13 Best Educational Board Games In 2021

IN THIS ARTICLE

The best educational board games can keep your little ones entertained for hours and strengthen their critical thinking skills. These games have always been popular and gained further traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, when screen time was at an all-time high due to virtual schooling. Parents found this to be a great and affordable way to promote learning and combat boredom at the same time. Educational board games allow kids to learn school subjects and various other skills such as teamwork, motor skills, and patience. They are a great way for adults and children to engage and administer fun and positive learning experiences. Besides, these games don’t require an expensive set-up, batteries, or an internet connection. We have compiled a list of the 13 best board games for kids that can help develop essential skills among kids and make it an enjoyable learning experience with the family.

13 Best Educational Board Games

1. Thinkfun Zingo Bingo

This educational board game is perfect food for the brains of pre-readers and early readers, and challenges their mind developing critical skills. This game is popular with families as well as with teachers in school, and is known to build language and matching skills, while being a lot of fun at the same time. It features an extra Zingo card for an extra 7th player and a unique Zinger device that steps up the fun. This game is easy to learn and includes a high-quality and clear instruction manual. A winner of several awards like Parents’ Choice Award, Oppenheim Gold, ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award, and made of high-quality components, Zingo is an extremely popular and best-selling game.

2. MindWare Qwirkle Board Game

This educational game for 6-year-olds gives a good lesson in tactical strategy and maneuvers, and features 3 tiles each of 36 possible color symbol combinations. The rules are easy to follow— just match tiles based on shape or color and build lines to score points. You can score more by placing a tile that touches many pieces with matching features, and create a Qwirkie by matching all 6 features. The task of building complex combinations will challenge kids and help to enhance problem-solving skills, quick thinking, spatial recognition, and planning. Made of strong cardboard, it includes 108 durable, wooden Qwirkle tiles in vibrant colors, a rule book, and a canvas drawstring bag. It requires 2 to 4 players and is enjoyed by the young and old alike.

3. Skillmatics Brain Games

An extremely engaging and educational board game for kids, it comprises 12 activities which can be repeated and develop the core skills of your child. Age-appropriate, innovative content, and skill-oriented, this game includes 6 double-sided activity mats, a Skilly Billy dry erase marker pen, a Skilly Billy achievement certificate, and a duster cloth. Instructions to solve the activities come with all the activity mats.

Children learn key concepts while bonding with family and friends and having fun. Skills like problem solving, strategising, observation, social communication, concentration, thinking out of the box, decoding patterns, solving equations and mental math can be developed using this game. Perfect for children above the age of 6, the write-and-wipe format allows children to understand and learn concepts at their own time through repetition.

4. Bézier Games One Night Ultimate Werewolf

An extremely simple learning board game to play, each player is given a single card— a werewolf, minion, or tanner, who are the bad guys, or a troublemaker, seer, or robber, who are the good guys, all with special abilities. Only you can see your card, which gives you a special power to help the werewolf or other team. You can go to the free app, which walks you through the night phase and discuss and try to figure out who the werewolves are in 5 minutes! If you find a werewolf, you win, and if you don’t, they win. It requires 3 to 10 players and is suitable for children above the age of 8. Each game lasts about 10 minutes, and is a micro version of the party game Ultimate Werewolf, but doesn’t require a moderator.

5. Underdog Games Trekking The National Parks

Ideal for a family game night, this award winning and best selling game is thoroughly enjoyed by families as they share memories and plan about where to travel next. Especially designed to be both educational and entertaining, all the park cards have an awesome photograph and an interesting fact that encourages players to explore the protected national parks of America.

Each game begins with a unique setup so that you have a new experience every time you play. The rules are simple to understand and follow, and gives you a chance to practise strategies. It covers 63 national parks and has 100+ beautiful photos, making it perfect for national park and outdoor enthusiasts. Winner of Mensa Select and Parents’ Choice Gold Award, this educational board game requires 2 to 5 players, and has an average play time of 30 to 60 minutes.

