Have you ever looked at your child holding a tablet and told yourself "I need to lessen screen time?" It's a common challenge for parents nowadays to balance the amount of entertainment and learning kids get from devices. While there are many advantages to e-learning, there are still core skills to be learned from physical games. But where to start?
One suggestion would be Math Dice Junior by ThinkFun, a game that makes math a bit less intimidating. And there are countless more educational games you can purchase online, guaranteed to leave a lasting positive effect on your child, whether through the learning they acquire or the memories made from playing. Beyond the list of the bestselling educational games you can get online, we've also created a buying guide, because chances are, you will want to look into more activities for your kid.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
Table of Contents
As parents, we want to make sure that whatever our kids are playing with has some sort of learning included, because who wouldn't want a multipurpose activity with numerous benefits? But do we choose a game that suits the needs of our children without it being too easy?
The buying guide below will assist you in your journey of finding the best educational games for your young ones.
First and foremost, it's advised to get an educational game that fits your child's age or level. This will ensure that the material will teach the desired concept without being too complicated or boring.
Toddlers are at a critical point of learning and their minds function like a sponge, absorbing anything and everything around them. With that said, the games and activities they need to engage in should be filled with skill development and growth.
Whether it's a puzzle that the alphabet or a matching game to differentiate colors, the games ought to cover the fundamentals of shapes, letters, colors, sounds, and more.
Beyond cognitive skills, you can also get some educational games that teach motor skills such as a preschool edition of a foosball game which hones hand-eye coordination, a time-constricted game for motor skills, or a game that can be played with friends and teaches sharing, team play, and cooperation.
As a child grows and expands their knowledge of concepts, you can introduce more complex games. For a five or six-year-old, you can go for memory games or an I-Spy type of activity to exercise the ability to navigate through a cluttered environment and boost focus and concentration.
Parents can also begin expanding vocabulary, the basics of math or science, and other concepts at this stage. Games like Boggle or other simplified word games, or an activity like playing pretend supermarket cashier that incorporates addition or subtraction, are a few examples.
Grade schoolers need more interaction and engagement in a game, given their increased knowledge of concepts. Science kits or brain games that involve trivia and logic are some examples of activities that could both be fun and educational for this age group. Games that get into more detailed concepts and branches of math and science are also a good starting point.
Whether it's against friends or family, you can also incorporate healthy competition during a particular activity to develop perseverance, commitment, and being a good sport in your child.
Complexity is another consideration when choosing an educational game for the kids. See if you can preview the rules beforehand through the product description or photos to see if both you and your children will comprehend the flow of the game with no issues. Another great place to search for this information is the reviews.
Those who've gone on ahead and purchased the game would typically include in a review whether the rules and concept of a game fits a particular age group or was too confusing to understand easily and requires a learning curve before fully maximizing the game features.
While it is common for parents to choose games with topics or subjects that their kids enjoy to make it fun, going in the opposite direction is also highly recommended. If a child is not so keen at reading or math, for example, you can choose games that you think will make the subject enjoyable and thus boost their confidence in jumping into concepts willingly.
Going for a game that teaches a not-so-favorite subject is a quick and interesting way to teach a child new skills that are essential not just for education but life in general. Skills such as sharing, being a team player or a good sport are a few examples of critical characteristics that could be learned through a game.
Educational games are all about hitting two birds with one stone, wherein learning becomes fun for the kids. Below are a few pointers in what to look out for when choosing a game based on how interactive a game is, its design and concept.
Go for games that stimulate creativity, problem-solving, and other essential skills while keeping things interesting for the child. The more involved they get with the activity (and with others if it's a multiplayer game) the more opportunities for them to develop and grow.
Once again, the reviews would give you a great starting point whether a game can keep the kids preoccupied and entertained for hours.
Educational games have standards for them because they must be accurate in what they teach. The design of each piece in a game should correctly teach the concept.
For example, the colors should match, scientific concepts should be valid, and trivia facts should be updated and verified. The last thing we want is to teach our kids the wrong information in the process!
Also ensure that the quality of the game pieces is top-notch, without choking hazards or dangerous parts, especially if it's going to be played by younger children. Regarding safety, it's advised to stick to the recommended age of the game.
Games come in many forms, such as puzzles, building blocks, experimental kits, activity books, flashcards, magnetic games, and more. You can quickly get an idea of the central theme of the game by looking through the product description.
