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Gameschool Board Game Gift Guide

With sales and specials happening, there is no better time to add some new games to your gameschool collection. These five picks spread across many ages and abilities. Hopefully you will find one you can't wait to play with your kids!

If you want to see all of our gift guide posts, check out the main post here.

Ecosystem is a card-drafting game in which players choose cards and place them into their play area turn by turn. The cards in a player's grid make up their own personal ecosystem, and at game's end, a player will have twenty cards in their ecosystem, with the game including eleven types of cards. Bears score by being placed next to bees and trout; trout score by being placed next to streams and dragonflies; and streams are compared at the end of the game, with the player who has the largest stream earning points. These are just a few examples of how scoring works in Ecosystem. Don't forget to diversify!

Ecosystem is such a great game for learning! You need to build a diverse ecosystem but you are also at the mercy of your cards. It is a great addition to your nature or environment studies. I have talked about this game in a lot of posts, but you can read my full review here.

Alana's Animals is fun, easy to learn and develops counting, number sense and problem solving. The game can be played at different levels from simple counting and matching to problem solving and strategic play. These are mathematical skills which will support your child's learning at school. The cards use math vocabulary which your child can practice within the context of finding Alana's Animals -- children will also love finding the 'spotty cows', the wiggly worm or the little ducklings too.

This game is fantastic for pre-k and early elementary kids. Not only do players do some counting, they also work on set collection and planning skills as they collect farm animals to meet goals. There are two ways to play, one for younger kids and one for six and up. The box is the size of a deck of cards, so it won't take up much room on the shelf either.

Letter Tycoon is the word game for 2-5 capitalists! In the game, players take turns forming a word using a seven-card hand and a three-card community card pool, scoring money and stock rewards based on their word. Players may use their earned money to buy one letter "patent" in the word they make. In the future, whenever another player uses one of your owned letters on their turn, you earn money from the bank. Letters that are used less frequently have special abilities, increasing their power.

When enough of the alphabet has been claimed, players finish the current turn, then score all money, stock and letter patents owned. Create the most valuable empire and you can become the letter tycoon!

If you are ready to update your word game selection, I recommend Letter Tycoon. It mixes word building with a bit of stock market math. The game will be best with middle school and up as it requires a certain level strategy. This is one of my personal favorites and you can read my full review of the game here.

Oom-Pah! is the addictive card game for music nerds & legends...or those who wanna be! It's fun, fast, challenging, and cleverly sneaks music knowledge into your brain! Oom-Pah!'s unique colour-coded learning tools will help you understand music concepts systematically. So whether you're an absolute beginner or musical maestro, you can compete at a level playing field. With over 1,700 different game options to choose from you’ll always be engaged, entrained, & highly entertained!

Fans of Dutch Blitz or Nerts are going to love this new rendition of the fast playing game. This is absolutely the most fun way to learn music theory and memorize various scales, chords, and the like. The box is fairly big and the price is higher than any on our list, but the learning value in this game is excellent. If you want to know more about the game, check out this review.

In Hippo, a player wants to get rid of all their buoy chips by placing them strategically in Mr. Hippo's swimming pool. The swimming lanes are numbered from 1 to 12, and lane number 7 is Mr. Hippo's little basin. The players roll three dice and decide to use their value separately or add them up. Whoever rolls and uses a 7 gets to play again. Chips can be kicked out of the pool again if one lane is full and a player plays there again.

Hippo is a light game of trying to get rid of all your pool floaties. The game is super small and can be played and enjoyed by both young kids and older ones. There is a little counting and strategy and a whole lot of fun to be had in this tiny box that can fit in your purse.

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