Staff Picks: Top 12 Games for the Classroom

This week we had the great pleasure of visiting a school and teaching the staff how to play all sorts of games.  The goal was to introduce them to some titles that their students could enjoy in the classroom, and we thought we'd share our top picks for classroom games with you!  

A Few General Considerations for Classroom Games

  • Can rules be learned in 5 minutes or less?
  • Will losing a piece “break” the game?
  • Is it developmentally appropriate?
  • Can rules be modified to make it easier or harder?
  • Is co-operative or competitive better for your group?
  • And most important…. Does it LOOK fun and is it fun to PLAY??

Quick Card Games

Slapzi (Carma Games)
  • 2-6 players
  • Reinforces: Processing Speed, Vocabulary, Creative Thinking, Visual Discrimination
  • Multiple ways to play

Timeline (Asmodee)

  • 2-5 players
  • Reinforces: Reasoning, Cooperation, Vocabulary
  • Multiple sets cover history, science, and culture, and can be mixed in any combination
  • Multiple ways to play
Sushi Go (Gamewright Games)
  • 2-5 players
  • Reinforces: Strategic Thinking, Probability, Visual Discrimination
  • “Party” edition adds variety and increases re-playability

 

Simultaneous Action Games

Doodle Quest (Blue Orange Games)
  • 1-4 players
  • Reinforces: Spatial Relations, Hand-eye Coordination
  • Multiple ways to play

Doctor Eureka (Blue Orange Games)

  • 1-4 players
  • Reinforces: Processing Speed, Spatial Relations, Hand-eye Coordination
  • Multiple ways to play
Even Steven’s Odd (Educational Insights)
  • 2-4 players
  • Reinforces: Processing Speed, Numeracy

 

Abstract Strategy Games

Stratos Spheres (ThinkFun)

  • 2 players
  • Reinforces: Visual Discrimination, Strategic Thinking, Spatial Relations
  • Tactile element adds appeal
  • A classic 4-in-a-row game but in 3 dimensions
  • Invented by our neighbors at Big Monster Toys!

Tsuro (Calliope Games)

  • 2-8 players
  • Reinforces: Visual Discrimination, Strategic Thinking, Spatial Relations
  • Multiple ways to play

Gobblet Gobblers (Blue Orange Games)

  • 2 players
  • Reinforces: Strategic Thinking, Spatial Relations
Pyramix (Gamewright Games)
  • 2-4 players
  • Reinforces: Visual Discrimination, Strategic Thinking, Spatial Relations
  • Mensa Select winner

 

Thematic Turn-Based Games

King of Tokyo (Iello)

  • 2-6 players
  • Reinforces: Probability, Math, Strategic Thinking
  • It’s like monster-stomping Yahtzee!
  • High-appeal artwork
  • Health/damage concept similar to video gaming, provides a level of familiarity

Dragonwood (Gamewright Games)

  • 2-6 players
  • Reinforces: Probability, Math, Strategic Thinking
  • Mensa Select winner
  • Popular fantasy theme

 

Single-Player Puzzle Games (eg. Rush Hour)

  • Multiple difficulty levels make them great for a broad range of abilities.
  • Each puzzle comes with 40-80 different challenges.
  • ThinkFun and Smart Games are the main publishers in this genre.