Some are slow-paced and require more critical thinking while others push the player to be on their toes, such as mental math games with time limits.
Go for a mix of game concepts to give your child a more well-rounded experience towards learning through games.
You can also search for games based on their features such as the number of players involved, duration or length of each round. When there are siblings involved, pick out a game that can keep everyone entertained no matter their age.
Furthermore, engagement in an educational game is not limited to kids. For example, trivia can be played as a whole family. You can also grab the lite or children's versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, and the other classics which teach vocabulary, budgeting, investments, being a good sport, and more.
Click to purchase
Math Dice Junior
A Must-Have Mental Math Game for Kids
Zingo Sight Words
It's Bingo With a Z for Early Readers
Apples to Apples Junior
Hone Thinking Skills With This Crazy Comparisons Game
The Beam-Bending Logic Game for Kids (and Adults)
Sight Word Game
Unleash Excess Energy With This Sight Word Game
Wooden Pattern Blocks Set
Boost Imagination and Creative Skills the Non-Traditional Way
A 2-D and 3-D Brain-Twisting Puzzle Game
Reusable Brain Game Activities for Hours of Learning
The Learning Journey
Match It! Spelling
Teach Focus and Spelling Through a Puzzle Game
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Learn Colors and Fine Motor Skills the Fun Way
This is a great hands-on way to learn simple mental math for kids. They learn how to add and subtract up to 12 using the dice. It brings a hint of competition too as they try to reach the finish line first. Through this game, math loses its intimidating reputation among children.
According to a few reviewers, the instructions weren't as clear as they would have preferred. A few older kids also got bored of the game quickly, but there are other versions for older kids. Parents commented that their young ones played with the game for months.
Reviewers noted that the game was made of high-quality materials and would last a long time. The dice also fit well in a small child's hand, which makes it easy to play. They also shared variations to the game to keep things interesting.
This brain game, with over 50 million copies sold, is a perfect way to introduce sight words to early readers in an exciting way. It boosts sight word recognition, memory, and concentration among young learners.
It works much like Bingo, where you fill in your card with the respective words from the deck, but this time you're dealing with beginner words. The clear instructions make it easy to understand the game so the kids can start playing right away.
A few parents had issues with the Zingo slider distributing more tiles than needed, while some parents noted that it only contains 24 words plus the addition problems scattered across 72 tiles. It may be a bit boring for those who are already acquainted with sight words, they added.
Many, however, loved that the game requires no adult help and can be enjoyed by the kids alone. It is also very sturdy, from the durable Zingo slider to the double-sided cardboard Zingo cards. The game is guaranteed to be hit among young ones, said parents and teachers.
Harness inventiveness and quick-thinking with the 576 unique cards that require comparisons of people, places, things, and events. This game is easy to play, easy to learn, refreshing, and can last for hours. Kids and adults alike can practice their persuasion skills trying to convince the judge to choose a particular card.
Those who were acquainted with the original Apples to Apples "adult" version were a bit disappointed that there are fewer red cards and duplicates in this one. It's great for kids, though, and includes current references!
This game is a perfect family game and results in lots of laughter among everyone. Many liked that the manufacturer updated the content and now contains references from Star Wars, Disney channel characters, pop singers, Harry Potter, and more.
This game hones the reasoning and planning skills in a child through the mind-challenging laser mazes. The objective is to successfully manipulate the beams to hit the targets and make the pillars light up. The game includes 60 beginner- to advanced-level challenges to conquer and there are more online.
A few reviewers mentioned you should darken the room a bit to see the laser's path better. Many loved the concept of the game, however, and mentioned even adults found it challenging.
Parents and children alike were fascinated with the game. They liked the well-built quality and weren't disappointed at the interaction and engagement it provided for the players. It's a game that will get the whole family involved, added reviewers!
This fun and fast-paced game removes the "chore" from teaching sight words for parents and teachers. The kids might think they're just swatting flies, but adults know they're actually learning 224 of the most commonly used sight words effectively. The words go up to Grade 3, for increased complexity.
Some parents commented that the flies and swatter could use a sturdier material, but many had no issues. They pointed out this approach was perfect for those who struggle with the traditional book learning method.
Parents loved that the concept of the game was easy to comprehend and had different levels to cater to different ages. They also appreciated the drawstring bag to store all the pieces safely.
