Educational Board Games

Educational board games: Classic board games such as Scrabble, Boggle, Pictionary, Scattergories and Snakes and ladders can be effective learning tools for young children.

Games such as Pictionary and Scattergories develop important communication skills whereas games such as Scrabble and Boggle develop important vocabulary and early word learning skills. An added feature of any board games is that it teaches young children turn-taking skills, turn waiting, learning how to win humbly, and how to lose gracefully.

Education Board Games - Board Games in History

It is a fact that board games have been used by ancient cultures for several millennia. Board games were used by the ancient Egyptian civilisation up to 4000 years ago. There have been recent discoveries in ancient Chinese culture that indicates that people were playing the game Go several thousand years ago.

Perhaps the most significant thing about some ancient games is that many of them are still played today, but in modified forms. The educational value of board games was recognised several thousand years ago. So the idea of board games being used as educational games is actually not a new one. Educational board games have been challenged as teaching tools in modern times by the rise of educational digital games and ipad apps, which are increasingly popular and user-friendly.

The interesting thing is that video games, ipad apps and board games share, in essence, the same DNA. In fact, all successful games share the same principles. Good games, whether they be board games or digital games, create goals so that a player is encouraged to learn and engage with the mechanics of the game to make meaningful decisions in pursuit of those goals.

By playing board games from an early age children have opportunities to develop language and communication skills, math skills and thinking skills in a fun way. Children who engage with and learn fundamental academic skills from great board games have the chance for better academic outcomes than children who do not have that opportunity.

Classic board games are a low cost, easily available and common teaching tool that help develop vital learning skills in young children. They also, perhaps most importantly, make learning fun.

Please click on the links to learn more about board games.

Board Game Rules: Social Skills and Board Games

Board Game Basics

Simple Board Games: Snakes and Ladders

Board Game Boggle

Free Board Games


Brathwaite, B & Schreiber, I (2009) Challenges for Game Designers: Non Digital Exercises for Video Games Designers Course Technology CENGAGE Learning

Hinebaugh, J.P. 2009 A Board Game Education: Building Skills for Academic Success Rowman and Littlefield Education

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