Following an article I wrote on the 8 Benefits Kids Get From Board Games, which will be published later this week, I sat down and perused my thoughts for a quality collection of games which I find to be most educational and stimulating for children. I further consulted with my husband to pick the brains of yet another MD and we both came up with the following.
Here are some of our top picks. Your kids are guaranteed to put down their tablet and run over to play these!
Now you’ll never see me give a guarantee like this in medicine!
7 Educational & Stimulating Board Games for Kids
(in a dual-physician household)
Sit back and enjoy the list of games. Remember, a family that board games together, stays together!
Click here for the game on Amazon.
I’ve covered this one in the past, but it’s just that good! I wrote about it in my coverage of The Uncommons, in an article titled An Uncommon Day Spent in Board Game Heaven. This game is super engaging, and challenging, as players compete in gem collecting. This takes place by slowly building up a player’s collection of gems, which are then used to purchase gem cards, which build up in a pile and are then used to further purchase more cards, or even more valuable point cards.The player above 15 points first wins. This game can be complicated to learn, but, once mastered, will add hours of fun to your night, as you and/or your children fight sleep to keep playing.
2- Ticket to Ride
Click here for the game on Amazon.
This board game is quickly gaining popularity all over the US, with newer versions made with slightly different rules. The goal of the game is to build railroads across the country which link up destinations you hold in your hands in the form of cards. You must plan ahead to not only make these connections, but to work against the others, building faster, gaining points in clever ways, and blocking progress for your opponents, the other railroad builders.
Your son or daughter may just become the next Cornelius Vanderbilt!
If you want the game, but have a child that’s younger than 8, then Ticket to Ride- First Journey may be easier for them to grasp (click here to purchase through Amazon):
3-Robot Face Game
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Get ready for a speed challenge that will work for any age. Your kids will utilize face-recognition skills to match up the robot’s parts, indicated by a device that’s newly shaken by a player at the start of each turn. Every part of the robot’s 4 facial features corresponds to a different color and you must find the exact robot from the many faces on the board. It’s a fast paced game that takes less than a minute to learn!
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This one involves a mental challenge that requires thinking ahead, and planning out, and yet, it’s not a difficult game to pick up. What more, younger kids will love to play as the game involves pushing square pieces into a line and thereby moving an entire line of the puzzle forward. In this way, as the board changes its makeup based on the pushed pieces, new pathways are created for movement toward each player’s goal.
Click here to view game on Amazon.
This game involves a board, on which token are places, based on cards drawn into your hand. The goal is to successfully form a line of four token, or two, depending on number of players. The game can also be played in teams of two, which is great for building on the skills of team work. It builds on children’s visual-perception skills as well as teaching them to strategize by thinking ahead and planing their next moves.
The game also comes in a younger age-friendly version called Sequence for Kids, for those under 8- click here to view this option, or ones that specifically teaches them their letters (Sequence Letters) or their numbers, a more difficult version for ages 7 and up (Sequence Numbers).
Click here for this game on Amazon.
This game challenges your child’s spatial skills and is a whirlwind of puzzle fun. The game comes with pieces of different shapes, which need to be arranged as tightly as possible on the playing board, in an effort to fill it up completely. It requires careful planning and manipulation of a set space, and the possibility of blocking some of your opponent’s moves. Think Tetris but against opponents.
7. Settlers of Catan
Click here to view the game and its offshoots on Amazon.
A fantastically complicated, and yet addictive game where one builds settlements and cities, then grows his empire by bartering and learning to value resources on the island of Catan. Your child will strategize to earn victory points by expanding in the specific direction he or she chooses and, when 10 points are reached, walk away the winner. The award-winning game can be a bit complicated, so age 10 and up is recommended.