The Games We Play and Why – Educational Board Games that Kids Love!

The Games We Play and Why: the Benefits of Educational Board Games #mosswoodconnections #learningthroughplay #giftguide #holidays

Learning Through Play

The Benefits of Educational Board Games

Sarah and I are play-therapists so we, well, we play for a living. While to people observing us it may seem like we are “just playing”, everything we do has a purpose. Educational board games can teach patience, reciprocal play, turn-taking, academic skills, social skills & sportsmanship.

Educational Board games teach patience, reciprocal play, turn-taking, social skills & sportsmanship while fostering family relationships

Educational board games are often part of our sessions. There are many reasons why we choose to play board games: the kids enjoy them and you can sneak so many skills in while playing the games. Educational games can teach anything from math and reading skills to social skills and emotional intelligence. There are many wonderful games that foster learning and skill building.

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The Games We Play and Why: the Benefits of Educational Board Games #mosswoodconnections #learningthroughplay #giftguide #holidays

Tips for getting the most out of playing board games with the kids:

  • Get on the child’s level. If you are on the floor then you may want to lay down to make eye contact. Orientate your bodies to face each other.
  • Be expressive. Model the appropriate reactions for the gameplay.
  • Chit chat, talk while you play. That builds language skills.
  • Change the rules, be silly, have fun!

Educational Board Games for Ages 3-6

Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot Award Winning Cooperative Matching Game for Kids

  • Players work together to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up; if they are successful everyone wins!
  • Children learn simple strategy and social development skills with no reading required

Cranium Hullabaloo – Cranium Hullabaloo

  • Encourages listening, problem-solving and friendly competition
  • Kids play alone or with friends -giggling guaranteed

Ravensburger Rivers, Roads, And Rails – Children’s Game

  • The objective is to be the first player to use up all your cards making a continuous network of paths.
  • Children have to think ahead to use up all their cards.
  • A clever family board game where planning, good visual alertness, and light strategy will lead to winning.

Educational Insights The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

  • Color matching game for all ages
  • Designed to teach matching, sorting, counting, and simple math skills
  • Great first board game for a child

Spot It Junior Animals

  • Symbol Recognition
  • Brain – eye association

Peaceable Kingdom Willy’s Wiggly Web Award-Winning Preschool Skills Builder Game

  • Players work together to cut all the bugs free before Willy the Spider falls from the wiggly web
  • Children learn motor skills, hand-eye coordination, counting and social development skills with no reading required

Brain Freeze From MIGHTY FUN, Award-Winning Board Game for Kids and Families, Fun and Educational Game to Learn Strategy, Logic, Deduction and Memory, Ages 5 and Up

  • Two players or teams race to correctly guess the secret sweet treat that the other player or team has chosen.
  • The age range for this game is 5-10 years
  • This game focuses on recall, memorization, logical deductive reasoning, pattern recognition, and being able to follow multi-step directions.

Educational Board Games Ages 7-11

The Games We Play and Why: the Benefits of Educational Board Games #mosswoodconnections #learningthroughplay #giftguide #holidays

5 Second Rule – Just Spit it Out!

  • Categories
  • Builds Quick Response Time
  • With only 5 seconds to name 3 things that fit the topic, it doesn’t seem so easy, but the kids love it!

10 Days in Africa Game

  • Geography
  • Scanning
  • Critical Thinking Skills

Cauldron Quest Cooperative Game

  • Involves potions and magic, which the kids love.
  • It is a cooperative game, which we love.
  • The players need to work together to collect the ingredients needed to make a potion to stop the evil wizard.
  • This is a good game for children of different ages.

Apples to Apples Junior – The Game of Crazy Combinations!

  • Vocabulary
  • Relationships/Critical Thinking


  • Players race against each other to build crossword grids
  • Build vocabulary skills while exercising the eyes and learning to respond quickly.
  • Great for travel

Ravensburger Labyrinth

  • Builds visual skills and critical thinking skills
  • Learn cause and effect, planning, association, recognition, and taking turns.


  • Exciting games of visual hide and seek
  • Builds Visual Scanning and Visual Figure-Ground Skills


  • Challenging for both beginners and wordsmiths alike
  • Build vocabulary and word building skills

Scrambled States of America Game Card Game

  • Builds faster response time
  • Teaches about United States Geography

Settlers of Catan 5th Edition

  • Teaches critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategy development

The Ungame

  • Communication game
  • Strengthens social skills
  • A great ice-breaker or a serious exchange of thoughts, feelings, and ideas
 The Games We Play and Why: the Benefits of Educational Board Games #mosswoodconnections #learningthroughplay #giftguide #holidays



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