You might be surprised to discover that you’re already playing educational games with your family on a regular basis without even realizing it. There’s been a lot of press about how beneficial video games can be for honing a number of skills but, in the tech age, it’s easy to overlook good old-fashioned board games. The next time you’re planning a family night, gather the gang around one of these fun and educational games.

It’s a classic and people become obsessed with chess for a reason. It’s addictive! According to Health Fitness Revolution, “Games like chess that challenge the brain actually stimulate the growth of dendrites, the bodies that send out signals from the brain’s neuron cells. With more dendrites, neural communication within the brain improves and becomes faster.”

Read Related: 15 Games You Can Play at the Museum


The Game of Life
Life is an oldie but a goodie, though Bernie Sanders fans may not approve since the person with the most money at the end wins. Ultimately it’s a game of chance but you make choices as you pass through life’s milestones like career, marriage, and kids. Ages 8 and up.

Power Grid
Creating an energy infrastructure may not sound terribly exciting but this game of strategy will get you hooked. Players bid to buy power companies and then must adapt to changing markets and technology. It gives you a lesson in risk assessment, playing the markets, energy technology and finance. Ages 12-16.


Settlers of Catan
You may be noticing a survivalist theme in the best board games these days. Settlers of Catan is no exception. In this one you choose a spot to settle and begin gathering resources and protecting your land. Ages 13-15.

Our final selection has a twist in that players aren’t competing against each other. You all need to work as a team of specialists to wipe out four diseases that have broken out around the world. In this game you save humankind and everyone wins or the diseases take over and you all lose. Ages 13-15.


Your kids may be more familiar with Words with Friends but SCRABBLE is the real deal. It’s a great way to learn strategy and improve your vocabulary. In recent years, scientists studying educational games and how skills are developed have paid particular attention to SCRABBLE.