Educational board games are a fun way to pass an afternoon when it is too cold to spend time outside or for some quality time together on family game night.
Most board games are designed to teach a lesson while allowing you to have fun at the same time. You can find educational board games in a variety of subjects, allowing you to choose one in the subject you want to focus on.
Benefits of Educational Board Games
- They can bring your family together
- They can help develop communication skills
- They aren’t very expensive
- Special needs children can especially benefit from them
- They teach your child to follow rules and directions
- Even when someone loses, a lesson is taught
- A healthy way to let your child pursue competition
- They aid in social development
- They can help your child learn to read
- Many board games help improve math and critical thinking skills
50 Best Educational Board Games
Educational Board Games for Preschoolers
1. My First Castle Panic
It can be difficult to find educational games that don’t involve reading. My First Castle Panic is a preschooler-friendly version of the famous game that promotes learning cooperation and teamwork—without needing to read.
2. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Preschoolers often need to work on their fine motor skills before they can play board games and this game does just that. They’ll also learn color matching through the course of play.
3. Spot It Junior
Spot It is a popular game for elementary and middle school students, but the junior version is perfect for keeping children from advanced toddlers to preschoolers busy. Students will need to rush to catch matches before their peers to win.
4. Social Roller Coaster
Besides fine motor skills, preschool students often need help identifying emotions. Social Roller Coaster teaches all this as well as coping skills in a game that is suitable for children as young as 4.
An oldie but a goodie, Candyland teaches children both counting and matching as they move around the board to make it to Candyland before any of their peers.
Memory tends to develop right along with reading skills, but it can also develop before them with the right tools. Zingo is a memory game that isn’t based on words, great for children in preschool.
Elementary Student Board Games that are Educational
6. Monopoly Junior
A child-friendly version of the adult game, Monopoly Junior was invented to help your child learn math and money management skills in denominations that are easy for them to calculate. When they master this game, it’s very easy for them to transition to the regular version of Monopoly.
7. Robot Turtles
As the world becomes more dependent on technology, coding is becoming an important subject to teach young children. Robot Turtles does just that as your child must input commands to move their turtle across the board. Recommended for kindergartners and up.
8. Math Rush
Math Rush is unique in that it is a game that teaches math cooperatively. Rather than pitting players against each other, they are placed on teams and need to solve math riddles before time runs out.
There are three versions of this game, each one harder to suit all elementary levels of math.
9. Math Flux
For older elementary children, there is a game called Math Flux which teaches basic math as well as fractions and complex math. Because it has more complex subjects, it is recommended for children 8 and up.
10. Maestro Mastery
Maestro Mastery uses matching to teach children about famous composers found in music history. It might be a bit difficult for children who can’t read, but once they are 7 or 8 years old it shouldn’t be a problem for them to master this game.
Mobi is another math game that is structured like scrabble. Rather than making words, kids will use numbers to create math problems. The game only features addition and subtraction making it an easy pick for 5–9-year-olds.
12. Problem Solved!
Problem Solved is a math-based card game recommended for children ages 5 and up. It is a bit like flashcards, making it easy to play on the go, in the car, or while waiting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.
13. Guess in 10
Guess in 10 is a guessing game a bit like Guess Who, where one individual must ask the other questions to discern what is on the card they hold.
While it can be played by players as young as 8, you’ll want to grab the version of this game which features places or historical figures that all players can recognize.
Tri-Facta is a math-based game where you work to get rid of all your tiles. There is both an addition/subtraction version, as well as a multiplication/division version so this game can suit any elementary-age student.
15. Story Cubes
While Story Cubes is mostly used for elementary-age students, we see no reason that it can’t become part of the middle school curriculum or family game night.
Story Cubes promotes reading, writing, and creative thinking as it challenges kids to roll dice and make up stories about the result.
16. Engineering Ants
There are very few games that promote STEM making this one an absolute gem. The ants need to reach the picnic basket, and your child will need to build a way to get there. Recommended for ages 5 and up, you can also bring this game out on family game night.
While this game may not seem educational, it has a lot of information about horses, even going down to the differences between species while teaching basic math. It may not be suitable for a classroom, but it is a good game to pull out for some weekend learning at home.
18. Allowance Game
Like the more adult version of this educational board game Pay Day, Allowance helps students learn to navigate a month of time with their allowance in terms that are suitable for elementary-age students.
Educational Board Games for Middle School Students
Covalence is a science game that is helpful for reviewing the basics of organic chemistry. While it can be introduced as young as 8 years old, it is better played after the kid has mastered the subject as a review. We recommend it for middle school students.
20. Trekking the National Parks
Kids who are interested in nature will learn about geography and botany in this fun game about the National Parks in the United States. While it can be played by kids as young as 10, we find it is better suited for your middle schooler as it is a bit of a trivia game.
21. Monopoly National Parks
Speaking of National Parks, if your middle schooler is really interested in them, grab this National Park Monopoly where they can own their favorite national parks and learn math at the same time, they learn geography.
22. Scrambled States of America
Scrambled States of America is a game that teaches kids where all the US states are located as well as facts about each one. The game is listed for children 8 and up, but it might be a bit challenging for children under the age of 10 which is why we recommend it for middle schoolers.
