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Best Educational Board Games

Last Updated on January 11, 2023

Board games offer the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. I remember many hours spent sitting on the living room floor with my mom, playing game after game, until we couldn’t stay awake any longer.

Board games are a fantastic way to learn, laugh, and have fun together. They are great tools to teach children and have great educational benefits for kids of all ages.

The social aspects of playing tabletop board games are unmatched, while the educational components make playing an edifying experience for everyone around the table. Without further ado, let’s dive into the best educational board games we could find.

Our Top Picks for Best Educational Board Games

In a hurry? Take a peek at our favorite best educational board games below.

01/26/2023 08:00 pm GMT

Learn strategy, build cities, delve into new worlds, and embark upon quests, all while in the comfort of your own home. Check out GameCows picks for the best educational board games to enjoy with your family and loved ones any day of the week.

Looking for more Educational board games?

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Codenames

Codenames 6-Player Board Game

This is a great game if you have family coming into town as it can accommodate up to 8 players.

In Codenames, there will be 2 teams (blue and red). In the game, players will have to find all of their spies hidden on the board before the other team.

There will be 1 player on each team that knows all of the code names of their spies, and they will need to guide other players to choose the right cards to reveal their spies.

The Codemaster has to give their team 1-word clues that may apply to multiple cards on the table, without being too obvious to the other team. The first team to complete all of its blue or red objectives wins!

What we liked

This is a great game for larger groups of players and encourages players to talk to each other. There is no hidden traitor or person singled out as the bad guy and is a fantastic social game for all ages. With endless replayability and several other versions, Codenames is always a winner in our book.

What could be better

The spy theme is not very important to the core of the game since it’s mostly about word association. Also, Codenames is a bit thinky for a party game as quite a bit of concentration is required, but works really well in educational situations like classrooms.

Codenames
$19.95 $14.99

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01/28/2023 11:30 pm GMT

More versions of Codenames

King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo Board Game

King of Tokyo is a battle royale where everyone will pick a giant monster and fight to control Tokyo. It’s a perfect outlet for young children who have the need to destroy everything without any of the associated mess.

In King of Tokyo, players choose a monster to play as and then roll 6 dice which show the following six symbols: 1, 2, or 3 Victory Points, Energy, Heal, and Attack. Each player gets 3 rolls to determine their actions that turn.

In addition to managing your actions via dice rolls, there are special cards that can be purchased with accumulated Energy. These cards have either permanent or temporary effects on the game. The goal is to destroy Tokyo or be the last surviving monster at the end of the game.

What we liked

King of Tokyo has lighthearted cartoon artwork and over-the-top abilities that are not only suitable for young children but will keep them excited and playing for hours. It is also a great gateway game for newbies and endlessly fun for seasoned players!

What could be better

In essence, King of Tokyo is a more interesting version of Yahtzee with the inherent randomness that comes with dice-rolling. The real strategy of the game comes with using the special cards to your best advantage.

Ready to conquer Tokyo? Be sure to check out our full review before you buy!

King of Tokyo
$44.99 $35.78

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01/29/2023 02:34 pm GMT

Incan Gold

Incan Gold Educational Board Game

Incan Gold is a press-your-luck card game where you will become an intrepid adventurer delving into the Incan temple in search of treasures.

Also known as Diamant, in Incan Gold, players will venture into mineshafts or the jungle to collect as many gems as possible before danger strikes. To play, you will flip over cards sequentially to find out if you’re safe or if you’ve encountered a hazard such as scorpions, snakes, poison gas, explosions, or rockfalls. 

Before each card is revealed, players have the chance to escape with the loot or continue on. When the second of the same type of hazard card is revealed, all bets are off, and players must drop all of their gems to flee.

What we liked

The game is very simple and easy to learn, so you can be playing within a few minutes of opening the box. The cardboard tents that come with the game to hide your score are also a really fun touch to the game.

Playing this game is all about learning probability and improving decision-making. It has a quick setup and is a ton of fun.

What could be better

Fundamentally, Incan Gold is a luck-based game that may not appeal to all kinds of players.

Incan Gold
$40.49

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01/27/2023 06:00 am GMT

Once Upon A Time: The Storytelling Card Game

Once Upon A Time Family Board Game

Once Upon a Time is an amazing game for families. It is a shared storytelling game where players will take turns making up and telling a fairy tale using cards that prompt events.

If the player currently telling the story gets stuck, starts to ramble, or mentions a card another player is holding, their turn ends and another player will pick up where the story left off. Everyone is trying to use all the cards in their hand, and steer the story to their hidden ending.

The game oozes creativity and is so much fun to play especially with young children. By the end of the game, everyone will have added and helped to create a unique story that usually has everyone giggling.

What we liked

This game is very easy to set up, teach, and play. It really gets those creative juices flowing and encourages players of all ages to use their imaginations with fun (and sometimes hilarious) results!

