Ten classic family board games that count as home schooling contains affiliate links. Please see full disclaimer at the end of this post.
With parents across the UK still taking on home schooling responsibilities for their children we take a look at what we believe are ten classic board games that totally count as home schooling.
Snakes and Ladders
Let’s start with an absolute classic, but one which my kids see as the pinnacle of family board games – Snake and Ladders. Perfect for younger children it teaches them about turn taking and also using the die and counting along the board. The fact that anyone’s fortune in the game can change quite drastically also means it can be a good lesson in learning that you can’t always win!
Ludo or Frustration
Once your kids have mastered Snakes and Ladders the natural progression is on to Ludo. You take those basic board games skills and apply them to a game that actually requires a little bit of strategy in terms of knowing which counter to choose to move on each turn.
If you want to add a little bit off excitement to the game why not go for Frustration instead. It’s basically the same idea, but with the pop-o-matic dice system in older games and then the slam-o-matic in the *modern version. There is also a golden genie introduced too which can be used to protect your men.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Scrabble is the Daddy of all word games. Yet many children seem to have never actually played it. The idea is simple – make words from your tiles, but it’s a great way of getting children to practice their spelling and also try and come up with new words. As well as the *classic version you can also nowadays get a *junior version and also a *Harry Potter version.
If you want a word game that’s a bit quicker than Scrabble, then why not try *Boggle? 16 dice with letters on mean that it’s pretty much impossible (I know it’s technically not, but it’s improbable) to get any two games the same when it comes to Boggle. Players have to make as many words as you can with the letters, but you have to form them using adjoining letters. When the timer runs out players compare the words they’ve formed and score points (based on word length) for any words that no one else has on their list.
Great fun and brilliant English practice, but also a game that lends itself really well to playing remotely with a grandparent as you can easily send them a photo of the letters or show them over FaceTime.
There’s lots of quick mental maths with *Yahtzee as players have to work fast to see what they have rolled and check whether it scores them anything or not. Brilliant for children who are getting confident with numbers on dice.
Possibly the most modern of the games on my list, but *Sum Fun is brilliant for kids who love maths. It’s a bit like *Bananagrams (which possibly should have been on this list too!), but only with numbers and mathematical operators instead. Players use their tiles to make a “crossword” of sums in front of them. It’s ideal to be tailored for the age and mathematical ability of those playing and definitely counts as maths in this house!
*Monopoly has to be the absolute classic family board game, but one that teaches children quite a lot about handling money. Not only is there practice in reading numbers on the property title deed cards when someone lands on their properties, but they also have to handle money and give change. Definite Key Stage 1 and 2 maths.
Depending on the version of Monopoly you’re playing you can also factor in a bit of Geography too. The classic version allows you to teach them about different London streets, whilst the *UK Here and Now version that we’ve been playing had the kids looking up different UK towns and cities on a map.
I’ve written on here before about my love of Rummikub and it’s a game that the kids and I have been playing quite a lot in our lockdown home school. Some basic maths and lots of logical thinking are required, so a brilliant way of warming brains up at the start of the school day.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is another game that I have raved about on here before. Like so many games its requires a lot of local thinking and strategy to be successful, but it also provides a brilliant springboard for a geography lesson.
With the original version you can ask kids to find out more about US geography and they can go away and find out which states all the cities on the board are in. You could even ask them to look at how they would really travel by train between some of the cities in the game. An excellent opportunity to combine geography with skills like using timetables (which come into Year 5 maths looking at my daughter’s set work this week!) Play the *European version and you’ve got European Geography right there. And there are so many different *expansion packs and alternative boards available if you want to focus your geography lessons on somewhere else.
Ok, so technically this isn’t a board game, but *Top Trumps still deserves a mention as a true classic game for children and adults of all ages. The basic game helps with maths as well as literacy, but if you choose your Top Trumps set wisely you can cover almost any subject. We’ve been using sets like the *Horrible Histories one and the *Tyrants and Warriors to learn some history and it’s possible to get Top Trumps that cover pretty much any period from the Romans or Greeks up to World War Two!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. There are all marked *. If you buy anything through these links I receive a small commission. However it costs you no more than if you had gone to Amazon yourself to buy it. Many thanks for any purchases you do make.