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Board Games

7 Board Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Playing board games is a classic fun way to spend time with your family and friends. Some games can also be a great way for kids to learn important life skills. 

Research has shown that having fun while learning uses unique cognitive resources, associates reward and pleasure with information, and helps kids develop a positive attitude towards learning.

Here are 7 fun games that also help kids learn.

1. Monopoly


Recommended Age: 8+

Time commitment: 1-3 hours

Skills developed

Teaches money management, negotiation, and strategic thinking. Players learn about budgeting, investing, and the importance of making wise financial decisions.

Playing tips: Focus on acquiring properties in color groups for building houses and hotels, and try to negotiate trades with other players to complete your sets. Always keep some cash on hand for unexpected expenses.

2. The Game of Life

The Game of Life

Recommended Age: 8+

Time commitment: 45-60 minutes

Skills developed

Encourages long-term planning, decision-making, and career exploration. Players navigate various life stages, make choices about education, work, and family, and experience the consequences of their decisions.

Playing tips: Consider the long-term benefits of different career and education paths, and weigh the risks and rewards of investments and life choices. Strategize based on your current position and financial situation.

3. Risk


Recommended Age: 10+

Time commitment: 2-4 hours

Skills developed

Enhances strategic thinking, planning, and diplomacy. Players learn to balance offense and defense, form alliances, and negotiate with opponents to achieve their goals.

Playing tips: Fortify your borders, maintain a balance between offense and defense, and build alliances with other players when advantageous. Be prepared to adapt your strategy based on changing circumstances.

4. Scrabble


Recommended Age: 8+

Time commitment: 45-90 minutes

Skills developed

Boosts vocabulary, spelling, and critical thinking. Players improve their language skills while learning to strategize and maximize their score using letter tiles.

Playing tips: Learn high-scoring letter combinations and two-letter words. Maximize your points by utilizing bonus squares and aiming for seven-letter words, which grant a 50-point bonus.

5. Chess


Recommended Age: 6+

Time commitment: 30-60 minutes

Skills developed

Enhances strategic thinking, patience, and concentration. As players engage in this classic game of skill, they learn to anticipate their opponent’s moves, make calculated decisions, and adapt their strategies to changing situations.

Playing tips: Control the center of the board, develop your pieces efficiently, and protect your king. Plan several moves ahead, anticipate your opponent’s moves, and always consider the consequences of your actions.

6. Ticket to Ride

Recommended Age: 8+

Time commitment: 30-60 minutes

Skills developed

Enhances planning, decision-making, and geography knowledge. Players must plan their routes, balance risks and rewards, and adapt their strategies to build the most extensive railway network.

Playing tips: Prioritize completing your longest routes first, and try to create a network that can serve multiple destinations. Keep an eye on your opponents’ progress and, if possible, block their routes strategically.

7. Yahtzee

Yahtzee_Board Game

Recommended Age: 7+

Time commitment: 20-40 minutes

Skills developed

Enhances arithmetic, pattern recognition, and strategic thinking. Players roll dice to achieve specific combinations and must decide which scoring categories to prioritize. The game encourages players to balance the probabilities of different outcomes and adapt their strategies based on their rolls.

Playing tips: Focus on filling in high-scoring categories first, and be prepared to adjust your strategy based on your dice rolls. Consider the probability of achieving specific combinations and balance risks and rewards when deciding whether to re-roll.

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