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Games for Learning

Most games are educational - through playing games we learn to interact socially, take turns and lose well. Most games include elements of chance and probability. "Gentle hands" games help us to learn to control our bodies, developing fine motor control alongside self control. Word games can develop vocabulary, spelling and storytelling skills. Maths games can provide fun opportunities to practise addition, subtraction, multiplication, time telling, geometry and money handling. Strategy games help us to learn to think and solve problems; other games give opportunities to learn geography, and the rare few develop teamwork. You probably have some of these games already. And you probably have other games which have educational value that you never really considered before.

Go look at your games shelf with fresh eyes, and play with your kids. You'll all be glad you did.

Word Games:

  • Scrabble/ Jr scrabble

  • Upworcls

  • Pictureka

  • Hangman

  • Boggle

  • Boggle slam!

  • Scrabble cards

  • Quiddller

  • Man Bites Dog

  • Dungeons & Dragons (Story telling!)

  • Taboo

  • Articulate

Gentle Hands Games

  • Jenga

  • Don't rock the boat

  • Operation

  • Pick up sticks

  • Uno Stacko

  • Suspend

  • Kerplunk

  • Barrel of Monkeys

Math Games:

  • Cuble (acdition/subtraction)

  • Krusade (shapes)

  • Ubongo (shapes)

  • Yahtzee

  • Tenzi

  • Catch 10 clocks

  • Boomo

  • Battleships (map coordinates)

  • Rummyclub

  • Set

  • Perudo

Games where money practise is built in, especially if the child is the banker:

  • Monopoly

  • Stock Market

  • Game of Life


  • Chess

  • Backgammon

  • Battleships

  • Mastermind

  • Scotland Yard

  • Othello

  • Risk

  • Sequence

  • Mancala

Other /Strategy:

  • Carcassonne

  • Ticket to Ride

  • Settlers of Catan

  • Cludeo

  • Connect 4

  • Guess Who?

  • Uno

Team Work:

  • Forbidden Island

  • Pandemic (!)

Originally published in Stepping Stones, HEA's Quarterly e-magazine for Home Educators

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