The best learning takes place while kids are having fun. And what’s more fun than old-fashioned board games? Plus they get bonus points as a screen-free way to keep kids engaged! Whether your learners are in preschool or high school, there’s something for everyone. Some of the educational board games on our list can be played in a group (think Bingo) while others can be played solo. You’ll find classic games, including their junior versions for younger students, as well as plenty of unique games to add to your collection. Check out our recommendations below for the best educational board games for kids of all ages.
Games for Preschoolers
Pancake Pile-Up teaches early math skills while also working on balance and coordination. Kids will definitely get a kick out of this relay-style game that involves racing to stack pancakes as displayed on the selected card.
Skills: Counting, Sequencing, Pattern Recognition, Gross Motor Skills
Buy it: Pancake Pile-Up at Amazon
This hilarious game teaches kids matching and other valuable skills while they race to dress their raccoons.
Skills: Matching, Colors, Turn Taking
Buy it: Raccoon Rumpus at Amazon
Matching Game: Disney Edition
A classic game but with all of your kids’ favorite Disney characters. It would be hard to make a list of the best educational board games without including some version of the Memory game!
Skills: Attention, Concentration, Focus
Buy it: Matching: Disney at Amazon
Unlike traditional Boggle, this game can be played by kids as young as 3 years old. Cards can be played with the word showing or not showing so you can customize it to your students’ skill levels.
Skills: Spelling, Vocabulary
Buy it: Boggle Jr. at Amazon
Pete the Cat: I Love My Buttons Board Game
Preschoolers will love this game since it features everyone’s favorite book feline, Pete the Cat! They will also like trying their hand at the spinner as they gather buttons to dress Pete.
Skills: Shape and Color Recognition, Gross Motor Skills, Matching
Buy it: Pete the Cat Game at Amazon
Go Fish Alphabet
Players attempt to see how many upper- and lower-case letter pairs they can accumulate in this fun spin on Go Fish. We especially love the cute detail that the upper- and lower-case letters are represented by mother and baby animal pairs!
Skills: Upper- and Lower-Case Letter Recognition, Turn Taking, Critical Thinking, Animal Recognition
Buy it: Go Fish Alphabet at Amazon
Ask the right questions so you can guess your opponent’s character before they guess yours. We especially love that this version comes with the option to play with pets too!
Skills: Deductive Reasoning, Communication
Buy it: Guess Who? at Amazon
Blast off into space and have fun while racing around the solar system with friends. We especially love the straightforward instructions and quick game play.
Skills: Turn Taking, Social Skills, Counting
Buy it: Little Astronauts at Amazon
Snug as a Bug in a Rug
We love this game since it hits on a lot of the major concepts taught in preschool including shapes, colors, counting, and cooperation.
Skills: Counting, Color and Shape Recognition
Buy it: Snug as a Bug in a Rug at Amazon
This fun spin on bingo is the perfect game for very early readers since it reinforces simple words through pictures and repetition. Kids will surely love manning the machine that makes the Zingo cards pop out.
Skills: Sight Word Recognition, Spelling
Buy it: Zingo at Amazon
We love a good scavenger hunt, especially one that can be played indoors. Put your little learners’ critical thinking skills to the test while they have fun racing around the classroom to find objects that fit the cards.
Skills: Problem Solving, Creativity, Observation Skills
Buy it: Found It at Amazon
Magnetic Fishing Game
Kids will have fun “fishing” for letters with this adorable magnetic game board and fishing poles.
Skills: Hand-Eye Coordination, Letter Recognition
Buy it: Magnetic Fishing Game at Amazon
A staple of nearly everyone’s childhood, Candy Land is the perfect introduction to educational board games because the rules are straightforward. We love that it doesn’t take too long to play, since young kids often have short attention spans.
Skills: Turn Taking, Counting, Rule Following
Buy it: Candy Land at Amazon
Games for Elementary School Students
Roll the dice, reveal suspects, find clues, rule out suspects, then find the guilty fox!
Skills: Deductive Reasoning and Logic
Buy it: Outfoxed at Amazon
We are loving all the junior versions of popular board games so that littler kids can enjoy them too. Monopoly Junior uses the same basic concepts as the original while streamlining the instructions and shortening the playing time.
Skills: Counting, Basic Math, Strategy
Buy it: Monopoly Junior at Amazon
What Do You Stand For?
Cards feature a “What If” scenario that gets kids thinking about how to handle difficult situations. Players must collect cards for each of the traits along the way.
