THIS IS A 4-PART BLOG SERIES ON GAMES. IT INCLUDES GAMES FOR PRESCHOOLERS, EARLY ELEMENTARY, LATER ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT WILL HELP YOU FIND THE GAME EASILY.
These are my favorite games suitable for late elementary. I really like to have games that cover a range of ages that can play, but these are primarily focused on the late elementary crowd. Games are my favorite for memorization, exposure, or reinforcement of a concept.
This is a great history game. It comes with a deck of small cards of historical events. One side of the card has the year that it occur, on the other side of the card does not. A card is placed in front of the players to start the timeline, and each player starts out with 5 cards that they try to place within the timeline correctly on their turn. If they do so correctly, then it’s the next players turn. If they do not that card is discarded, and they choose another card from the stack. The player to use all of their cards first, wins. Keep your phone close so you can search the events, because there are some pretty interesting cards you are going to need to look up.
Gravity Maze and Laser Maze
Both of these games are very similar to each other in that they’re logic games. The games consist logic puzzles that are increasing in difficulty to either make the balls find their way to the bottom on the gravity maze or the light beam to the light tower. Gravity Maze does have small balls, so I would not recommend it for toddlers in the house.
Apples to Apples
This is a whole equivalent of cards of humanity for kids. There are two stacks of cards -one red and one green. The green list a word that is the description like “finicky.” The reds have different cultural words or other nouns. Each player is dealt five red cards, and one green card is flipped over and placed faced up on the card. One player is the judge, while the rest of the players try to lay down a card that “finicky” would describe. The goal of the round is to get the judge to choose your card. Get ready to hear peals of laughter as the judge reads the analogies aloud. “As finicky as baseball.” This is a great way to teach analogies and vocabulary. At least three people are needed to play this game.
This is my all-time favorite math game. I think the inventors of this game are ingenious. One of the things they did was factor all the numbers from 1 to 101 by color of the first 4 prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, and 7. This essentially allows children to multiply and divide by color making it super easy to check their calculations. Two tokens for each player are placed at start and the goal is to get both tokens to 101. On a turn a player rolls two dice, and can use any operation from multiply, divide, add, or subtract, using one die at a time with the number they are located on. This allows the player to strategically try to land on a prime number allowing them to draw a prime card. The prime cards are divided into action cards and keeper cards. The keeper cards have numbers that allow you to move extra spaces. The action cards are fun little challenges, like “reverse your numbers.” This is a fabulous way to practice calculations. Math for Love, the makers of Prime Climb, have a blank chart you can color HERE with a 10% off coupon from Amazon for the game. They also have loads of free math lessons HERE.
Master’s Gallery is a great way to expose children to some of the most famous artists. The Artists include Vermeer, van Gogh, Degas, Monet, and Renoir. The premise of the game is that you are an art connoisseur who is trying to decide the market for art. The Rounds play a little differently though. Each round players take turns playing cards of a certain artist or artists. Some cards have special symbols that allow you to do special things, like play two cards in one turn. At the end of each round, the first three artists with the most cards plays gets points respectively 3, 2, and then 1. Each player gains the number of points for each card of that artist they played. For instance if Monet was the highest artist played and received 3 points and a player had played 4 Monet cards, they would receive 12 points total. The strategy really comes in the fact that the points for the artists and the playing cards are cumulative, so if Monet has 3 points the first round, and 2 points were added the second, he has a total of 5 points for the second round, so it pays to sometimes save your cards for the second round.
You know this is a favorite in our house with all the animals. This game goes over all the biomes and the animals that live there. The cards alone are awesome. They contain a picture of the animal with the common and Latin names. It also contains other information that is hidden until the round finishes. The geography and biomes are a big plus. It’s essentially a betting game where players take turns guessing the weight, length, tail length and geographic range of a animal shown on a card. Points are gained from correct guesses, but also gained from adjacent spaces as well. In this game risk is definitely rewarded.
This game reinforces equivalent fractions. The idea is to stack like fractions on top of each other. The players take turns playing their cards until they complete a stack by adding the last card and taking that stack. The fractions are displayed in 4 different ways – on a number line, in shaded form of several shapes, as a number, and as a portion of a circle. This makes a great accompaniment to a fraction unit.
Da Vinci’s Challenge
This is a cool little logic game. The players take turns playing pieces to make geometric designs on the scoring sheet, while their opponents try to anticipate what the player is doing and attempts to block them. The overall pattern is based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Flower of Life. For each of the patterns made, points are scored. More complicated patterns receive higher points. When all pieces have been played the games ends, and the points are totaled.
Ticket to Ride
This is a family favorite. I originally purchased it hoping that it would have some European geography, but it turned out not to be that useful. The boarders are not clear. It does however have the names of the cities and is just a fun game to play. I like it because it’s fairly adaptable to younger children. If you eliminate the destination cards, younger children are able to play pretty easily, as it becomes and collection and matching game. It does however have a great deal of strategy to keep older children entertained.
Sequence: States and Capitals
This is the same as other Sequence games where you play cards to lay tokens trying to get 4 in a row. The benefit to this one is learning the States and their Capitals. Sequence is also pretty versatile allowing a number of varied ages to play. The board contains each state and the matching card contains the capital. It pairs nicely with the Scrambled States in the Early Elementary Post.
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