10 Fun Educational Games for the HolidaysDecember 12th, 2019
What is the best way to choose fun educational games for the holidays?
The best educational games are sometimes the games that don’t even seem like they are educational. They are fun and engaging. They let each player make substantial choices throughout the game. The gameplay makes you think. There is nothing worse than letting the role of the dice completely dictate how well you will do in the game. Kids and even adults become more engaged in games that have greater levels of choice than those that don’t.
Watch Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET on the news give tips on how to choose fun educational games and activities to keep your kids engaged and learning over the holidays. Continue reading the blog post for 10 great educational games you can play with the family over the holidays. We also have a free print out download for math and word games that Bonnie showed on the news.
3 Things Parents Should Look for When Choosing Fun Educational Games:
- Think about the skills you would like to enhance… Reading? Comprehension? Vocabulary? Writing? Math? Spelling?
- Can you play the game over a number of years? Will this be a game your kids will enjoy for years to come?
- Is this a game where kids have a choice or is everything chance? Kids are more engaged when they can make choices.
What educational fun games does Bonnie Terry recommend?
Keep in mind, different games focus on different learning skills.
- The Sentence Zone
1st Grade to Adult. Okay, we may be a bit biased on this one, but we love this game! The Sentence Zone is a sentence building game where you get points for building sentences. Nouns are blue and verbs are red. Every part of speech is color-coded and worth a different amount of points. With younger kids, work on just building a simple sentence, and with older kids, you can build complex sentences. It is much easier to understand the English language when you are able to visualize the parts of speech with colors. The Sentence Zone improves 18 areas of learning including writing skills and grammar skills. Use promo code: HOLIDAY to get $10 off. Orders over $100 ship free to the Contiguous US.
2nd Grade to Adult. This is a great card game where you make words with the cards that you are dealt. This is a great vocabulary and word-building game that can be a bit less daunting to play than Scrabble. Quiddler improves 10 areas of learning including spelling skills.
- Apples to Apples Junior
5th Grade to Adult. Improves 13 areas of learning including vocabulary and comparison skills.
3rd Grade to Adult. Carcassone is a great strategy game that improves 18 areas of learning and executive function and working memory skills.
- Settlers of Catan
3rd Grade to Adult. This is a family favorite of ours and it has become quite popular across the world. There are even tournaments that play this game. This is a game where you collect resources (wood, brick, wool, ore, and wheat), trade with your friends and build roads and settlements. The rules can seem a little complex at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a blast! Settlers of Catan is a strategy game that improves 18 areas of learning and executive function and working memory skills. For younger kids, try Catan Junior for kids 6 to 10 years old.
5th Grade to Adult. This game is great to work on your visual perception skills. There are cards with different colors, shadings, shapes and the number of shapes. You try to make ‘sets’ of three cards where each feature is either the same or completely different. There are no turns in this game. Everyone tries to make sets of cards at the same time.
- Rummy Cube
3rd Grade to Adult. This is one of my favorites to play with the family. It is similar to Rummy the card game where you make sets of the same number or runs of the same color, but you play with tiles. Rummy Cube improves 15 areas of learning as well as math skills.
- Math Maze
3rd Grade to Adult. Improves 9 areas of learning including math calculations.
3rd Grade to Adult. Improves 13 areas of learning including math calculations.
This game improves executive function, planning, and strategizing skills. It also as improves math skills, fractions, and spatial awareness skills.
D. Moore states, “I originally bought this game for my classroom to help my students develop thinking skills. When it first arrived, I took the game home to figure out how to play it before introducing it to my students–and I was hooked! My own children are ages 10 and 11 and they love the game (we are buying a game for home), but I teach students up to age 18 and they enjoy the game just as much. Educationally, it helps younger students develop a better understanding of spatial relations and planning ahead. For older students (and adults) it helps to develop various strategy skills.”
Don’t forget to download your FREE fun educational games.