What could be better

Once Upon a Time is very player-dependent. It really helps to be creative when playing this game. If playing with children or like-minded friends, you’re likely to have a good time.

Once Upon A Time: The Storytelling Card Game
$27.95 $25.37

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01/29/2023 04:00 pm GMT

Mojo English

Mojo Card Game Example Sentence

As a certified English teacher and avid tabletop gamer, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a game that is specifically geared towards education that is also a lot of fun to play. 

Players use the cards in their hands to create ever more complex sentences by learning more difficult words and phrases. The more complex the sentence, the more points you get!

What we liked

Mojo English is an inexpensive, fantasy card game that teaches beginning-to-advanced English grammar while creating fun stories and sentences using creatures like trolls, vampires, and zombies

Mojo English pulls double-duty as a game and a tool and therefore has a ton of different ways to play.

What could be better

The scoring is a bit tricky in this game and definitely works best with a pad of paper and calculator close at hand. If not, it can always be a good math exercise in that case!

If you’re looking for a fun family-friendly activity, Mojo English is a great choice for family game night. Playing not only builds language skills but allows players to become storytellers too.

Click here to purchase Mojo Set 1 | Use coupon code “GameCows” for 5% off!

Check out our full review of Mojo English to get the full scoop.

Survive! Escape from Atlantis

Survive! Escape From Atlantis Family Board Game

In Survive! Escape from Atlantis, unsurprisingly, players will be trying to survive and escape from Atlantis. Players need to evacuate their survivors to the safe islands surrounding Atlantis before it is completely destroyed and sinks into the sea.

In this hex-based board game, pieces of land are constantly sinking into the sea. Players can either travel by boat, or in more desperate actions try and swim, but they’re also sharks and sea monsters patrolling the waters. Getting to safety is the goal!

What we liked

Survive! Escape from Atlantis is so much fun and really easy to learn. The components are excellent, the gameplay is exciting, and the playing time is quite quick.

What could be better

Survive! Escape from Atlantis can be a very competitive game. It’s sometimes quite stressful but does have a cooperative element if you’re literally in the same boat with someone else.

The components are all adorable, but it’ll be a small consolation when your little people are eaten… but they are really cute.

Survive! Escape from Atlantis
$39.99 $37.98

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02/01/2023 08:51 am GMT

Catan

Catan Expansions Featured Image

If you’ve never played Catan, you are missing out. The simple idea of building roads and settlements can get very competitive and has been a household staple for my family for many years. After my very first game, I was so hooked, that I spent the next 3 days playing it nonstop with family and friends.

For me, it’s one of the ultimate family games. The origins of Catan are even family-oriented. The designer Klaus Teuber developed it with his family and would have his sons playtest the game, and I think his own words describe it best.

“It was my wish to have a very peaceful game with a lot of interaction, bringing people together.”

Klaus Teuber, creator of Catan

In the game, players choose their first settlement/road locations and then use resources gained with each roll of the dice to build up their settlements and block opponents. By gaining wood + brick you can build a road, rock + wheat makes a city, and other combinations can get you powerful Development cards.

What we liked

Catan is a classic game that is both strategic and educational. Players must decide how best to use their resources and plan their next actions, all while avoiding the dreaded Robber (and other players). No two games are the same and it’s always a ton of fun.

What could be better

Teaching Catan to new players or younger children might be a bit of a challenge as there is a lot going on. Also, if the dice rolls are not in your favor, players can get really frustrated with the lack of resources.

If you love Catan and are searching for new adventures, check out our rundown of the best Catan expansions!

Catan
$49.00 $41.99

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01/29/2023 11:04 pm GMT

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride Header

Ticket to Ride has won several awards since it first debuted. It’s a Euro game which means it has a strong emphasis on strategy and usually focuses on non-violent themes.

In the game, players can choose from 3 options: draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets. By collecting cards, they can create train routes, the longer the better! Completing objectives on Destination Tickets awards additional points.

What we liked

Don’t let the theme fool you. The game has a lot of depth and a surprising amount of strategy for a game that consists of building train routes. Ticket to Ride is a great game for younger and older players alike.

Ticket to Ride can be learned in 15 minutes and the artwork and components are lovely.

What could be better

The Destination cards are a bit unbalanced and there’s a bit too much luck involved as to whether your routes overlap with other players. It can be a challenge deciding whether to block or race!

Ready to ride the train? Get the lowdown on this incredibly popular board game with our full review of the original!

Ticket to Ride
$54.99 $47.44

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01/27/2023 08:30 am GMT

Sequence

Sequence Family Board Game Header

Sequence is an abstract strategy game that plays like an advanced version of Connect 4 (or 5 in Sequence’s case).