Let your child's imagination and creativity take front and center with this sorting and stacking game. They can use the cards as guides to create the design and learn sight words or unleash their inner artist and build new concepts using the wooden pieces.
A few reviewers received their packages with missing pieces. Luckily, customer service was responsive and quickly replaced their order! Some parents also suggested making the parts magnetic to keep them from scattering, which may annoy younger players.
The cards are durable, the wooden blocks well-made and well-painted, and the pieces do not smell like paint, said reviewers who were highly satisfied with their purchase. They commented that there was an incredible number of cards include. Plus, they could branch out to unique designs, so kids are sure to stay preoccupied!
With over 200 puzzles that have hundreds of combinations but only one correct one, this challenging brain-twisting game is sure to enhance the problem-solving and strategic thinking skills of players. You can make designs in 2-D or 3-D for a wider variety.
Some reviewers didn't like that you have to pack the pieces perfectly to close the case. Others thought that the game could be repetitive after completing all the challenges. But on a positive note, parents liked that it's progressive, starting very easy and becoming more difficult to solve.
Parents were also relieved that the game is visually appealing and very satisfying to complete. It's fun for children and adults, they added! You can also easily bring it anywhere for some on-the-go brain teasers.
It may look like your regular activity page, but this innovative product boasts of building core skills in young children through fun methodologies. They get to learn various concepts that boost strategizing, problem-solving, observation, and concentration. Then when they're done, you can erase the answers and give it another go!
A few parents mentioned that some of the problems were too hard while others were too easy, which made it a hit-or-miss game among children. Many had no issues, though, and loved that there was a little bit of everything in the game.
Reviewers shared that the challenges urged the kids to work together and even got the family involved. The game is interactive and provides a super fun way to learn! Plus, it's easy to bring along during trips, they added.
This puzzle game contains 24 words and teaches kids early spelling and reading. It's made of sturdy cardboard and develops a basic understanding of how to solve simple problems such as fitting the pieces together.
A few reviewers commented that the cardboard pieces could wear out easily and some said they received sets with missing pieces, so check yours before the return window closes!
Parents shared that the puzzle was very educational for the kids, and they had fun while learning. The children don't notice that they were getting acquainted with the words while playing.
This game teaches colors and matching while developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills among young children. The goal is to be the first to fill up your log with the correct colors using the squeezy squirrel. It's a great way to learn outside the classroom!
Parents noted that the game would be better played with other kids as it is too straightforward and basic for adults or older players. However, it does teach valuable skills like taking turns and being a good sport among children, said reviewers.
Reviewers shared that the game was a big hit among their young ones and could keep them entertained for quite some time. As for the quality of the pieces, they commented that it was well-made.
If you're on the lookout for more family fun activities, you can also consider these other great products for everyone to enjoy!
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
AppsBusiness apps, Cooking apps, Dating apps
Home goodsBath supplies, Ceremonial occasion supplies, Cleaning supplies
Home electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, AV accessories, Blenders and food processors
PCComputer supplies, Desktop computers, Tablets
CameraCamera bags and backpacks, Camera supplies, Digital single lens cameras
BeautyBlushes, Bronzers, Cleansers
HealthBody care products, Health accessories, Health foods and supplements
Food and drinksAlcohol, Breads and jams, Cocktails and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages
KitchenCoffee and tea products, Cooking utensils, Cups
FashionFootwear products, Men's shoes, Sandals
AccessoriesWristwatches, Accessories and jewelry, Umbrellas and parasols
Kids and babyBaby carriers, Baby food, Baby formula
InteriorBeds, Beds and bedding, Chairs
HobbiesAromatherapy products, Art supplies, Arts and collectibles
OutdoorBarbecue grills and fire pits, Camping beds and cots, Camping gear
Home, garden, and toolsAgricultural materials and gardening supplies, Exterior and garden furniture, Materials and repairing agents
Sports and fitnessSports shoes, Surfing supplies, Badminton supplies
PetsBird and small animal supplies, Cat supplies, Dog supplies
MediaBooks and magazines, CD, Children's books, picture books and illustrated encyclopedias
GamesGaming accessories, Nintendo Switch games, PC games
AutomotiveCar accessories, Car navigation systems
GiftsChristmas gifts, Father's Day gifts, Gifts for children
Mobile devicesMobile phone and smartphone accessories, Wearable devices and smart watches