5 Board Games that Encourage Developmental Skills

A few weeks ago, I discussed several products to encourage outdoor play this summer.  However, if you’re looking for something fun for your child to do on rainy days, what’s more fun than board games?!

I’m sure by now you’ve played Candyland and Monopoly too many times to count.  So for today’s post, I’d like to discuss five other games that are not only fun, they also work on developmental skills.  What are you waiting for?!  Let’s go play!

5 Board Games for Childhood Development

I have always been a huge fan of board games my entire life.  They’re an exciting means of socializing, strategizing, and more.  Additionally, a majority encourage motor skills, language development, problem-solving, and so much more.  The best part is they’re so fun children don’t even know they’re learning!

1. Yeti in My Spaghetti:

First off, how fun is the name of this game?  Yeti in My Spaghetti is a fun, wacky game where children pull strands of spaghetti out while trying to not let the Yeti fall into the bowl.

Works on:

  • Fine motor and grasping skills
  • Hand-eye coordination skills
  • Visual motor and perceptual skills
  • Focus and attention skills
  • Organizational skills

yeti in my spaghetti board game

Features:

  • For 2 or more players
  • Ages 4 and up
  • Contents: 30 noodles, Yeti, Bowl, Instructions
  • Objective: Don’t let the Yeti fall into the bowl of spaghetti!
  • Other gameplay option: You can also have children use chopsticks to pull spaghetti to practice fine motor skills
2. Zingo!:

Zingo! is a fast-paced Bingo-like game where players take turns matching pictures.  It encourages pre-readers and early readers alike to match pictures and words to their challenge cards.  The Zingo! Zinger dispenses tiles as children race to be the first player with a full card and yell “Zingo!”

Works on:

  • Visual motor and perceptual skills
  • Fine motor and grasping skills
  • Language development
  • Social skills

zingo

Features:

  • 2 or more players
  • Ages 3 and up
  • Contents:
    • 6 double-sided Zingo! cards with 2 levels of play
    • 72 double-sided tiles
    • Zingo! Zinger with easy cleanup
    • Parent’s Guide
  • Objective: Children race to be the first player with a full card of matching tiles.  The first one done that yells ZINGO! wins the game!
3. Stack Up!

Can you stack the 12 blocks before the Stack Smasher gets to the tower and topples it?  In Stack Up! children have fun spinning for their task.  “Spin a color and stack a block.  Spin a Challenge and add a tricky task like stacking while singing ‘Happy Birthday!’  Or spin the Stack Smasher, and you’re one space closer to the big topple!”

Works on:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Social skills/cooperation
  • Color matching
  • Balance

stack up

Features:

  • 2-6 players
  • Ages 3 and up
  • No reading required
  • Contents include:
    • 1 game board
    • 12 colorful blocks
    • 12 challenge cards
    • 2 stack sticks
    • 1 Stack Smasher and Stand
    • 1 spinner
    • Instructions for 3 game levels
  • Objective:  Try to stack all 12 blocks before the tower is knocked over by the Stack Smasher!
4. Guess Who?:

Okay, I was going to stay away from games that have been around forever, but Guess Who? is just too good to not include on this list!  This is a classic game from my childhood that can benefit a child’s development today.  Children will have fun trying to be the first person to guess the person on the other player’s card.

Works on:

  • Visual skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Focus and attention skills
  • Language skills
  • Information processing
  • Social skills

guess who?Features:

  • 2 players
  • Ages 6 and up
  • Contents:
    • 2 character sheets
    • 2 game boards
    • Instructions
    • BONUS: Adults can also download and print more character cards online
  • Objective: Players ask each other yes or no questions like, “Do you have blue eyes?” or “Are you wearing a hat?”  The first player to guess character correctly wins the game!
  • Guess Who? is also available in different themes!
    • Guess Who? Marvel Edition
    • Guess Who? Finding Dory Edition
5. Race to the Treasure!:

If you’re looking for a game that encourages teamwork, look no further!  In Race to the Treasure! players work together to beat the Ogre to the treasure by creating a path from start to finish.  Along the way, they must collect three keys to unlock the treasure.

Works on:

  • Social skills (cooperation, teamwork, etc.)
  • Strategizing
  • Visual motor skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Focus and attention skills
  • Decision-making skills

race to the treasure

Features:

  • 2 to 4 players
  • Ages 5 and up
  • Contents:
    • 1 game board
    • 1 pair of dice
    • 37 game cards
    • 4 key tokens
    • 1 Ogre snack
    • Instructions
  • Objective: Players must work together to get to the treasure before the Ogre does!