6. Carson Dellosa Education Sentence Building

These sturdy, interlocking cards enhance early reading and grammar skills that include punctuation, capital letters, parts of speech, and building sentences and more. This learning board game features 86 cards— 55 word, 27 photo, and 4 punctuation cards, sample sentences, multiple reading and writing game ideas, and teaching suggestions. Each card is 2.2 x 2.2 inches and is grammatically color-coded.

You can customize the activities according to learning levels with this fun set, which supports NAEYC and NCTE standards. Ideal for kids between kindergarten and grade 2, it gives practice in building proper sentences with familiar picture cards and sight words. Simple sentences can be constructed by interlocking puzzle pieces, which also gives practice in early reading and writing. This game helps them achieve their highest potential in learning, social skills, communication, behavior and emotions.

7. HABA My Very First Games – First Orchard

This classic toddler educational board game is perfect for 1 to 4 year olds, and enhances social skills such as following directions and taking turns while boosting color recognition, counting by ones, and quantities. It builds team spirit among players as they roll the dice and pick the matching fruit from the orchard before the raven steals them. If the players harvest the fruit before the raven steals them, they win as a team. If the raven reaches the orchard first, they lose as a team.

Repeated playing helps to teach toddlers about winning and losing. This game comprises high quality and long-lasting parts including 16 large wooden fruit that toddlers can easily grasp— 4 red apples, 4 green apples, 4 blue plums, and 4 yellow pears, a wooden raven, a chunky colored die, 4 trees, and 5 path cards.

8. The World Game – The Ultimate Geography Card Game

This educational board game for teenagers is to compete between countries, and also features 4 possible challenges— flag, capitals, location, and a continent challenge. This card game includes all 194 countries and a world map, and can be used as trivia or flashcards. The data of the countries is updated regularly, and the players need to find the strongest fact about the country to win. It’s loads of fun and boosts your brain and memory at the same time. Children need to locate countries on the map, name the capital city, and recognise the flags. This game requires 2 to 5 players, and the more you play it, the more your knowledge increases.

9. Buffalo Games Brain Games Kids

Based on the TV series ‘Brain Game’, this learning board game puts players through multiple challenges to test the limits of their body and mind. Teams compete with each other to test their language, logic, physical and visual coordination. It’s a great family and party game where players are in teams and come together to answer complex mental challenges in this showdown of the brain, learning nuggets of information and fascinating facts in the process. It comprises 128 challenge cards in 3 categories— 48 brain bender cards, 48 puzzling picture cards, 32 body language cards, 6 colored pawns, a game board, and a cardholder. Each category features 4 difficulty levels. It’s perfect for children who are 8 years and above, and requires 2 or more players.

10. University Games Scholastic Race Across The USA Game

In this educational board game, players have to race across the USA and be the first to visit 6 states, answer geography questions, and return to their home states to win. There are clues on the game board that players can use to answer the questions and win state cards. Questions are framed according to the grade level of the players so that children of the same age are on an even platform. Designed for 2 to 4 players, it’s ideal for children above the age of 8 years, and they can learn geographical facts about the USA. It comprises a game board, 220 question cards, 50 state cards, 4 airplane pawns, 4 score cards, a dice, and instructions.

11. Byron’s Games Continent Race

Created by a kid to help other kids learn and have fun at the same time, this educational board game has won the 2020 Game of the Year Award. It’s designed for 2 or more players and is suitable for children above 7 years. This fast-paced game can be played both individually and as a team, as the players race across the world to collect the most countries from each continent first. Easy to understand, this Geography card game is color coded and has a stack of orange mystery cards for advanced players. The 205 colorful country cards, world map, 5 continent lists with maps, and 3 Antarctica wildcards test your knowledge as you learn about the various continents, countries, and flags in the world. Kids develop critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills while having fun.

12. Winning Moves Games – Game Of The States

A compilation of the latest updated interesting and fun facts about the USA, this educational board game contains useful and educational STEM facts about each state. As the players draw the state cards, they read the facts on the cards and gain additional knowledge about the States. Players can even use the cards to play simple trivia games like guessing capitals. As they play, they become familiar with the 50 States, their capitals, locations, top products and more.