Proof is a challenging math game designed for middle school students. Not only does it help them review addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but it also helps them to build math proofs using square roots ideal for those taking their first Algebra class.
24. Astronomy Flux
Perfect for the student that is learning astronomy, Astronomy Flux is a board game suitable for ages 8 and up and is best played with students who are learning about space exploration. Adults may enjoy the game too thanks to the NASA photography used on every card.
25. Mystic Market
We’ve put this in the middle school category, but this game is suitable for high schoolers and elementary schoolers as well. It teaches math and economics as students try to form potions before the ingredients run out.
Boggle is an older educational game, known for its portability and ease of play. Have your student shake the set up and find words in whatever formation the dice land in. While it is great for middle schoolers, late elementary students may enjoy this game as well.
While Scrabble can technically be a good game for any age, we find it helps students best in middle school. By this point, they have enough vocabulary to make the game interesting, but there is still room for improvement.
28. Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons, while famous in social circles, also teaches important storytelling and creativity skills. You can start playing this game with your kids once they reach 10 years old and adjust it as your children age.
29. Rush Hour
Rush Hour is a game based on high traffic that can help build STEM, problem-solving, and strategy skills. The box does list that players 8 and up are okay to play, but this game may be frustrating for those under 10.
Educational High School Student Board Games
While you can teach young children Chess, it is a game that you should bring back when your kids reach their high school years. It teaches critical thinking, planning, and strategy in a way that no other game can.
Developed by a science teacher, this game is designed to teach students about how ecosystems function. The point of the game is to build your own ecosystem, and while it can be played by younger students the box recommends the players be at least 14.
32. Election Night
Understanding the US Electoral system can be difficult, even for adults. The Election Night board game explains not only how it works but allows the players to perform much of the math involved in an Election Night on their own.
Pit is a crazy card game that teaches students about the stock market. The game starts with a bell, then players must trade commodities until they’ve collected all of one type. There is a bear market card to avoid, however, teaching kids the volatility of the stock market.
34. Oregon Trail
It’s rare to find games that teach history to older students and Oregon Trail is one of the best. Each student is given a wagon with riders who may face some of the challenges of the Oregon Trail along the way.
While this game isn’t difficult, it has many adult themes only for those 13 and up.
35. Pay Day
Pay Day is a math game like Monopoly but with more real-life implications as students receive a paycheck and must go through the month (board) and survive until Pay Day. Suitable for any students old enough to balance a budget, we recommend playing it with high schoolers.
Yahtzee is a game that can teach kids about probability. It can be played much younger, but the lessons to be learned from this game are only understood by a middle or high school crowd that has done some research on probability.
Pandemic is a cooperative game about beating strains of viruses before they spread. Because it is cooperative, it can be played by a younger crowd, but there are many adult themes in this board game that are better suited to high school students.
Labeled with a player age of 14 plus, Wingspan is a game that can teach high-level biology about birds. There’s additionally a digital support app which is all the rage among the more aloof teen players.
Scattegories is a game in which the players must list items that go in categories outlined on the cards. The game can be for younger audiences, but the box recommends 13 and up so all the players can know all the categories.
During a game of Taboo, the players must get the others on their team to guess the word on their card without saying it. Taboo is suitable for middle school students as well, but typically needs players to be a bit older to get all the literacy benefits of the game.
Family Board Games that are Educational
Camp is a science and geography game that can teach you outdoor skills to help you (and your kids) survive any wilderness adventures. It’s great for all ages because you can choose the level you want to play, allowing you to make the game harder as your kids grow older.
42. Professor Noggin’s Presidents of the United States Trivia Card Game
The name of this game is a mouthful, but it was developed to help children learn facts about the different presidents of the United States. While it was developed more for children, most adults won’t even know these hard-hitting facts, making is a great family night game.
Blokus is a unique game where all the players are given colored tiles and must work to fill as much of the board as possible. While it is only a 4-player game, it can be made as challenging as you want, depending on the players and pieces you use making it an ideal game for families.
44. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is an educational game that teaches geography along with a bit of history. There are a couple of different versions of this game so you can teach your family both European and World geography on game night.
45. Settlers of Catan
You’ve probably played Settlers of Catan without even realizing it was somewhat educational. Rolling the dice for resources is a part of probability while discussing the need for raw resources to build various attributes can contribute to a history lesson.
46. Catch Phrase
A variation of the hot potato game, Catch Phrase helps expand and teach vocabulary to people of all ages. You can keep score or pull this game out just for entertainment during a long wait.
47. Miss Bernard is a Wild Card
Miss Bernard is a Wild Card is a family game created for the purpose of teaching children sentence structure. It does have a minimum age of 8, but you can play on teams and have up to 8 players.
Banangrams is another game that allows for many players making it easy to pull out on game night. Kids learn reading, spelling, and critical thinking as they play.
Suitable for a family with older children, Peptide is fun for kids and adults alike as you must work through complicated biology concepts to build amino acids.
Cashflow is an upgraded version of the other money games on the market (Pay Day and Monopoly) and is suitable for older children and adults. Young adults can play on a team with an adult as they learn to manage the financial struggles of business and everyday life.