Whether it’s the middle of summer or winter, board games are always a wonderful activity for the whole family to enjoy. Not only can they provide hours or entertainment for everyone, they’re also a great way for your kids to learn and develop their skills. With so many great games to choose from, your kids can practice their spelling and counting or increase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills without even realising. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites, all with easy-to-follow rules and educational benefits too!
What Are The Benefits Of Board Games?
Board games have plenty of benefits for your children and family to enjoy. Here are a few to note:
- Promotes family time
- Builds up communication skills
- Help kids learn to follow instructions
- Builds resilience and helps children learn to fail
- Promotes literacy and numeracy skills
- Helps with brain development
- Encourages problem solving
Ages: 10+ (Scrabble Junior 6 years+)
Scrabble is a classic game, and one of the best board games for your kids to practice their spelling! The most common way to play Scrabble uses 4 players. Each player gets 7 letters and has to spell a word on the board to get the most points. Each board is labelled with double letter, double word and triple letter squares that advance your points when making words. This means it’s a tactical game too, perfect for developing problem solving and strategic thinking skills. Just make sure you’ve got a scrabble word checker to hand, in case of any unusual words!
Ages: 6 +
Connect 4 is a simple game of strategy. The aim of the game is who can place 4 of their coloured counters in a row first. It’s ideal for helping your children practice counting skills as well as strategic thinking. Designed for 2 players only, we recommend having a family tournament to really make things exciting!
Ages: 10+ (Monopoly Junior 5 years+)
Monopoly is probably one of the most well-known and popular family board games ever created. Geared towards older children, the aim of the game is for players to buy and sell property from one another. Each player rolls the dice and works their way around the board using fake money to buy property and paying other players rent when they land on their squares. To win you must bankrupt your opponents and win all the money. It’s an excellent game for developing and practicing maths skills, with lots of counting and budgeting involved, as well as understanding the concepts of a loan, taxes and bankruptcy. It can even help your children learn about property ownership and develop their negotiation skills too!
Ages: 8+ (Rummikub Junior 4 years+)
Rummikub is a fast moving, easy-to-learn game for kids that reinforces skills such as sequencing and patterns. Using strategy (and some luck) players have to arrange their number tiles into sets (groups of the same number) or runs (consecutive numbers in the same colour). The first one to get rid of all their tiles wins. Even though the core of the game is basic maths, it is also great for the brain. When trying to find the patterns and figure out where you can place your tiles (which usually means rearranging tiles already on the board), it really puts working memory and focus to the test. It’s a fun game for the whole family and can be extremely addictive too!
Scattergories is a fast-paced thinking game, which will be guaranteed to keep the family entertained for hours! Each turn, a player rolls the letter dice and has to race against the timer to think of words that correlate to the list of categories in front of them. Players earn their points by trying to write down words other players didn’t. Critical thinking skills are important in this game, as your children not only have to think of matching words, they also have to think beyond their original ideas for more unique words too. It’s also a great opportunity for them to practice spelling, learn new words from other players and think under time pressure.
For younger children, we recommend any of the Orchard Toys games and puzzles. Designed with education in mind, working with teachers, nursery professionals and kids themselves, all their games have the perfect balance between educational benefits and play. Everything is colourful and fun, and your kids can learn a whole host of skills such as different colours or counting, turn-taking, social skills and hand-eye coordination. With hundreds of games in different formats to choose from, pick a theme your kids particularly enjoy or even an area at school they’re struggling with!