Players travel back and forth in their trucks, buying products in one state and selling them in others. The player with the most money at the end is the winner. This game is recommended for players above the age of 8 years, requires 2 to 4 players, and includes a deck of 50 state cards, bi-fold game board, 4 plastic truck movers, 16 wood packages, play money, spinner, and instructions.

13. Game Development Group Wordplay For Kids

An educational board game of words that is extremely fun, fast, challenging, it has won the Teacher’s Choice Award and is suitable for kids between 6 to 12 years. It features a spinner that provides 2 letters that must appear in the word that the player has to come up with. A dice is rolled to select the word category— food or drink, living creature, object or thing, boy’s or girl’s name, something in the house, and any word. The player can move forward on the board as they form a word— the longer the word, the more spaces they can move. This great vocabulary building, spelling, and concentration enhancing game includes a game board, spinner, sand timer, game pieces, gamepads, pencils, and an instruction sheet.

Now that you have been through our review of the 13 best educational board games, let us discuss a few guidelines that should be followed while choosing one so that your child draws the maximum benefit out of it. 

How To Choose The Right Best Educational Board Games

  • Age and skill of players

This should be your primary consideration when choosing an educational board game. An educational board game for 4 to 5 year old children will be completely different from a game for teenagers. Their learning priorities and the stage of education should be a deciding factor. A game where they have to identify letters is suitable for very young children, while a word making game which is challenging is better suited for older children.

If you have children of different ages at home, you should look for a game that suits the whole family. But do remember that children get bored if the game is too easy and frustrated if it’s too difficult. Complex games require planning, deep thinking, and taking turns— check whether your child prefers games that are spontaneous or slow moving.

  • Clear instructions

Board games for children should not be too complicated and should have clear instructions and rules. A very complicated game will have children losing interest quickly. As children get older, games can become more complex as they will be able to understand instructions that are complex. Clear rules also prevent family squabbles as everyone is on the same page before the game starts.

  • Fun

Fun is a factor that should not be compromised while choosing an educational board game. Children lose interest if the game is not challenging and enjoyable. Younger players might like funny games and cartoon characters that make them laugh, while older children would probably enjoy a touch of strategy in their game. The best learning happens when children are having fun. 

  • Number of players

Some games require a single player while others require multiple players. Some board games are very fixed about the number of players while others are more flexible. Do check the box and see what it says 2 players only, 2 to 6 players with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 6, 2+ players with at least 2 players but no upper limit.

  • Attention span and focus

It’s important to consider how long the game can hold the attention of the child. The duration of games varies, and with young children, you should try to pick games which require a short attention span and give them instant results. Older children usually enjoy games that require a longer attention span. The game needs to be interesting enough to hold the focus of the players and keep them involved.

  • Theme

If your child is interested in a particular topic, then go for the game that is based on that theme. Board games are usually based on a theme so it is best to get a theme that your child is interested in.

  • Space to play

The space you have for the game, whether it can be left and come back to later will also determine the board game you choose. So, keep this in mind while choosing a game. 

There are so many educational board games to choose from— all honing different skills and giving a different learning experience to the players. They teach subjects of the school curriculum and also some valuable life skills like patience, cooperation, teamwork, and being a graceful winner or loser. They open up a whole world of information, language, and brain development while being extremely enjoyable and fun. Some of these games involve the whole family which is a great way to keep everyone entertained, reduce screen time, and combat boredom while they learn. We hope our review of the 13 best educational board games will help you find games that supplement your child’s school learning while giving them immense pleasure.

The following two tabs change content below.

Priti Bose

Priti Bose is a poet, songwriter and blog writer. She did her masters in English, Public Relations and Advertising. Her creative skills and hunger for details make her do in-depth research on the topics she covers. For MomJunction, she writes on product analysis and reviews, especially for kids' products, toys and gifts. Before her association with MomJunction, Priti worked in the... more