13 Must Have Board Games in the Classroom

By now you know that I'm a big fan of board games in the classroom. {If you don't know that, read this blog post.}

And we've talked about how to work in games in our already busy schedule here.

But not any old game will do.  There are some games that really fabulous and classics, but they just don't lend themselves to any sort of strategy building.  Those are not the games you will find in this blog.  Those are games like Candyland, Hi Ho Cherry-o, Chutes and Ladders and more.  While they are fun, and build people skills, they are more fit for inside recess than during instructional time.

So let's chat about strategies and skill sets we want to develop in primary kids and my favorite no-fluff board games to do just that in the primary classroom {and kids of all ages}!
{affiliate links are included in this post, which means I get a very small commission to add to my chocolate fund! Thanks for supporting me!}

Games That Build Logic

Games that build logic are games that make us think in "If...then..." statements.  Remember those logic grid puzzles?  It's the same sort of thing, but they are built into games to make it friendlier for our littles.

Guess Who
Clue Junior

Games That Build Planning Ahead

These games are ones that make us account for our opponents next step.  "I think they will do _____, so I need to do ______."  Or, "If they do ____, I'll do ____, but if not, I'll do ______."  They help us practice flexibility and adapting our plans to unexpected changes.  And they help us learn that there are multiple ways to win a game or solve a problem...or in Arkansas language: There's more than one way to skin a cat! :)

Connect 4
Jenga
Sorry
Checkers
Dominoes
Chinese Checkers

Games That Build Comparing and Contrasting

These are games where we have to look at similarities and differences, and decide on important information between two objects or cards.  We also need to be able to see how things are connected in order to win the game.  Again, many of the other games also work on these skills, but these games are especially good for this.

Uno
Apples to Apples Junior

Apples to Apples Junior is more for kids who can read as they will need to be able to read the words independently.  I would suggest it for 2nd grade and maybe some first graders.

Games That Build Stamina

These games are not won in 5 minutes or less.  They take time.  They help us focus and practice building stamina.  If I can engage in a game for 20-30 minutes, then that can help me engage in other areas of learning during other parts of the day.  Focus and stamina is a learned skill that good problem solvers have.  There are plenty of the other games that are longer and build stamina, but these are the best fit for this skill!

Battleship
Monopoly Junior
Blokus

What are your favorite strategy games for the classroom?
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