Players will play a card from their hand to place a token on the board in an attempt to make a Sequence (5 in a row). Jacks are wild and can either put a token anywhere on the board or remove a token anywhere depending upon the card.

What we liked

It sounds simple, but the addition of wildcards makes the game very competitive and fun. I’ve had many hours of fun with Sequence, and it’s one of the games that also works very well with 2 players.

What could be better

Sequence doesn’t have much of a theme and success in the game is heavily reliant on good card draws.

Sequence
$24.99 $12.99

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02/02/2023 05:01 am GMT

There’s also a fun Sequence for Kids version that replaces playing cards with animals!

Sequence for Kids
$16.59 $14.49

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02/02/2023 06:39 am GMT

Azul

Azul Family Board Game

Azul is a very simple game to learn but incredibly difficult to master. You’ll be choosing and discarding tiles and lining them up on your board to earn points, but it’s so much more.

The strategy involved in which tiles to choose and how to place your tiles and in what order create immense complexity and multiple strategies to play.

The first few rounds will be easy and straightforward, but as you continue with the game you’ll realize how difficult it will become forcing you to think strategically.

What we liked

Quite simply, it is a fantastic strategy game that will have every player thinking and trying to come up with tactics. It’s excellent for older players and those that delight in challenges and puzzles.

What could be better

Despite the beautiful artwork, Azul doesn’t have much going on thematically. As an abstract strategy board game, it can be a bit dry for some players.

Azul
$39.99 $31.99

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01/28/2023 03:30 pm GMT

Labyrinth

Labyrinth Family Board Game Header

I have been playing Ravensburger games ever since I was a little girl. They make excellent children’s games, and Labyrinth is one that I still play today.

Each player will be dealt a number of cards with an image of something inside the labyrinth, and they will have to push tiles to rearrange the board to allow their token a clear path to the picture on the card.

What we liked

Labyrinth is excellent for young kids and helps to build problem-solving and spatial skills. There are many different versions to appeal to a variety of interests that are based on movies and TV shows too!

What could be better

There’s a bit of luck of the card draw with some very minimal blocking and bluffing to avoid being blocked, but overall is pretty simple for adults. Definitely best for kids as an early introduction to board games.

Labyrinth
$33.99 $30.46
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01/30/2023 07:34 pm GMT

Splendor

Splendor 3-Player Board Game

Splendor is a very fun game where players will become wealthy merchants during the Renaissance. You’ll build up your trade network of jewel mines, artisans, and transportation to gain victory points, and gain the notice of high-ranking nobles.

What we liked

Splendor is a cool engine-building game, with an optimization puzzle at later depths. It’s beautifully designed and comes with solid components that look and feel great. It’s a very easy game to learn, and I’ve been able to teach it to all ages. It has simple mechanics but is very fun for adults and children alike.

What could be better

The theme of Splendor is pretty dry and there is not much player interaction. Best for those who like solving puzzles!

Splendor
$39.99 $31.00

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01/29/2023 02:00 pm GMT

Dragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring

Dragonwood Family Board Game

Dragonwood is a lighthearted dice and card game with very cute and silly artwork. Players will try to capture monster and enhancement cards to score points and special abilities.

To capture cards they will play either multiples of the same card ( 2, 2, 2), a sequence of cards ( 1, 2, 3), or cards of the same color. For each card they play, they will get dice to roll to attempt to capture the card.

Once captured they’ll give the player a special ability or victory points. The game is that simple, but so much fun.

What we liked

The artwork is very cute and suitable for all ages. If you read this short paragraph then you basically know how to play the game, it’s that easy.

What could be better

There are some games that you’ll keep returning to year after year as you grow older. Dragonwood is not one of those. It definitely has a sweet spot aimed at the younger crowd. It’s a fun game, but adults and those looking for more strategy will quickly burn through its replayability.

Dragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game
$22.50 $20.64

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01/26/2023 08:00 pm GMT

Kingdomino

Kingdomino Family Board Game

Kingdomino is a very simple game that you can learn in about 5 minutes. It’s a kingdom-building game using dominoes. Players will take turns choosing dominoes to build around their own personal castle by matching up the domino tiles. It’s very quick to jump in and a ton of fun.

What we liked

It is very family-friendly, and players will be building their own little kingdom, so there’s no blocking or attacking. Players will be alternating who gets to choose their tiles first, which gives the game a very family-friendly feeling.

What could be better

Tile placement is extremely important to your overall score, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to luck. What tiles you receive are extremely luck-based.

Want to give Kingdomino a try? Be sure to check out our in-depth review before you buy!

Kingdomino
$19.99

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02/01/2023 09:32 am GMT

Chickapig: A Farm-to-Table Game

Chickapig Educational Board Game

A Strategic Board Game Where Chicken-Pig Hybrids Attempt to Reach Their Goal While Dodging Opponents, Hay Bales, and an Ever-Menacing Pooping Cow.