Skills: Social and Emotional Intelligence, Character Building
Buy it: What Do You Stand For? at Amazon
Get four of your tokens in a row before your opponent can! We love the strategic thinking that is necessary to succeed in this classic game.
Skills: Logic, Strategy
Buy it: Connect 4 at Amazon
Be the first to find your designated object to win the round. Kids will definitely get a kick out of the whimsical drawings in this game.
Skills: Visual Perception, Focus, Attention to Detail
Buy it: Pictureka at Amazon
Some educational board games, like this one, teach kids about something they may not otherwise learn. Kids learn about herbal and medicinal plants while competing against friends in this science-based game.
Skills: Strategy, Nature Facts
Buy it: Wildcraft at Amazon
Like pickup sticks on steroids, kids will love the challenge of adding rods to this sculpture without touching any other ones.
Skills: Teamwork, Balance, Hand-Eye Coordination
Buy it: Suspend at Amazon
Players will need to utilize their math skills so they can escape Math Island in this fun, fast-paced game.
Skills: Conceptual Understanding, Word Problem Solving, Calculations
Buy it: Math Island at Amazon
Balance Board Game
Early elementary–aged students will certainly have fun balancing this scale based on the number card drawn. Additionally, the happy little frogs will make anyone smile!
Skills: Counting, Balance, Coordination
Buy it: Balance Board Game at Amazon
Pre-readers and early readers will definitely benefit from the junior version of Scrabble. We love that it can be customized to your students’ abilities since the two-sided game board has an easy side and a more advanced one.
Skills: Organization, Memory Function, Spelling, Decision Making
Buy it: Scrabble Junior at Amazon
This is the perfect game to teach young kids about coin identification while also reinforcing counting and basic math skills.
Skills: Counting, Money Management
Buy it: Money Bags at Amazon
My First Bananagrams
Not all educational board games have to include actual boards. We love how easy it is to travel with Bananagrams since the tiles all fit nicely into the banana-shaped zippered bag. My First Bananagrams is similar to the original but with bright, sturdier tiles and dual-letter tiles. The tiles will come in handy whether you are actively playing the game or just practicing building sight words.
Skills: Word Building, Letter Recognition
Buy it: My First Bananagrams at Amazon
This multi-award-winning game will definitely be a hit with your students. They will learn about various countries, continents, and flags while also having fun. Help your students develop a curiosity about the world around them while they are still young!
Skills: Flag Identification, Country/Continent Recognition
Buy it: Continent Race at Amazon
First, players have to use the provided blocks to build a maze based on the selected card. Then, they have to drop the ball into the maze and see if they were successful. There is something for everyone since the cards range from beginner to expert.
Skills: Reasoning, Visual Perception, Spatial Reasoning
Buy it: Gravity Maze at Amazon
Games for Middle School Students
Brain Games Kids
Regardless of your age, everyone can benefit from brain teasers and puzzles. Put your students’ problem-solving skills to the test with this fun game based on the hit show Brain Games.
Skills: Logic, Reasoning
Buy it: Brain Games Kids at Amazon
Science Ninjas: Valence
Kids will learn how molecules form and chemicals interact while also having fun. Valence will certainly be a great addition to your science curriculum.
Skills: Molecule Formation, Chemical Reactions
Buy it: Science Ninjas: Valence at Amazon
Clue: Harry Potter Edition
Whether you’re a muggle or a wizard, you will love this fun, alternate version of the popular game Clue.
Skills: Deductive Reasoning, Communication
Buy it: Clue: Harry Potter Edition at Amazon
3 Up 3 Down
This fun, fast-paced card game will be sure to keep your students’ attention while improving their cognitive abilities. They will definitely ask to play again and again!
Skills: Quick Thinking, Following Directions
Buy it: 3 Up 3 Down at Amazon
Multiplication & Division Bingo
Kids will enjoy honing their math skills while competing against their friends!
Skills: Multiplication, Division
Buy it: Multiplication & Division Bingo at Amazon
Guess in 10
Players have up to 10 questions before they have to guess which state is on the card in question. This is a game of strategy since players can make use of clue cards and bonus questions on their way to winning seven cards.
Skills: Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication
Buy it: Guess in 10 at Amazon
What’s better than spending an hour engulfed in espionage and intrigue? This game has won a Mensa award for good reason since it teaches reasoning, deduction, logic, and other valuable skills!
Skills: Memory, Strategy, Deductive Reasoning
Buy it: Spy Alley at Amazon
Put on a headband, flip the timer, then start asking yes-no questions to guess who or what is on your headband!
