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Keep the Learning Going Through Board Games

Posted on | Mike Bullard

Board games have changed a lot in the last 50 years. They are so much more than the Monopoly and Sorry games you might remember. And the past few years have seen a resurgence in the complexity of strategy, gameplay, and themes in boardgames. New game designers are popping up every day, building even more intricate and intellectual games.

These games provide learning opportunities for kids in a number of different areas. In addition to simple things like learning to take turns and learning to be a good winner or loser, many of these games have complex strategies and rule systems.

I have to admit, the first time I sat down to play Munchkin with my kids was frustrating to say the least. The game can be complicated, and I was initially a bit confused. I read the rules. I read them again. And I still wasn’t sure how to play the game. But I was surprised by how much more quickly my kids were able to grasp the concepts. Learning new things is old-hat to them. I read the rules to them and in a matter of minutes we were off and playing.

Here are five great games you can buy now that are a lot of fun, and keep the brain working.

  1. Zombie Dice: This is one really simple game, that my kids love, and is easy to play. You get 13 dice, you roll three and you try to get brains. There is some strategy involved and quite a bit of luck, so it is a great one to play with kids of differing ages. This game really levels the playing field.

  2. Fluxx: This is a card game with rules that change, based on which cards are played. Numerous aspects of the game will change in a single session: how to draw cards, how to play cards, and even how to win. Fluxx comes in many variations from a “Wizard of Oz” version to a Christmas version.

  3. Ghost Blitz: This unique game teaches kids to use logical thinking. It’s a lightning-fast shape and color recognition exercise cleverly disguised as a fun and engaging game for kids as young as 5, but still challenging enough for kids as old as 12.

  4. Numbers League: It’s a superhero-themed card game where basic math skils can save the day. Create a superhero team to capture villains on the loose in Infinity City. A surprisingly complex game wrapped in the mild-mannered guise of superheroes, this game can takes a few minutes to get started but could be your go-to game for years to come.

  5. Settlers of Catan: This is the king of the new breed of tabletop board games. A bit more complex than the other games on this list, Catan is geared more toward older kids, maybe 10 and up, and really is much more fun with five or six people playing. The game is complex and can be played hundreds of times with a different experience every time. This game features a great combination of both luck and strategy. The balance of these two elements helps to level the playing field for newbies. There are expansions available featuring barbarians, pirates, seafarers and more.

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