Board games foster critical thinking and problem solving which makes them perfect for all families. As a homeschooling mom, I am always on the lookout for games that can be played independently and will help my children learn. After over 20 years of homeschooling, I am homeschooling my very last child, but now have the honor of watching my grandchildren several times a week. My grandsons (4&6) love to dive into our overstuffed game cupboard to pick out their favorites. Here are three games that are perfect to add to your collection this year.
These items were provided to me by timberdoodle.com for review purposes. I have received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
Penguins Huddle Up has been a favorite in our house since it arrived at our door. Apollo (13) and I have enjoyed playing it together and my six-year-old grandson loves it as well. This game is designed for 2-4 players ages 6 and up.
To play the game, each player chooses a color of penguins. Each penguin family has three adults and three baby penguins. The object of the games is to get your entire family of penguins “huddled up” or touching each other.
One thing I really like about this game is that there are two modes of difficulty. I play the easier version with my grandson and the more difficult version with Apollo.
To begin playing you place the plastic “iceberg” pieces on the board. You can place them anywhere on the board as long as they line up with the hexagons on the board. This means each game is different each time since the board is different. Next, you place your opponent’s penguins on the board, watching out for the ice holes where penguins can dive in and pop up on the other side of the board.
To play, each player moves one penguin one space at a time, trying to get their penguin family “huddled up” in a line. Just be sure and watch out for those ice holes!
This game really is a lot of fun. It is simple to learn, but full of surprises as you move your own penguins together while trying to block your opponent’s penguins.
Grizzly Gears is a single-player game designed for ages 7 and up. It is a strategy game that uses logic, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving.
To play Grizzly Gears you first choose a challenge from the included spiral-bound book. You line up your pieces to match the picture and then try to reunite the pieces. The baby bear is trying to get to his mama. The lumberjack wants to get to his ax and get back to work and the girl wants to get back to her tent.
As the name implies, you turn the pieces like gears to move them across the board. Once you set up your challenge you place a figure and move it across the board by turning the piece. If any figure except the baby bear gets too close to the mama bear, it will get stuck, and you’ll have to start over.
The first time I tried playing this got stuck and had to have my six-year-old grandson show me how to solve the puzzle. This game is perfect for homeschooling or travel since you only need one player. The book has over 80 challenges so this game has long-lasting play value as well.
Cats and Boxes is a single-player strategy game that comes with over 60 challenges! This game is designed for ages 7 and up.
One of my favorite parts of this game is it comes with a cover (see the photo below) so you can pack it up and not worry about losing any of the pieces. Other game pieces include the base, pieces with boxes attached, and a handful of cute little kitties!
To play the game you choose your challenge from the provided book and set up the boxes and cats ad displayed in your challenge. Next, you must move the boxes one at a time until each cat is in a box. Sounds simple, right?
Well, not so fast. Each box is attached to a piece of floor and a different shape which means you will really need to call on your spatial reasoning to figure out how to make the floor pieces fit *and* how to get your cats in the box. The game is over when each cat is in a box. Trust me, this is more difficult than you think!
Have you heard of any of these games before? What are your favorite strategy games for homeschooling?