Playing games is a big part of our homeschool.  Our latest fascination is Qwirkle, a match-the-colors-and/or-shapes game that involves more than a little Scrabble-like strategy.  It’s the perfect game for a multi-aged household:  younger kids can enjoy simply handling and sorting the colored blocks (while learning their shapes and colors), while older children and adults develop strategy and critical thinking skills in a fun environment.

A great game, for me, is one that meets 4 criteria:

1)  It’s fun

2)  It’s simple to learn

3) It’s educational (but not overtly)

3) Set-up and clean-up is quick and easy.

Qwirkle meets all 4 criteria.

I’m willing to make some exceptions, of course — I love playing Life, Monopoly and Risk.  But these games are not quick to set-up and play, so alas — we don’t play these games nearly as often as the boys would like.

Think, for a minute, about all the skills boys learn from board games.  Counting.  Sharing.  Colors.  Adding, subtracting and multiplying.  Spelling (Scrabble).  Specific facts, depending on the game.  My boys love a game called the Lewis and Clark Adventures game (all about the Lewis and Clark expeditiona) and Scrambled States, about United States geography.

Disney has compiled a list of 5 classic board games for boys.  Take a look and then tell me:  What are some of your favorites?

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Jennifer Fink DrGreene.com contributor

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