It’s tough to keep children active and engaged at home when going outside to play just isn’t an option. Instead of developing a serious case of cabin fever, help make the most of these winter months with your children by engaging their minds through educational board games. There are plenty out there to choose from, but we’ve selected a few favorites that are sure to keep your family laughing and playing even when the weather is not so jubilant.

For preschool and elementary school age children

  • Zingo (2-9 players, age 4+): Similar to Bingo, kids match pictures and words to their challenge cards, helping to build language skills.
  • Twister (2-4 players, age 6+): This one is sure to get the family up and moving as you work to match what the spinner calls out. This is great for teaching body awareness and learning rights from lefts.
  • Cranium Cadoo (2 or more players, age 7+): Kids will be puzzling, sketching, sculpting, acting and code-cracking with this game, but never fear, this one the whole family will enjoy.
  • Uno (2-10 players, age 7+): This classic game of numbers helps little ones with color and number recognition and helps older kids with strategy and planning.
  • Bananagrams (1-8 players, age 7+): In this game, speed is everything. Players race against each other to build personal crossword grids using an assortment of letter tiles.

For middle and high school age children

  • Monopoly (2-8 players, age 8+): This one really needs no explanation, but just make sure you have quite a bit of time to dedicate. GO!
  • Taboo (4 or more players, age 13+): You have to get creative in order to help your team guess the proper word or phrase without saying any of the Taboo It’s a great way to help expand your child’s descriptive skills!
  • Scrabble (2-4 players, age 8+): This classic crossword game is great for practicing vocabulary and spelling.
  • Apples to Apples (4 or more players, age 12+): Known as the game of crazy combinations, participants will play the card they think best describes a card played by the judge, trying to rack up as many wins before the game is over.

These should get your family started and will make for an entertaining night at home! For more on ways to engage your children in the winter, check out the ‘Energizing Youth’ tab on Empowering Michigan.

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