Board games are incredibly fun for children of all ages but many offer a wealth of educational benefits. They can be used to teach math, English, science and other subjects in the usual curriculum but also teach important life skills such as concentration, problem solving and of course good sportsmanship.
We picked ten of the most popular, top-rated educational board games on Amazon for ages 5 to 12 along with links if you want to learn more about each one.
The Anagram game that will drive you bananas. The award-winning word game that needs no pencil, paper, or board. Fast and fun. Players race against each other to build crossword grids and use all their letter tiles first. Great for travel.
Learning Outcomes: Literacy, Problem Solving
Whoever said that learning about U.S. geography had to be boring must not have read The Scrambled States of America. We fell head-over-heels for Laurie Keller’s hilarious story and knew that it had the making for a great game. As with her book, we hope our game provides a fun way to enrich basic knowledge of U.S. geography. Players learn the names, capitals, nicknames, shapes and positions of the states through a myriad of visual teasers, language riddles and geography challenges. After playing, you’ll see that there’s more to the 50 States than meets the eye!
Learning Outcomes: Geography, Logical Thinking, Memory
In this fast-paced, energetic variant of Bingo, kids get a kick out of pulling the Zinger forward to reveal two mystery tiles, and then try to be the first to call out the tiles that match the images on their cards. The first player to fill his or her card wins by yelling “Zingo”. Two levels of play add zing to the competition.
Learning Outcomes: Reaction Times, Public Speaking
Challenge a friend to rule the grid in Connect 4 Classic Grid, the game where strategy drives the competition! Line ‘em up and go for the win! Choose the gold discs or the red discs and drop them into the grid. When you get 4 discs in a row, you win. It’s simple, fast, and fun. Master the grid.
Learning Outcomes: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Math
The excitement keeps growing as you command your fleet of ships while avoiding enemy attacks in this classic game of combat and strategy. Take charge as you hunt down, launch and destroy your opponent’s ships while successfully hiding and protecting your own. The suspense mounts as you call the coordinates of each strike you make, targeting your enemy’s fleet that includes a sub, patrol boat, destroyer, aircraft carrier and fierce battleship. Keep track of hits and misses until you have completely destroyed the enemy boats, sinking them to the bottom of the sea before they sink yours.
Learning Outcomes: Memory, Public Speaking, Strategy
Add a twist of fun into any party or family night with the game that ties you up in knots. This Twister game is the classic game with 2 more moves. Give the spinner a whirl and see what’s next as you try to keep your hands and feet on the mat. Right foot red. Can you do it? Left foot green, you got it. If your knee or elbow touches the mat or you fall over, you are out. Be the last player standing to win.
Learning Outcomes: Flexibility, Problem Solving, Teamwork
A Sequence game just for kids! Play a card from your hand, place your chip on a corresponding character on the board…When you have 4 in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE and you win! Use a UNICORN card to place your chip anywhere or a dragon card to remove your opponent’s chip.
Learning Outcomes: Strategy, Memory, Reaction
Hurry Owls! It’s time to go home! In this game, winner of multiple awards including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and Dr. Toy Best Green Product Award, players help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Play a color card and fly to that space. Draw a sun card and you’re one step closer to daylight. Help all the owls get home before the sun rises and everyone wins! Two levels of play allow this game to grow with your child. Game includes 1 game board, 6 owl tokens, 1 sun token, 14 sun cards, 36 color cards and instructions for two versions of game play.
Learning Outcomes: Simple Strategy, Memory, Teamwork
Furrowed brows and hearty laughter are the most likely outcome of this fun but challenging game from Game Development Group. Just like its elder edition, the object of Stare! Junior is to be the first to reach the end of the game board. “Been there, done that,” you’re thinking? But in this game, looking hard and paying attention to detail are two things that will help players move forward. Individuals or teams stare at an image on a card for 30 seconds (more challenging games can be played by shortening the time) and then answer questions about what they saw. It’s not easy–just try to remember what color socks the person next to you on the bus was wearing this morning, or how many people were reading magazines. Of course, you weren’t staring…
Learning Outcomes: Memory, Concentration, Visual Skills
Charades is better when everyone gets into the act! Award winning Reverse Charades is a hilarious twist on the classic game of charades. Instead of one person acting out a clue for a team to guess, a team acts out clues for one person to guess. Now everyone is in on the fun! In 60 seconds, teams attempt to guess as many words or phrases as they can. The team with the most correct guesses wins. Perfect for family fun, parties or team building. Now everyone is in on the fun! In 60 seconds, teams attempt to guess as many words or phrases as they can. The team with the most correct guesses wins. Perfect for family fun, parties or team building.
Learning Outcomes: Drama, Public Speaking, Teamwork