Updated: Jul 16, 2020
So, you like the idea of using games to teach your kids. Now what? There are so many games to choose from. Here we have put together a list of games that are cost effective and versatile to get you started. Choose some that sound interesting to you and your family and get your gaming underway. *As I write this we are in Covid-19 lock down. Depending on your location you should be able to place an online order at many online game stores.
Word on the Street
This is a spelling and vocabulary game. The Junior edition has all the letters, but the regular version removes the vowels and some less used consonants. Players are on 2 teams. On a turn, your team will have a topic card. Your card might say "something in a garden". You have to choose a word that will get you many letters or the letters that are closest to your side. It is a letter tug of war as the tiles move toward your side for each time they are in your word. Part of the versatility of this game is that you can make your own cards bringing in history or science topics that you are covering in your other lessons.
Mathemagician's Duel For young players this game is all about addition and subtraction. As they get older the strategy begins to surface and they will start to think about card probability. Our big kid (12) asks to play it often. It is a charming way to bring some math into your day. You can find our board game spotlight post with more info here. Bananagrams It is similar to Scrabble but everyone is playing at the same time and on their own crossword. It is more forgiving by far and words can even be rearranged at any time. We use the tiles for spelling practice too. Dinosaur Tea Party This one is like Guess Who but for up to 5 players. It is a great game for deductive reasoning skills. The way we use it most is for foreign language practice. It allows for the use of basic sentences and questions. For example: Are you drinking tea? Yes, I am drinking tea. Timeline This little card game comes in many versions. The one we are using lately is specifically about events in Quebec history. You are simply trying to put your cards into the right place in time with the other events. The game will likely result in looking up information about historical events. Cardline This is basically the same idea as Timeline. In this one you are sorting animals. There are 3 options for organization by lifespan, length, or weight. Our big kid (12) and our tot (3) both adore this game. Cardline Globetrotter Yes, this is the same as Cardline. This one uses countries. You will line up the cards based on one of these 4 categories: country's size, population, GDP, and CO₂ emissions. This game is better for kids that already have some political map familiarity. Kloo Games
These card games are a great addition to your foreign language learning. This game has players using word cards to create sentences. You get points for translation as well as sentence construction. It is great for reinforcing learned vocabulary.
This is another game that will lead you to internet searches. Who was Boudicca? That one card led to an hour of additional learning. Similo is a cooperative game of deduction. It is hard to only play one game. They also have a fables addition that we like and we are trying to get our hands on the mythology edition that just came out.
Think Uno, but with money. This game is all about counting out change. It is in USD, so may be less helpful for non-Americans. It has been great for us over the years. The coin exchange cards are also very helpful for those just learning.