As we’ve said quite a few times, each Friday we attend a board game held meetup at one of the local colleges. It’s open to the public and anyone interested is welcome. We’ve been bringing the girls along since the first time we attended and we’ve found it to be a great experience both socially and educationally for them. So when we found out the junior high offered a Strategy Game Club with meetings after school, Madison couldn’t wait to sign up.
When she attended her first one, she came home to tell us all about it. We were quite shocked to hear that they play Apples to Apples and Uno. Those are both fine games, but not exactly what I would call strategy games. It got me thinking about just how many games there are that are not only beneficial in teaching strategy but also have other educational components as well.
After chatting with some of my friends who homeschool their kids, I discovered that there is a definite need for a list of games that can be incorporated into lesson plans. This is only a sampling as there are many other games out there that fit the requirements and new games are released all the time. We own all of these and have covered on the site. We’ve included a link to the original post so you can learn more about it and determine if it fits into your lesson plan.
25 Games for Teaching
History and Geography
If you played Risk as a kid, it’s a pretty good chance you knew exactly where Madagascar was on a globe, not to mention many of the other key countries. Some of these games are fun ways to learn about geography while others teach about history. It’s excellent when the game developers add flavor text (that’s the small writing that usually has nothing to do with the game) to add additional layers and benefits. Some simply offer backstory to help grasp the overall concept.
- Expedition: Famous Explorers – (History, explorers, geography)
- Timeline Challenge (History, culture)
- The Manhattan Project (History, science)
- 1812 (History, geography)
- Boxcars (Geography, math)
- Lembitu (History, geography)
- Trench (History)
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
Math has always been easy for me so I loved it whether it was from a text book, speed test or practical use. For some, science and math just aren’t much fun so these are a few ways to work the skills without it feeling like a chore. A few games are targeted toward basic math principles, others toward business and coding.
- Peptide (Science)
- Code Master (Programming)
- Sumoku (Math)
- Stockpile (Stock market, math)
- Gravity Maze (Engineering)
- Py (Math)
- Plyt (Math)
- Kakuro for Dummies (Math)
- Robot Turtles (Beginning programming)
- O’NO 99 (Math)
Language, Vocabulary and Creativity
These games strengthen vocabulary, creative thoughts and writing. Some are reminiscent of Scrabble or Boggle while others push you to work on your ability to create stories quickly.
- Ambiguity (Vocabulary, spelling)
- Tapple (Vocabulary, improv thinking)
- Alpha Bandits (Vocabulary, spelling)
- Paperback (Vocabulary, spelling)
- Kwan (Vocabulary, spelling)
- Crazy As (Math)
- Spinergy (Creative thinking, writing)
- Snake Oil (Improv, salesmanship)
As I said, this is only a sampling of the vast games available that can be utilized to make learning more fun. We play so many that I’m sure I could come up with many more.Let me know what you think of these 25 games for teaching children (and adults) about a variety of subjects!
What types of subjects do you feel are the weakest in your lesson plans?