Educational board games for children
The children products market is filled with different kinds of toys and games. Every time we need to pick a present for the kids, we are overwhelmed with offers from the producers of toys or games for children. It’s easy to get lost due to this many advertisements. Kids learn a lot through playing, so it’s worth it to pick games that will develop their numerous abilities. Below you’ll find our list of educational games, sorted by the age category, along with a short description:
Games for children at the age of 3+
At this age, games need to be simple and visually attractive. The more colorful they are, the better chance there is they will draw the children’s attention. Monster Chase is a memory type game. The child needs to remember where a certain picture was located and find another one that looks the same. We can avoid rivalry by playing in one team.
Four seasons of the year
A beautifully illustrated game where the goal is to match natural phenomenons and characteristic activities to a specific season of the year. The game is really simple and enjoyable, and it might teach the children the basic knowledge about the world.
Games for children at the age of 4+
A game that develops creativity, story-telling ability and intelligence. Integrating, easy to take with you on a trip and resistant to damage. The point is to roll the dice and come up with a believable story based on the symbols on the dice. There are also thematic versions with characters from cartoons, or specific, narrowed fields, like medicine, astronomy or criminology. The last one will definitely be more appropriate for older kids.
A game for children at the age of 6 that can also get the adults hooked. Through this game, kids practice their perceptiveness and focus, which will definitely come in handy in future learning. The game includes cards with different illustrations on them. Each card can be matched with only one other card that looks the same. The players need to find those pairs as quickly as possible. Similar colors of items make that task a bit more difficult. It can really be a lot of fun!
As the name suggests, the game is based on questions. It’s especially valued among many moms. Its biggest advantage is strengthening family bonds. The questions include subjects we often forget about, and by being reminded of them, we get an excuse to talk. Some questions are the cause of laughter or some deeper reflections, some bring back memories, others evoke emotions. We can find out a lot about our family members, due to the fact that the questions are really varied. The game is especially important for small children, because it builds their empathy, allows them to see the perspective of someone else, teaches them the names of different emotions and how to talk about them. At such a young age the emotional aspect is crucial for later development. The acquired abilities will without a doubt become useful in the teenage years.
Games for children at the age of 8+
A really popular game that brings joy not only to kids. The players buy properties, they can build houses and hotels, charge fees for them, get rich or go bankrupt. It’s great at teaching children the basics of money management and financial planning. A strategic game where you need to think about your next move and predict its consequences.
An educational game for older children (age category suggested by the producer – 10+). The goal of the players is to answer the questions written on the cards they picked. The questions can general or detailed, they can be about sizes of different animals, habitats, etc. The game is great at teaching kids about animals. It’s also really interesting for adults.
Game of appearances
A card game, similar to the previously mentioned Dobble. The game is excellent for practicing perceptiveness and reflexes. It’s based on the John Ridley Stroop effect – Stroop was a psychologist who claimed that not everything is what it appears to be. The point of the game is to spot tiny differences between seemingly identical pictures.
Also known as the gym for the mind. The game increases logical thinking, memory and reflexes by playing. Each player draws a card with a challenge, for example going through a labyrinth or solving an image puzzle, or a textured card that develops the sense of touch, etc. Those tasks are great for developing the brain’s functions. The rivalry and challenges are really engaging for children.
A very universal game with fascinating illustrations. It includes metaphorical cards you need to match an association with, and then the players must find the right card. The illustrations are really artistic, which is why they can be associated with a lot of themes. It develops creativity and creative thinking in the younger players, as well as the older ones.
5 Second Rule
The seemingly simple questions turn out to be quite a challenge under the time pressure. The game engages all the players, and it’s based on answering the drawn question. It’s good for practicing thinking, the ability to make associations and reflexes. The game teaches children how to think under the pressure of time. A fun time for the entire family guaranteed.
It’s fair to assume everyone is familiar with this title. One of the most popular word games in the world! The Polish version is slightly more challenging, as it requires knowledge regarding the inflection and grammar, since the Polish language has a more complex conjunction than, say, English. Therefore it becomes much more of a puzzle game. Except for increasing creativity and vocabulary, the game also influences the development of strategic thinking, because – in order to win – the player needs to assemble words in the spots that grant him the most points. Another element stimulating the process of acquiring skills is the limited time. Because of that, the child learns time management and decision making, without endlessly considering all the possibilities. It’s also worth to mention the chance to learn how to deal with losing. Because of the randomness factor, it won’t always be possible to assemble a word that will grant the player a lot of points, so it’s essential to learn to lose sometimes. Getting over such a situation will later in life result in a strong character and the ability to achieve success despite the failures.
This time less is more! The Taboo game is all about playing with words. The goal is to describe a specific thing without using certain “forbidden words”. Communication skills and creativity will be quite useful here. The game is great at showing the strength of words to children. It will also teach them how to use them in an imaginative, and sometimes – even funny – way.
The Game of Emotions
A therapeutic and educational game used by psychologists, pedagogists, psychotherapist and parents. There aren’t many products of that kind on the market, which is why it’s mentioned in our list. It’s not meant only for the children who struggle with a certain problem. During early school education sometimes it’s difficult to understand the world of our 6-year-old. By finishing sentences such as: “I’m afraid when…”, “When I’m in a bad mood, I…”, “In the future…” it becomes easier to become familiar with the thought processes of our child. It also helps to exchange experiences. The game is generally used to discover emotions, views and needs. It’s quite similar to Questioners. The main difference is the gameplay which takes a bit of a different form here. The goals remain the same, though: focusing on honest dialogue, listening carefully, understanding and reaching out to another person. The game will also work when a child is stressed out during classes or struggles with social problems. It can be used as a tool to learn how to deal with these issues.
Other interesting games you can make on your own, or download as a free app:
This game is often used by pedagogists during language classes. Charades are great for shaping the communication skills – how to include in our statements all the information and intentions we want to share. The form of the game depends on our preferences; we can use the method of pantomime, puzzle, description or definition. Each of them comes with slightly different requirements and develops different areas. If we choose the pantomime or the puzzle, it’s the audience who will be more verbally active. In the traditional model – it will be the person in front of the audience.
Who am I? The player needs to guess the thing written on the card he picked. The game doesn’t require any board; you can make the cards yourself – for example using sticky notes, or you can download a free mobile app. The questions must be formed in a way that allows other players to give yes/no answers. The game quickly integrates a group and provides a ton of fun. It also teaches logical thinking and forming questions.
The games we’ve listed had been picked based on their usefulness and educational aspects. They are not the only possible choices. There are many other games that will also develop children’s abilities and widen their knowledge about the world. The ones we’ve chosen simply seemed to us like they were the most attractive in terms of fun, education and themes. While working on this list we’ve focused mostly on the intellectual and emotional side of a child. A board game is a factor that influences many of children’s emotions – they learn how to control them and see that we can’t always get what we want. Therefore, board games can teach kids to discover their own potential, their strong and weak points, and how to deal with success and failure. They also shape their social skills and behaviors.
Translated by Konrad
While searching for adequate titles to include on this list, we’ve looked through a ton of blogs dedicated to this subject. Mentioning all of them here would simply take up too much space. We’ve read the comments of many moms who had checked the games with their children. We’ve also gone through the detailed descriptions made by the toy producers and used our own experiences. Some of the games are really excellent even for get-togethers of young adults. You can take our word for it.😊
Nonetheless, here are a few of the more interesting options that expand some of the positions on the list: