When it comes to educational games, finding the right balance between challenging and fun is no easy task. In fact, what often seems like a good choice at the store turns out to be a complete dud at home, especially when your kiddos pull out the “b” word—boring. If you’re looking for educational game ideas for your preschooler or grade-schooler that also include the fun factor, we’ve rounded up 10 games that will not only challenge your little one, but will get the whole family laughing and playing together!
With a roll of the die and a ring of the bell, your lil’ math wizard will be adding and subtracting at lightning speed with this fun board game by SimplyFun. Designed for ages five and up, Math Room incorporates basic addition and subtraction problems with answers ranging from 1-10, perfect for counting on small fingers or toes! $26
Designed for ages six and up, Qwirkle is the modern day version of Scrabble (one of our childhood faves!) only with shapes and colors instead of letters. Through tactical maneuvers and strategy, players can score big (like triple word big!) by placing a tile that touches several pieces with matching shapes and colors. And just like Scrabble, the winner is the player with the most points. $24.95
This award-winning game (several times over!) combines spelling, cognitive skills, and vocab into one exciting game. In Word Bits, words begin as one to four letter bits rolled on the letter dice. Players must pick a category card and make a word using those bits that fit the category. Since everyone plays at once, players must use quick thinking skills in order to win the cards. Word Bits is designed for ages eight and up and our kid testers gave it a big thumbs up! $22.50
What’s on the perfect pizza? Follow the talking chef’s commands (add two pepperoni slices, add two mushrooms, take away one pepperoni and add one olive) and the players with the correct toppings win the round. Pizza Mania is designed for ages four to eight and reinforces listening and counting skills as well as early addition and subtraction skills. This super-fun game also comes with two settings so older kids can play a faster Pizza Panic version. What we love most about this game is that players can work together on their math skills and more than one player can win in each round. $24.95
Play Kids Games
Designed by parents of young children, playkidsgames.com allows kiddos in pre-K through middle school to discover and build new skills including computer, math, reading, vocabulary, geography, and problem solving through fun interactive games. From the fun “Alphabet Whack-a-Mole” game to the lively “Musical Memory Turtle” game to the think on the fly “Math Fact Practice,” game, kiddos will connect learning and skill building with self-esteem, confidence, and fun! Free
We love PBS for many reasons including the impact its educational programming has on school readiness and early literacy skills. And we absolutely love pbskids.org for giving our preschool-aged kids hundreds of fun educational games with PBS KIDS faves such as Curious George, Elmo, Super Why, and The Cat in the Hat. Through interactive video clips and a simple click of the mouse, your kiddo will be rockin’ science, vocabulary, math, and even Spanish lessons without even knowing it. Free
This fab site for kids in pre-K through eighth grade offers a variety of fun, educational games as well as indoor and outdoor games, tricks, recipes, jokes, trivia questions, science experiments… you name it. Funology allows kiddos to make things, explore the world, and discover skills they never knew they had while making their playtime educational and fun! Free
Designed for preschool-aged users, Leo’s Pad by Kidaptive is one part animated cartoon, one part interactive game, and one part history lesson. Through top-notch animation and a series of “appisodes,” little ones (and parents!) will quickly find themselves immersed into a storyline that is not only entertaining but highly educational. Download Leo’s Pad from the iTunes store and start your learning adventure today. Free
Stack the Countries
This colorful and dynamic game, which also includes fun sound effects and music, makes learning about the world fun. Kiddos of all ages will learn country capitals, landmarks, geographic locations, and more as they move and drop the animated countries anywhere on the screen. With more than a 1000 unique questions and three games in one (Stack the Countries, Map It, and Pile Up), this app gets a big thumbs up from kiddies and parents alike. Download Stack the Countries from the iTunes store. $1.99
Yodel Oh! Math Mountain
This modern day version of the Price is Right Swiss Mountain game, is the perfect math app for ages six to 12. In Yodel Oh! Math Mountain, Hans (the mountain climber) scales the side of the mountain as the user answers simple math facts and earns points. Yodel Oh! Math Mountain covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and can last anywhere from three minutes to more than ten minutes, depending on the child’s skill level. This fab app (which also received a top pick from Fun Educational Apps) is great for kids who tend to lean on the competitive side since users can compare their scores with those listed on the High Score Board. Download Yodel Oh! Math Mountain from the iTunes store. $0.99
Did we miss your kiddo’s favorite learning game? Let us know in the comments section below.