Many parents strategize about ways to bolster school learning with activities at home. However, extra math worksheets and spelling practice can be a tough sell. After the homework crunch of the school week, kids and parents alike prefer to take it easy and enjoy family time when the weekend rolls around.
Rest assured, there is a fun, interactive way to trick your kids into learning during family time. Plan a family game night.
Many families have a collection of board games already, but we’ve chosen to highlight a few of the best ones to boost learning.
Best Spelling Game – Scrabble
This classic game is great for practicing spelling rules and building vocabulary. Players build words on the game board using wooden letter tiles, earning points as they go. Scrabble is designed for ages 8 and up, but parents or older siblings can team up with younger kids. Families with multiple early readers can even choose Scrabble Jr. as a great step-up to the traditional game.
Best Math Strategy Game – Battleship
Another classic game, Battleship is a great way to introduce math and graphing strategies to kids of all ages. Players place their own secret battleships on a map and call out coordinates to hit their opponents’ ships. Though Battleship is only a two-player game, parents can play cooperatively with younger kids or let older ones play independently.
Best Life Skills Game – Monopoly
Potentially the iconic family board game, Monopoly has been teaching fiscal responsibility and strategy for nearly a hundred years. Players travel around a game board, purchasing properties and paying rent, only to find that unexpected expenses and purchasing decisions can make or break them. Monopoly is good for eight-year-olds all the way through the oldest teenagers but, if you have younger kids, consider the Junior version as well.
Best for Teenagers – Pandemic
Pandemic is a great example of a cooperative game, in which players must work together versus competing against each other. Players must move around a world map and strategize to contain a disease before it reaches pandemic proportions. The gameplay is complicated enough to entertain teenagers, but younger kids can play cooperatively if you wish to involve the whole family.
Best Overall Learning Game – Cranium
Cranium is an excellent, catch-all game that inspires real learning without feeling like homework. With categories such as Data Head, Word Worm, and Creative Cat, Cranium mixes spelling practice, fact recall, and hands-on problem-solving in a way that keeps kids entertained. Bonus – this one and its counterpart for younger kids (Cadoo) come approved by adults, teens, and kids alike, which is great if you have a wide age range.
Start a Family Game Night!
Family game night is a great way to keep your kids learning while they’re having fun. Depending on the game you choose, you can inspire a competitive spirit or work cooperatively while providing a focus on school skills and sportsmanship. Grab one of the above-listed games and get started!