Now that school is in full swing, it may seem like life is all about the books. By the time kids finish up with their eight-hour school day, clubs, sports, and how ever much homework they have on a given day, it's unlikely that they will want to sit down with you to work on multiplication tables or a spelling list, even if they really need the extra practice. But they will likely jump at the chance to play a board game with the family.
A family game night is a great way to unwind and unplug and bond with your kids. It's not your fault if they also happen to learn a little something along the way, right? So if you want to sneak some extra science, math or vocabulary into your kid's day without it turning into a chore, check out one of these awesome board games that are so fun, your kids won't even realize they're learning.
5 games that teach science
- Trivial Pursuit. Kids of all ages will learn something new with this game — science, math, literature, history and even a little pop culture. For little kids, Trivial Pursuit Jr. offers more of a bite-sized challenge.
- Camp. This is a fantastic game for teaching kids about nature and the natural world. Players must answer questions — with varying degrees of difficulty — on everything from bear hibernation to the world's oceans.
- Totally Gross. Yes, that's the name of the game and it's exactly why your kids will spend so much time laughing over the name that they won't even realize they are learning about chemistry, biology and other sciences.
- Solarquest. Similar to Monopoly, this game is like a real-estate game for space where players travel around the solar system collecting "properties" while simultaneously fending off attacks. Got a space nut? Get this game.
- Settlers of Catan. Your kids will get so wrapped up in exploring and developing their new world that they won't even realize they are learning social science skills such as managing resources, understanding terrain and developing communities.
- Scrabble. Sure it's a word game, and that's precisely why kids won't even realize that they are learning math, but adding up all of those points takes some strong addition skills. Every time they double or triple their scores, they'll be boning up on multiplication.
- Yahtzee. This is a great dice game that helps kids practice counting and addition.
- Mancala. There's not a number in sight in this ancient board game, which is why kids will never suspect that they are practicing counting and following patterns.
- Cribbage. This one is a card game but I'm sneaking it in here anyhow because it is a great way to help kids practice adding, counting and matching.
- Sorry! A great game to teach little kids about counting.
- Monopoly. Adding and multiplication abound in the game of Monopoly. If you have extra patience, let them be the banker so they can practice more math skills while handing out money and making change.
- Scrabble. Because it's Scrabble!
- Banagrams. Similar to Scrabble, but it's more free-flowing and also more portable.
- Boggle. For little kids, skip the timer and just challenge them to find as many words as they can on each turn.
- Cranium. With challenges themed around spelling, vocabulary and anagrams, your kids are bound to pick up a few new words from this fun family game.
- UpWords. It's like scrabble, but you don't have to stick with the letters on the board; you can build on them by stacking vertically to create new words with each letter.
- Scattergories. Pick a letter and then find 12 words from various categories that start with that letter. Great for building little vocabularies and challenging older ones as well!
- In a Pickle. This is a great game for elementary school-aged kids who have a good vocabulary and can think outside the box when using it.