50 Great Games to Use For Learning!
This is the fourth and final post in a series on using games for learning. The first three posts were on the benefits of using games, and then great games to use for teaching language arts and math:
- 12 Amazing Benefits of Teaching with Games
- Fun Educational Games for Learning Language Arts
- Fun Games to Teach and Strengthen Math Skills
Just a quick review of the benefits of using games for learning from the first post:
- Games strengthen focus and memory skills
- Games aid in building fine motor skills for younger children
- Games help develop socialization skills
- Games strengthen problem-solving & analytical skills
- Games help with cognitive growth.
- Games develop executive functioning skills giving children the ability to accomplish tasks.
- Games offer the opportunity to build character, helping children learn self-control and good sportsmanship as well as giving them the opportunity to learn to cooperate with others.
- Games help build close relationships within the family
- Games often give children a sense of accomplishment.
- Games are a wonderful way to teach and reinforce information that our children need to learn
The fun thing is that you don’t have to use a game that is classified as “educational” for the game to provide many of these benefits! There are so many games out there that people play just to have fun that ultimately end up benefiting children (and adults too)!
Below you’ll find a list of 50 games that were recommended by myself and other homeschoolers – so they are tried and true! I encourage you to invest in some of these fun games that also just happen to be educational even though they weren’t necessarily designed to be so!
- Rush Hour – (ages 8+) helps with critical thinking, reasoning and planning skills, and judgment skills, recommended by vision therapist also
- Tip Over– (ages 8+) teaches critical thinking, problem-solving and strategy development
- Catan– ages 8+, 3-4 players, strategy, problem-solving, planning
- Village – ages 12+, great for building planning, strategy skills
- 7 Wonders – ages 10+, 3-7 players, critical thinking skills, strategy skills
- Istanbul – ages 10+, critical thinking skills, strategy skills
- Race to the Treasure – ages 5+, 2-4 players, a cooperative game where players work together to beat the ogre to the treasure
- Chess – ages 6+, a classic strategy game
- Quirkle – ages 6+, sorting, counting, patterns, stacking, spacial recognition, planning, and problem-solving skills.
- Quixx – ages 8+, 2-5 players, reinforces probability, mat, and strategic thinking
- Carcassone – ages 8+, 2-5 players, strategy, planning skills
- Goblet Gobblers – ages 5+, 2 players, strategy game
- Blokus – ages 7+, 2-4 players, a great strategy game for the whole family
- Risk – ages 10+, 2-5 players, strategy skills
- Ticket to Ride – ages 7+, 2-5 players, fun game for the family, strategy building skills, planning skills (cities are not always in exactly the correct geographical location)
- Scrambled States of America game – ages 8+
- Geopuzzles – ages 4+, 6 puzzles in one box
- Sequence States & Capitals – ages 7+, 2-12 players, great way to learn the states and capitals
- Oceanopoly – 2-6 players
- Hit the Habitat Trail – ages 8+, 2-6 players, features the habitats of the world – knowledge cards ask wonderful questions and give the answers too! Wisdom cards tell the hazards to the environment.
Fitivities – ages 6+, 2-24 players, fitness games for the family or co-op class, great fun!
Twister – ages 6+, fun team building game. Add a TWIST: using foam circles, write letters or numbers on them, then lay them out on the floor and call out not just the color and whether it’s the right or left hand or right or left foot, but also the letter or number they need to put it on)
Other fun educational games or games you can modify to fit your subject learned:
Memory Game – for all ages, make your own game using index cards. Write words or draw pictures of things you want your kids to memorize, make 2 of every card. You can use this for working on letters, sight words, numbers, addition problems (make one card with an addition problem and another with the answer), etc. Place all the cards face down on the table, take turns turning over two each, looking for matches. When you get a match, you go again. The person with the most matches at the end of the game wins.
Go Fish – for all ages, make this game like the Memory game above (you can use the cards for either of these games). Deal out 7 cards to each player and set the rest of the cards in the middle for a draw pile. Then player #1 asks another player if they have the match to one of their cards. If the player they ask doesn’t have the match, they say “go fish”, and player #1 draws a card from the draw pile. Next player #2 asks another player if they have the match to one of his cards, and if they do, they must give it to player #2. If a match is found, then player #2 goes again until he has to “go fish”. The play continues on until all the cards are gone, the player with the most matches wins.
Sidewalk chalk – for all ages, use sidewalk chalk to make games on the sidewalk such as hopscotch or to write letters or numbers or draw pictures.
Pictionary – team game, ages 8+, drawing skills, thinking skills
The Game of Life – ages 8+, great game to understand what life is like, full of surprises
Horseopoly – ages 8+, 2-6 players, great for those who love horses
Animal Tracks – ages 5+, 2 or more players, learn about animal tracks by matching the animal to their tracks
Other Fun Games to Play as a Family…
Bible Trivia – ages 7+, 2-4 players or teams
Pop the Pig – ages 4+, 2-6 players, silly but fun!
Big Bingo Bundle – ages 6+, a fun way to learn core alphabet, number, object, and arithmetic skills. Develops memory, listening, literacy and matching skills.
Skippety – ages 5+, 2-4 players, Skippity is the perfect game to hone player’s tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking.
Ocean Raiders – math game for grades 1 and above, addition skills, 2-4 players
Rack-O – ages 8+, 2-4 players
Pit – ages 7+, 3-8 players, a fast-paced, loud game that will thrill the whole family
Othello – ages 7+, 2 player, strategy
Rat-a-tat Cat – 2-6 players, children’s card game that helps develop timing and basic mathematical concept and teaches strategy, memory building, and addition.
Taboo – ages 13+, 4+ players, fun word game
Professor Noggins Educational Trivia games – several versions: History of the World, Wonders of Science, Human Body, Insects and Spiders, Wonders of the World, Ancient Civilizations, American Revolutions, Presidents of the US, Civil War, Reptiles and Amphibians, Earth Science, Countries of the World, North American Wildlife, Safari Wildlife, History of Art, Horses, Birds of America, Medieval times. Farm, Baseball, Outer Space, & History of the US
Forbidden Island – ages 10+, 2-4 players, Strategic thinking, problem-solving and cooperation required
Uno game ages 7+, 2-10 players
Battleship – ages 7+, 2 players, strategy game
NMBR9 – a fun game for 1-4 players, math skills
Azul – a fun game of strategy and planning, ages 8+, 2-4 players
HexHive – ages 8+, single player
Incorporate games into your homeschool days and see your children’s love for learning explode!