Fun, energetic, smart and good looking. I’m not just describing your ideal partner here, but the essential criteria for a winning kids’ board game. Kids, like their parents, are usually time poor these days, so a game that’s fun and educational is hard to beat. If you want your kids to have a great time while developing valuable language, maths and/or problem solving skills, there are a whole range of fantastic games that will do the trick.

Games for young children that can:

Boost literacy skills Bananagrams

  • Articulate for Kids
  • Junior Scrabble

Test general knowledge

  • Trivial Pursuit for Kids
  • Wits End Junior

Extend creative skills

  • Pictionary – Junior Edition
  • Cranium Cadoo
  • Charades for Kids

Develop reasoning and problem solving skills

  • Cluedo Junior Detective
  • Rush Hour Junior

Teach numeracy skills

  • Ludo  (Links with National Curriculum Maths)
  • Dominos

Enhance colour & shape recognition

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game

Are you nurturing a 21st century Picasso or Meryl Streep?

All these games prove that being fun and educational are not mutually exclusive. For example, as well as improving vocabulary and spelling, Bananagrams encourages your kids to yell out cool stuff all through the game like “Split”, “Peel”, “Dump” and “Bananas”. (Funny voices are optional!) Cluedo Junior Detective hones kids’ analytical and deductive skills while Cranium Cadoo develops a whole range of creative skills like acting, sculpture and drawing. You could be shaping a 21st century Picasso or Meryl Streep in your very own living room!

Many kids’ games also come in a variety of themed editions, so you can often match a game to your child’s interests. As some games are essentially junior versions of adult games, kids can gradually grow into these more advanced versions as their skills develop.

What’s your pick of the best educational, fun kids’ games?

My list is in no way exhaustive. It’s just a small selection from the huge array of children’s games available in stores. But ultimately, it’s up to the kids. If they’re asking to play a game over and over, and seem to be learning at the same time, then the game’s a winner. What’s your child’s favourite learning game?