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21 Amazing Board Games for Kids

Grade Levels
K - 5th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
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Teach your students to think strategically with these 21 printable board games.

Included in this PDF package:

* 21 Abstract Strategy Board Games

* Suggested lesson plan with sequences of instruction

* Tips for classroom use

Academic, Social, Psychological, and Health Benefits

Abstract strategy games have many, many benefits.

Academic Benefits include improvements in logical thinking, deductive reasoning, spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, problem-solving skills, obervation skills, number sense, probability sense, memory, network study, resource management, stress reduction, evaluation skills, planning skills and computation.

Social and Psychological Benefits include improvements in cooperation, competition, decision-making skills, delayed gratification, family relationships, leadership skills, trust, empathy, social bonding, self-control, confidence, frustration tolerance, patience, humility, determination, and concentration.

Health Benefits: Research has also shown benefits to brain growth and brain maintenance as well as other health benefits - such as stress reduction and lower blood pressure; even reduced risk for Alzheimer’s.

Print and Play

That's it. Print and play. In my classroom I begin by introducing games in small groups. After students have learned a few of the games it’s possible to introduce a game in a whole group setting, beginning in first grade.

This series broadly covers all of the major categories of Abstract Strategy Game: Alignment, Blocade, Capture, Hunt, Territory, and Nim. Single Player games are not, strictly speaking, abstract strategy games. They are solitary, and so they are not really “games”. They are included here because they offer similar strategic challenges, like puzzles.

Age Range: K-5 and Beyond

I am a K-2 teacher and I know from experience that these games are appropriate for primary. Some players will be able successfully play the harder games at early ages, and some may find even the easiest games something of a challenge. Generally speaking, all of these games can be taught to kindergartners.

Upper grade kids, however, can benefit too. Many of these games are very old, ancient even, and have been played by people of all ages across cultures and over the centuries. Certainly older kids can play these games. The rules may be simple to learn, but developing winning strategies can be challenging for any age.

Send Them Home

All of these 21 abstract strategy board games have the rules printed on them, making them easy to send home for homework or to email to parents for distance learning. For a typical class I might teach six or seven games in a single school year, but I will send home many more games as homework. This homework cannot easily be checked for completion. Some families will be enthusiastic, others not. I have the kids dedicate a folder at home to keep the games in. I remind my students from time to time to revisit the games with family members and friends.

ENJOY! These games are FUN!

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