an understanding of multiplication.
20. Division – Tri-FACTa helps kids work on division and multiplication in the same game.
21. Fractions – Fraction Dominoes are a great game to help your kids learn and understand fractions.
22. Intuitive Statistics – Any dice game is good to help kids understand basic statistics, and using those odds to make decisions. Roll For It and King of Tokyo are two of our favorite dice game to work on this.
23. Algebra – Who knew kids can even learn algebra from a board game? Try 24 Game Algebra and Exponents.
24. Estimation – The Cardline games are great to work on estimation. Cardline Animals is one of our favorites!
25. Coin Values – Learn about coin values playing Money Bags.
27. Budgeting – Budgeting is one of the cornerstones of financial literacy and another skill kids can pick up from board games. Budget is a great board game for this.
28. Responsible Credit Use – Credit cards and debt are everywhere, what if a board game could help teach your kids to responsibly use credit? Charge Large is all about responsible credit use!
29. Investing – Puerto Rico is a game where players develop their city to earn points, this is a great way to subtly teach investment and money management.
30. Supply and Demand – Economic concepts are so much easier to learn when they are impacting you personally in a game. Check our Power Grid to teach your kids about Supply and Demand.
31. Evolution – Board games are prefect to help kids understand survival of the fittest and evolution. Our favorite is Evolution the board game.
32. Periodic Table – Frenetic will help kids work on not only the periodic table, but also spelling and vocabulary!
34. Biology – Check out Cytosis, an awesome game to learn cell biology!
36. Chemistry – Subatomic teaches chemistry building blocks while you play.
37. Outer Space – There are lots of games that are space themed, but kids can also learn about outer space from board games, check out Professor Noggin’s Outer Space Card Game.
38. Animal facts – Cardline Animals is a great way for kids to learn new animal facts, not just quiz on the facts they already know like a lot of trivia games.
39. Bird Facts – Kids can learn about bird facts while playing Bird Bingo!
40. Bug Facts – Also see Bug Bingo.
41. Dinosaur Facts – and Dinosaur Bingo.
42. Geography – You can find a game that will help kids learn geography for most different regions. We really like Globe Runner for working on global geography!
43. History – Timeline is a great game that teaches history, and there are multiple versions depending on the period you’re interested in.
44. World Cultures – Games can even help kids learn about world cultures, check out Explore the World.
45. Political Science – Check out Campaign Manager, a perfect game to help your kids understand elections!
46. Ideology – Twilight Struggle is a the board game to help kids learn different ideologies that led to the cold war.
47. Art History – Professor Noggin’s History of Art is a great game to teach kids art history.
48. Drawing – Pictionary
49. Ballet – Kids can even learn ballet poses from a board games, check out Angelina Ballerina Dance with Me.
50. Fine Motor Skills – stacking games are great for fine motor skills, Animal Upon Animal is one of our favorites!
51. Hand Eye Coordination – Stacking games are great to help kids develop their hand-eye coordination. Animal Upon Animal is one of our favorites.
52. Left and Right – I know I am not alone in having a hard time telling my left from my right… I wish I’d played Left, Center, Right growing up!
53. Body Control – There is no better way to learn body control then playing Twister!
54. Yoga – Yoga Spinner helps kids learn all sorts of beginner yoga poses while playing.
55. Time Management – Escape room board games are perfect to challenge and improve time management skills.
56. Prioritization – most strategy games challenge this, Forbidden Island is one of our favorites that will make you set priorities.
57. Attention to Detail – This is a really important skill that can be hard to work into normal schooling. Eye Found It! Journey Through Time is a great game to work on attention to detail.
58. Evaluating Results – Evaluating results is a very important skill that most competitive and cooperative games give kids the opportunity to develop. One of our favorite games that always gets kids working on evaluating the game is Rat-a-tat-cat.
59. Planning – Kids board games are great to help them learn to plan. We love turn based competitive games to work on planning. Dragonwood is perfect for this!
60. Working Toward Goals – Kids also need to learn how to work toward completing them. Forbidden Island sets out the goal, and then kids figure out how to achieve it!
61. Setting Goals – A lot of games set goals for you, Chess is great for kids to learn to break a bigger goal into smaller goals.
62. Pattern identification – Qwirkle is a great game to teach kids to identify and creat patterns.
63. Memory – There are tons of different memory games available, one of the classics, Enchanted Forest, is our favorite!
65. Focus – Most games require some level of focus, Gobblet requires you to focus on your pieces and your opponent’s pieces which can be hidden by other pieces. This makes it a great game for kids to learn to focus!
