This brief review will cover the Top 5 Board Games in Children’s Education for 2010. Each one has received at least one accolade or award from educational institutions and Board Game Associations.
Education Board Games are a standard feature in our house. We usually manage to turn any board game into a fun lesson for our kids. However, not all board games were created equal. Some are better than others.
Here, in no particular order are our reviews of five very popular educational Kids Board Games for 2010. In No particular Order:
1. The Brainbox Game Series
The Brainbox series of board or and games are of UK origin and have been a runaway success. The basic thrust of the Brainbox range is this: Players have 10 seconds to study information on one side of the card before being asked a question from the back which has been chosen by the roll of the die.
It is a social and memory recall game that is designed to foster interaction and cognitive development. Its is suitable for 8yrs and up. This has been a particularly successful educational board game for both classroom and home.
Brainbox can be used with whole families and the pace is set by the players. Subjects covered include Geography, Australian Facts, Maths, A First Pictures Brainbox for 6yrs and under, and Nature.
We recommend Brainbox as suitable for Home school environments. Brainbox doesn’t bog you down with loads of rules and strategies. It’s straight cognitive development. Brainbox takes very little preparation, the game is quick and the questions offer plenty of variety on a number of educational subjects.
Akumulate is an Australian designed educational board game for kids after the manner of Scrabble. It was designed by world renowned Educational Guru, Dr. Wood and the Mind Challenge Centre.
AKumulate helps develop numerical and spatial thinking by intersecting numbers with space. Players must master the space to control the numbers and they must do it by correct (though basic) mathematics.
This educational board game requires some patience to grasp the rules and would be suitable for 10yrs and up. It is not a fast game but a game of methodical thinking and constant add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Conscious of the difficulty of getting kids to enjoy maths, Dr. Wood’s Akumulate is attention grabbing with its strong blue and red colours. The Akumulate pieces are enjoyable to play with and are generally good quality.
The only downside to this game is that it really will only ever do one thing and, if at the end of the day, you don’t enjoy numbers, it is not likely to hold your attention. However, as a teaching tool it does work and if you love numbers, you will flourish in this educational board game.
3. Mount Kilajava
Mount Kilajava is a Fair Trade Coffee Board Game from the people of Monsoon Games in New Zealand. Though the board game itself is new and not well known, the ethos behind it is growing in popularity amongst educators who use board games with Kids. That ethos is about the promotion of Fair Trade and equitable resources.
Mt. Kilajava put the young player in the hot seat as a farmer who must deal with economics, bad weather and intelligent trade in order to prosper. As an Educational Board game for Kids it has limited use in the classroom but that limited use is not to be mistaken for no use.
Despite the fact that it is only a two player game it is very social and a good way of developing bonds between classmates or family members and understanding the nature of primary production.
Mt Kilajava makes an important point; that for farmers in the developing world growing coffee is a very precarious occupation, and slumps in world coffee prices can and do have a catastrophic effect on the lives of millions of growers who are reliant on coffee for their income.
4. Sorts for Kids
Sorts for Kids recently won the Prestigious Children’s Game of the Year. As an Educational Board Game for Kids, Sorts has been very successful in introducing the concept of “putting things in order”.
Sorts for Kids plays on the fascination of organising and categorising any one of a hundred subjects. It makes requests of Kids like,
“Sort these things by their height – from shortest to tallest: school desk, golf buggy, adult lion, shopping trolley.”
The beauty is the simplicity of the game play and the fact that the game can cater for a larger number of players. The Educational value of this Kids Board game is its development and discrimination of objects in the world around them.
Sorts helps develop discernment and levels of categorisation that will be developed throughout their education and is also a lot of fun. One really fun part of Sorts for Kids is the “Line Up”. When players pick a line-up card they must line themselves up according to all manner of interesting criteria.
5. Peoples of the Planet
Peoples of the Planet is a culture and History based Educational Board Game for Kids and comes from France. It has won two prestigious awards: The Corporate Anti-Racism Award; and the Dr Toy, Most Socially Responsible Game Award.
As a great world explorer, the players travel back in time visiting the most interesting peoples and places in History. The goal of Peoples of the Planet is to collect Exploration Cards from each of the nine time periods of History to make up their Great Book of Ages.
It’s age range is generally 10yrs and above and it can accommodate up to five players. This is a particularly useful educational Board Game for Kids in small group settings such as Home school or library groups.
These Picks for 2010 are only a very small handful of the good quality Educational Board Games fro Kids that are now available. Not all are suitable for every environment.
Whenever you are selecting Educational Board Games you need to consider, not only the age and ability of the Children you are trying to educate but also your goal.
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