Favorite Homeschool Games

I'm that mean-ol', boring, teacher-mom who encourages her kids to get only educational games.

"Does it require batteries? Nope. Can't have it."   
"Does it makes noise?  Uh-uh. Pick something else." 
"Can you learn something useful? Hmmmm..... let's keep looking."

Seriously, my friends know that I used to cut the speakers out of toys or tape/glue battery compartments shut and tell my kids, "Oh no!  I guess that part's broken.  But, hey, you can still play with it and have fun without the lights and whistles and ear-piercing, head-splitting songs." 

I don't think they have been too deprived, and it has helped me keep my sanity.  I've been homeschooling them since Aubrey started 1st grade, but let's not forget that I taught high school.  As in, NOT an elementary school teacher. I'm allergic to glitter. And Play-doh. Or pretty much anything that I have to count by 100s, sort, chart, sing, allow to dry overnight, or that requires too much patience.   But plain, boring, educational games?   That, I can do!  

The following is a list of some of my favorites that have become a hit with the kids as well.  Sort of "mom-suggested, kid-approved", if you will!  

Card Games:

  • Exploding Kittens - Make sure you get this one and not the um..., ahem, adult version.
  • Zeus on the Loose - Brooks didn't want to play this one at first because, "What? I have to use math?".  But now it's a favorite!  We got it when we were studying Greek mythology.  Or was it Percy Jackson?  
  • Spot It and Blink are also great standards that even CJ can play.

Logic Games/Puzzles

  • Qwirkle - This one is probably one of my all-time favorites!  Easy to store, fun to play, and fun to just play with the blocks.  Crosby will use them to sort by shape or color (See? I do some Pre-K sorting stuff!) but she can also play by the regular rules with just a bit of help.
  • Blokus - I think this one is appealing to those of us who grew up with Tetris.  Great game for visual/spatial folks.  Harder for those that are not.  
  • Suspend - We love to give this one as a gift!  Perfect price (usually between $10-$15) and it's fun to wrap cylinder gifts!  It's also makes a cool noise when you shake the gift to try and guess what's inside.  Everyone in the family plays this one and it's a pretty quick game.     
  • IQ Twist - perfect for travel and makes a good, inexpensive gift.  And it get's hard, y'all.

Board Games:

  • Ticket to Ride - I thought this one would get old or that they would grow out of it, but it's still a favorite around here!
  • Settlers of Catan - Don't waste your time with the Jr version.  Go for the adult game and help the kids until they can play on their own.  Trust me.  (This is my #1 favorite game. I'm blessed to be in an extended family who agrees.  We have lots of fun when we can get together!)
  • Mancala - Brooks and I will pull this out and play a quick game or two while we wait on the girls to finish a lesson or a test.  A classic for two people that is known world-wide.  Better yet, make your own set!  How's that for you crafty folks? 

I could add so many more, but these are the ones that we keep going back to again and again. We get new games and pass some on, but these we tend to keep around.  Let me know if you have any other favorites that we need to try. But it's going to have to be good to bump one of these off the list!