By now, everyone has probably heard of “Family Game Night”, a great way for busy families to guarantee a little bit of togetherness at least once a week. Combining a board game with a pizza and some conversation is an excellent way for modern families to stay in touch, and has been shown to have other positive effects as well.
But board games do much more than provide great bonding and family entertainment.
Board games teach, too.
As a matter of fact, it would be hard to find a board game that doesn’t at least teach something – think: reading, following directions, taking turns, counting, identifying shapes or patterns, changing money, planning ahead, and countless other things.
Many of today’s board games have been created especially to teach something – history, geography, spelling, fractions, and even finding relationships between two seemingly unrelated things. That’s when board games become really valuable.
Homeschooling families can use board games purely for fun, but also for learning. Great for students with different learning styles, board games work for students of all ages, too. Kids learn while having fun, and games often spark extensions in other directions, too.
Apart from the standard games known to everyone (chess, Scrabble, Mancala, Mastermind and Othello) parents have access to many new educational board games today.
In Boggle, for instance, players compete against each other and an egg-timer to make words out of scrambled letters:
Geography games, such as Passport to Culture, teach world geography plus trivia about people around the world:
Some games teach U.S. facts:
while others, like Sight Words Space Station, have a solar system theme:
Finding out about great games is as easy as browsing the shelves of a favorite toy store, book store, or online homeschooling supplier. Great lists of games, including award winners, can be found at places like LIVESTRONG and Parent’s Choice.