It’s #Quarantine2020 y’all and I think ALL of us are doing anything and everything we can to try and keep our minds and bodies as busy as possible. I know at least for me, when I’m keeping occupied and the kids are kept entertained, it makes this prison-like-sitch a little easier on all of us.
Now if y’all’s households are anything like mine, you have one (or multiple) kids who love school and one (or multiple) kids who do NOT. That said, I’m always looking for ways to incorporating learning for the kiddos that doesn’t feel forced or overly structured. Basically, less like school and more like fun.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably have already heard me share a couple of our go-to educational kids games, but here I put together the full list of our faves! I even included a group of travel options to keep those little hands busy on planes, trains, and automobiles! (Oh, and for campers too! I always bring games when we go camping!)
Before we jump in, as always, I just wanna say real quick, THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for any and all affiliate links that you may use throughout this post. I appreciate MORE THAN YOU know when you support the brands that help to support this little blog & our little fam!!
Okay, so let’s first start with my homeschooling lifeline…Osmo! Have y’all heard of Osmo?? If you haven’t, you are missing out!! Kids LOVE Osmo!!!! Moms LOVE Osmo! I even told my kids’ teachers about it, and THEY loved it! It’s hands on, covers all different subjects and developmental categories (math, spelling, spacial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, art/creativity, shapes, colors, you name it), AND includes the technological aspect that kids are obsessed with (we all know how much these kids love their tablets).
We were playing these games almost daily to supplement our homeschooling activities. And now that the kids are officially off for summer break, we STILL play them to keep them sharp! They love it! To them it’s just playtime, doesn’t feel like work at all. Win win, right?!
As far as the games themselves, there are tons of options! You can buy a Genius Starter pack (like I did–the Little Genius Pack for my little guy, and the standard Genius Pack for my oldest) that includes several different games, or you can just buy them individually.
As far as our favorites go, my son (age 4) loves the Costumes/Stories games where you get to dress up the characters and take them through different settings and worlds, and my daughter (age 7) loves the Pizza Co. game where she gets to make and serve pizzas to customers, acts as the cashier by taking payments & giving change when needed, and then updates/renovates the restaurant based on how much money she makes.
Some of MY favorite games though are the Super Studio games! The kids get to draw and be creative, and then we can even save their artwork right there on the device! Here’s an example of what I mean. (Hover over the photo to read the caption).
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So fun right?! And then when they’re done, you just wipe off the marker and you can do it all over again! Each booklet has lots of pages and difference scenes and tasks.
Okay so now that we covered our favorite educational tech games, let’s jump into the next category!
Smart Games & Brain Teasers
Now I know I said that these games were for kids…but I’m not gonna lie, me and hubs enjoy playing these next few as much as the kids do! Lol.
So basically, the premise of these games is to solve a challenge! Each game comes with a little booklet filled with puzzles and it’s the gamer’s job to solve the puzzle using the game pieces specified in the instructions.
The challenges are grouped into different levels starting from Beginner and going all the way up to Wizard. And the wizard levels are HARD y’all! Lol. My husband and I have spent hours playing some of these!
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Other Great Smart Games
Alright, so we’ve covered tech games and smart games, now let’s chat about our favorite educational board game!
Well I guess I really should say game, not games because I’m only sharing one 😂. And even though technically this one (Ticket to Ride, First Journey) isn’t advertised as an educational game, I find it’s a really great one to get the kids thinking about planning and strategy!
The object of Ticket to Ride is to complete a series of train routes and collect cards as you move from one city to the next. This is a GREAT one for kids and parents to play together! It’s ALWAYS on our game night line-up. They also have a version for older kids, expansion packs, and international board games !
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Educational Travel Games
Alright, and lastly, I wanna talk about the perfect educational travel games!! Our family loves traveling, whether by car or by plane. And even though we’re not crazy strict with tablet time while we’re on the road or in the air, I do like to make sure the kids have something hands on, that will be fun and still challenge them.
My requirements for this category…it has to be both fun and challenging for them, it can’t have too many pieces, it MUST have a carrying case, and it must be small enough to fit in their backpacks because Momma’s tired of carrying ALL THE THINGS!
The IQ games you see at the bottom of the picture are actually really great for adults too! And the game with the beads on the left actually can be played 3 different ways (including one that’s 3D). Similar to the other smart games I shared above, these all come with a booklet full of challenges at all different skill levels. They’re all compact and come with a case that prevents us from losing any pieces while we’re traveling! I love these for camping too because they don’t take up much space and are perfect for when you’re stuck in the camper/tent on a rainy day!
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Alright my friends, that about sums up what I’ve found to be the best educational games for kids! Hopefully you found that helpful! I know between homeschooling and quarantining the whole family at home, it can be a little stressful and it soooo easy to run out of things to do! We keep these games on a rotating schedule at this house and I’m tellin’ ya, they make a world of difference!
I’d love to know what games you guys play at home with your littles! Educational or not, we’re always looking for fun ways to spend time together as a family!! Leave me your go-to’s in the comments below!
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Talk soon buddies!