In general kids like to play games, they tend to not like being taught things so much. Some people use the approach that if they do their school work and go over those educational things then the games can be a reward. Other people have adopted the thought that it may be possible to develop some games that can also teach things. This is great in concept, but the problem can come in one of two ways. The first is that the game leans heavily to the educational side and the game aspect is merely tacked on at the end. Children tend to not think of it as a game and accept it as more learning. The other side is that you can have a game that is great fun, but has only the briefest head nod to anything remotely educational.
There are some games that can accomplish both. The problem is that there are so many other games that fail one way or another it is sometimes difficult to determine which games are the ones that you really want to spend time playing with your kids. I’ve tracked down a few that I feel are winners and you and your family will enjoy them for years to come.
The first game on the list is Dixit. This board game requires no reading, since the game tiles all have images on them. Through the course of the game you will be developing a story that you will need to use your imagination to tell. This let’s your kids work not only on imagining what could be but also on their skills of story and communication.
For older kids Pandemic is an excellent choice. You play as a team of disease fighters, trying to stop worldwide outbreaks. As a cooperative game you will not be trying to beat one another, but instead will team up to try to contain the outbreaks and save the world. This will highlight the need to work together and also on developing strategy while highlighting each team member’s special abilities.
Lastly I will put forth the idea of that old classic, Clue. This game you move about in a mansion trying to solve a murder. Each player has a certain set of information that they will share little by little with other players. The first one to correctly determine who did it will win the game. This one work on deduction and strategy.