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Play and Learn: Fun & Educational Games for the Whole Family!

We wanted to be able to suggest some educational, family-friendly games to the folks joining us for BBCH Family Game Night, so we reached out to our friends at Diversions Puzzles & Games (in South Portland and Portsmouth, NH). Not only did they share these awesome game recommendations, but they’re also big supporters of Extra Life and BBCH.


It’s All Fun and Games…
a guest blog by Laura Keith at Diversions

Most of us think of board games as a fun activity. It’s a way to spend time with our friends and families, laugh and joke, and enjoy some cooperative puzzling or spirited competition. But for all of us, and especially developing minds, board games are a great way to introduce or reinforce educational and life skills. You may be surprised at all the things your little ones are learning through gaming! Here are some of our favorite games, and the education benefits you may not even realize are being taught….


Button, Button, Belly Button
Peaceable Kingdom, $15.99

Peaceable Kingdom is one of our favorite lines here at Diversions because all of their games are cooperative! In Button, Button, Belly Button, players work together to match button cards and belly buttons! This is a great way for young toddlers to learn about body awareness, hand-eye coordination, speech development, color matching, and turn-taking.

♦ Ages: 2+


Silly Street
Buffalo Games, $29.99

Silly Street lives up to its name – it’s about having fun, being silly, and laughing. Players take turns drawing cards and doing silly things – find crazy objects nearby to turn into a hat, or use just your hands to turn your body into a racoon! Silly Street helps to teach and encourage confidence, resilience, empathy, and creativity.

♦ Ages: 4+
♦ Players: 2 or more
♦ Playing time: 15 minutes


Rivers, Roads, and Rails
Ravensburger, $19.99

Similar to dominos, players select one card from their hand to place onto the town they are building collectively, matching the rivers, roads, and rails to create a winding network of transportation. Plan ahead to use up all of your cards first! Skills such as visual discrimination and strategy make this both educational and fun.

♦ Ages: 5+
♦ Players: 1 to 8
♦ Playing time: 30 minutes


Sleeping Queens
Gamewright, $12.99

Designed by a 6-year old, Sleeping Queens has been a staple for years! In this card game, collect as many of these silly sovereigns, like the Pancake Queen, as you can to win. Using strategy and quick thinking you will wake up these sleepy queens, but there are all kinds of obstacles in the way! Knights that steal queens, dragons that defeat knights, potions to put queens back to sleep…it’s a royal race to the end! Sleeping Queens develops and reinforces elementary arithmetic, memory, and strategy skills.

♦ Ages: 8+
♦ Players: 2 to 5
♦ Playing Time: 20 minutes


Looney Labs, $15.99

The game where the rules are always in flux! Draw a card, play a card, and as the rules change the game becomes more complex. For an educational experience, especially for older kids (or adults!) try one of their special versions. In Chemistry Fluxx you will learn about elements, molecules, and compounds; Nature Fluxx adds scavenging and composting; Math Fluxx requires multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division to meet goals; and Astronomy Fluxx features NASA photographs of space and planets.

♦ Ages: 8+
♦ Players: varies
♦ Playing time: 5-30 minutes