Skills: Descriptive Language, Deductive Reasoning
Buy it: Hedbanz at Amazon
Players must play as many letter cards as they can that fit the selected category before the timer runs out. This game can be played by a range of ages and ability levels since the prompts range from easy to quite difficult.
Skills: Category Recognition, Connecting Specifics to Categories, Creative Thinking
Buy it: Rapid Rumble at Amazon
While the junior version of the game is perfect for elementary-aged children, we think the regular version is perfect for middle schoolers. Once everyone has been dealt a set number of tiles, students get to work building words.
Skills: Vocabulary Building, Spelling
Buy it: Bananagrams at Amazon
Kids have been playing this game since 1970. Mastermind is a game of strategy in which one player is the codemaker and the other is the codebreaker. A game that enforces math concepts while keeping kids actively engaged is a win in our book!
Skills: Logical Thinking, Math Concepts (Probability, Permutations)
Buy it: Mastermind at Amazon
Trekking the National Parks
This game is so innovative it has won both the Mensa and Parents’ Choice Gold Awards. Spark a love of nature and the national parks while kids are still young! Players travel across the map collecting trail stones and earning park cards.
Skills: Map Reading, Historical and Geographical Knowledge
Buy it: Trekking the National Parks at Amazon
National Geographic Rock Bingo
If you know a budding geologist, this is the game for them! Not only does it come with bingo cards and playing cards, it also comes with over 150 rocks and minerals!
Skills: Rock and Mineral Identification
Buy it: Rock Bingo at Amazon
Games for High School Students
People have been playing some version of Monopoly since 1904 and the classic version since the 1930s! Teach the almost-adult in your life all about money management while having a lot of fun in the process.
Skills: Finance, Life Skills, Strategy, Negotiation
Buy it: Monopoly at Amazon
Chemistry buffs will learn to identify and understand the periodic table while also having fun with their friends.
Skills: Strategic Planning, Executive Planning
Buy it: Periodic at Amazon
Trekking Through History
Students will love time-traveling through thousands of years of history while earning experience tokens for their itinerary. No friends around to play with? No problem! Play in solo mode against the historian!
Skills: Critical Thinking, Reinforcement of Historical Facts
Buy it: Trekking Through History: A Board Game Adventure Through Time at Amazon
Scrabble is about so much more than just building the biggest word since different letters are worth different points and you can build multiple words in a single turn. Regardless of how attached to their devices the teens in your life are, we still think they will enjoy some hands-on learning with everyone’s favorite word game.
Skills: Vocabulary Enrichment, Tactics and Strategy
Buy it: Scrabble at Amazon
These fun dice can be used for any age, but we think they would make great icebreakers for teens. A focus on social and emotional learning has become vital since the beginning of the pandemic.
Skills: Communication, Social and Emotional Intelligence
Buy it: Conversation Cubes at Amazon
The World Game
This game boasts cards representing 194 countries and also a full world map. Teach your high schooler all about geography while having fun at the same time.
Skills: Map Reading, Country and Capital Recognition
Buy it: The World Game at Amazon
This game is best suited to teenagers since the instructions may prove too challenging for younger students. Any science lover will certainly have a ball gathering health points by building enzymes, hormones, and receptors!
Skills: Reading, Strategy, Multiplication
Buy it: Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game at Amazon
This multi-award-winning game will be a big hit with teens as they play detective so they can track down the chameleon. The player with the chameleon card will need to be sneaky and use strategy to blend in and avoid being caught!
Skills: Logic, Deduction
Buy it: Chameleon at Amazon
We know how difficult it can be to get teens to unplug, but we think Brain Bolt might just do the trick! Teens can play solo or challenge their friends to see who can get the highest score.
Skills: Hand-Eye Coordination, Memory, Sequential Thinking
Buy it: BrainBolt at Amazon
Cranium is the gold standard in educational board games since it is based on psychological studies on the nine areas of intelligence. Be the first to complete all four activities in Cranium Central so your team will win!
Skills: Vocabulary, Creativity, Reading
Buy it: Cranium at Amazon
Players must place tiles on their side while completing secret objectives. We think it is best suited for older students since the time needed to play is on the longer side.
Skills: Logic, Strategy, Pattern Recognition
Buy it: Azul at Amazon
The 50 States Game
Being able to fill out a U.S. map is surprisingly difficult for many students and even adults. We love that this game teaches that skill while also being super fun!
Skills: Flag and Capital Recognition, Geographical Knowledge
Buy it: The 50 States Game at Amazon
If you like these educational board games and are looking for more play-based learning, try these 35 active math games and activities for your little learners.
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