66. Thinking spatially – I would contend there is no better way to learn to think spatially then playing board games. Labyrinth is the perfect games to help kids learn to think spatially.
67. Problem Solving – Engineering Ants is great to work on creative problem solving, players work out and build solutions to obstacles the game presents.
68. Strategy – Most games involve some sort of strategy, and help kids learn to think strategically. Small World is one of our favorites!
69. Logic – Check out Outfoxed, it’s a great game for kids to work on logic and deduction skills!
70. Communication – Talk-It-Out is a communication board game aimed at teens.
71. Non-Verbal Communication – Charades is a great game for kids to work on non-verbal communication. There’s a Charades for Kids that doesn’t require reading and works great with younger kids!
72. Conversation Skills – Table Topics is perfect to help your kids become great conversationalists.
73. Listening – you don’t even need to buy a game for this one, play Simon Says.
74. Negotiation – Playing Diplomacy is a great way for kids to develop negotiation skills.
75. Bluffing – Classic card games like Poker and Euchre are great games for kids to learn to bluff. Sheriff of Nottingham is another board game to check out that your kids will love while learning to bluff.
76. Make a Persuasive Argument – The Great Persuader is the perfect game to work with your kids on debate skills!
77. How to Teach – have your kids teach their friends your family favorite board games, this is a great way for them to learn to teach!
78. People Reading – People reading is an important soft skill, Coup is a great board game to learn this skill!
79. Asking Intelligent Questions – Learning to ask questions is often overlooked, Headbandz is great for this.
82. & 83.Winng Graciously & Losing Graciously – Teaching kids how to win and lose isn’t really about the game, but more about how you demonstrate it to your kids. Cooperative board games are our favorite tool for teaching kids to and lose graciously.
84. Turn Taking – This one can be taught by lot’s of board games, One, Two Hoparoo is a great toddler board game where kids can learn to take turns!
85. Sharing – The Helping, Sharing, and Caring Board Game is a perfect tool to help kids understand sharing and other social skills.
86. Patience – Chess can teach a lot of lessons to kids, patience and waiting for the right moment is one of the most important.
87. Leadership – I love this article on the leadership lessons of Dungeons & Dragons!
88. Dealing with Mistakes – A lot of strategy games teach kids how to deal with and overcome mistakes. Blokus (or Blokus Duo for 2 players) is one we really like to play to help kids understand the importance of this!
89. Delaying Gratification – There has been a lot written about the benefits of being able to delay gratification, but actually giving kids the tools to learn to delay gratification can be a challenge. Board games are great for this! Thebes is one of our favorites.
90. Dealing with frustration – another emotional intelligence skill that board games can deliver on is dealing with frustration (nothing is more frustrating then someone stealing your move). Kaboom definitely gives kids the opportunity to learn this! Read the full Kaboom Review.
91. Paying Attention to Other’s Actions – Learning to have an external focus is a great skill for kids to learn and board games are the tool to teach it. Lots of game can teach this, Checkers is a simple game where kids can start to grasp the concept (this is a magnetic set, great for traveling, also check out our favorite travel board games).
92. Life Isn’t Fair – While I would rarely recommend someone play Monopoly, it’s a great game to teach this lesson!
93. Coding – Robot Turtles is a great game to develop ‘pre’ coding skills. It’s also a great game for family board game night as the difficulty is adjustable to challenge all ages.
94. Agricultural Development – Agricola is a great game for kids to start to understand agriculture! We also like the simplified family version of Agricola if your kids aren’t ready for the full game yet.
95. Structural Integrity – Stacking games are a great tool to help kids understand the basics of structural integrity. Try out Zimbbos with your kids.
96. Engineering – Players learn to build playing Engineering Ants.
97. Sports Trivia – For the sports lever wanting to expand their trivia knowledge, Mindware’s Sports Trivia Challenge is perfect!
98. Pop Culture – Quizmaster Pop Trivia.
99. Humor – My wife would tell you I’m not as funny as I think I am…maybe I would be funnier if I had played Miss Bernard is a Wild Card growing up.
100. Telling Time – The Time Telling Game by eeboo is great when kids are working on learning to tell time.
I’m sure there are many more things kids can learn, what would add to this list? Comment below!
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