Chickapig is absolutely adorable. Think of it as an alternative to learning chess. Some of the same strategies and skills needed in chess are used in Chickapig, but it’s a much friendlier introduction, and far less intimidating.

In this game, players must get their flock of 6 chickapigs off the board first while evading flying bales of hay and other roadblocks that opponents’ may throw in their way.

There is no shortage of strategy here, though, and can keep you thinking and playing for hours.

What we liked

Chickapig is a great introduction to abstract strategy games. It’s a great stepping stone for chess and it can help develop critical thinking through strategizing. Also, I think the Chickapigs are really cute.

What could be better

The production value of Chickapig isn’t the best. The game is completely functional, but they could have done more to spruce up the pieces and board.

Chickapig: A Farm to Table Game
$19.11

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01/29/2023 05:00 pm GMT

Wit’s End

Wit's End Educational Board Game

If you have family members that aren’t fans of trivia, you might want to try Wits End. It has a similar setup to games like Trivial Pursuit, but instead of trivia questions, you’ll get mini-puzzles and brain teasers.

I’m personally terrible at trivia (unless it’s Lord of the Rings trivia) but I always enjoy a good riddle. Wit’s End is great for a fun challenge, and there’s even an edition for younger children as well.

In Wit’s End, players all start at the edges of the game board. Move by rolling dice and answering questions that can be analogies, slogans, or definitions. Correct answers advance you forward, whereas wrong answers will demote players to a lower ring. The first to reach the center wins!

What we liked

We really enjoyed the different types of questions that Wits End offers. It’s not pop culture trivia but actually involves some fun brain teasers. Personally, I find that much more interesting.

What could be better

Although some of the question types are different, at its core it’s still a question-and-answer game. If you’re not a fan of these types of games or the topics, then you won’t be interested here.

Wit’s End
$44.99 $39.95

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01/29/2023 04:00 pm GMT

Shadows in the Forest

Shadows in the Forest Educational Board Game

This is probably best played on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning, primarily because you actually have to play this game in the dark. Shadows in the Forest is a semi-cooperative board game where one player takes control of a light and searches through the forest.

The rest of the players will take control of ‘Nightlings’ that need to hide in the shadows cast by the light. It’s a very cute and lighthearted game, and I’ve never seen any other game make use of light in such a creative way.

What we liked

Shadows in the Forest is very family-friendly and the light mechanic is absolutely adorable. It’s a dimension in board games that isn’t explored too often and it makes for a truly unique game.

What could be better

Shadows in the Forest does rely on an led lantern that’s provided in the game and it relies on darkness. As fun as it is, it can only be played in the dark. You can always just close the curtains or go into a dark room, but it does limit the game.

Shadows in the Forest
$31.99 $29.98

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01/26/2023 11:34 pm GMT

The Quest for El Dorado

Quest for El Dorado Educational Board Game

The Quest for El Dorado is a combination of a simple deck-builder with a simple racing game. It’s a great intro game for players that have never experienced any of these mechanics.

Players will be drafting and deck of cards that are used for movement or to purchase more cards. The closer you get to the city of El Dorado the stronger the cards you will need to push through the jungle.

What we liked

I really enjoyed the exploration mechanic. It’s simple, but the randomization of some of the tiles can create some interesting choke points that cut off other players from potential points.

What could be better

The Quest for El Dorado is a great game for all ages and has been nominated for several awards. It’s very simple to learn and offers a fun racing game, but can also be highly competitive, depending on the players.

The Quest for El Dorado
$39.99

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01/29/2023 04:00 pm GMT

Santorini

Santorini Educational Board Game

Learn it in 30 seconds, play it for life.

Santorini is incredibly simple to learn and play, and that’s by design. Mathematician Gordan Hamilton designed the game to be easy enough that it could be learned and played by an elementary student and strategy-heavy enough to keep any level of gamer entertained.

What we liked

It has simple mechanics of city-building, but with added player powers and special abilities, the different ways to play keep everyone and not just young children engaged.

What could be better

The variable player powers do add quite a bit to mix with power-ups and abilities. Depending on who you talk to, this could be good or bad. I personally think it’s another fun dimension to the game, but not everyone will agree.

Have you already tried Santorini? If so, check out 5 games like Santorini for something new to play!

Santorini
$49.99

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02/02/2023 05:33 am GMT

Happy Gaming!

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best educational board games I’ve always loved playing games with my family and hope you can make some wonderful memories this year.

I chose games on this list that would be easy to pick up and play, weren’t overly rule-heavy, and had a good mix of accessibility and complexity in strategy.

If you have any favorites or just want to talk about board games we would love to hear from you.

**This post may contain affiliate links. We receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from our links (at no cost to you), which we’ll totally blow on buying more board games… full disclosure.**

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Santorini
$49.99

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/02/2023 05:33 am GMT