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Make Learning Feel Like a Game

Amber Brandt  |  October 24, 2016

Mary Poppins was definitely onto something when she said “Find the fun, and *snap* the job’s a game!” Everyone can agree that learning turns a fun corner when it’s incorporated into playtime. Plus, educational games are a great way to stimulate your child’s mind, or provide a fun opportunity to connect as a family. Here are a few game ideas we’re certain would receive the “Poppins Seal of Approval.”

Invest in the classics. Think Bingo, Battleship, Uno, Clue, Scrabble, Boggle, checkers or chess. They’re great for critical thinking, learning to take turns, counting and more.

Hop online. While there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned physical play, there are countless places to play online that will still stretch your child’s imagination. Visit Google Play or the App store to find top-rated learning games for your kids, or visit this site for instant access to free, elementary-level learning games now.

Get outdoors. Create a scavenger hunt to find seasonal items around the block, or play a simple game of I-Spy. Your middle school children will especially love sharing a little time catching pocket monsters with PokemonGo.

Find board games that are anything but boring. Even if you’re not exactly a game-lover at heart, it’s hard to deny that sitting around the table laughing with your family is a great way to spend a Friday evening. Here are some fun, age-appropriate games your kids are sure to enjoy:


For ages 4+. Coconuts is an award-winning dexterity game your little ones will love. Launch coconuts and play special “Monkey King Magic” cards to challenge your opponents. Here’s a quick video of an adorable, little girl explaining a simplified version of play.


For ages 9+. Hive is an addictive, Mensa award-winning game where the object is to surround your opponent’s queen bee while protecting your own. Each player uses strategy to place insect tiles and incorporates the basic elements of chess to win the game. Here’s a video of how to play.


For ages 14+. Looking for a game you’ll love to play with your older kids? Hands down it’s, Codenames. Essentially a game of giving clues and critical thinking, the Amazon best seller Codenames utilizes fun spymaster lore to hide the identities of 25 “agents.” You then use simple, one-word clues to try and help your partner identify them without uncovering the Assassin! Watch this video to see play in action.