Best Educational Family Games to Play this Christmas Season


10 minute read

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Playing family games for Christmas is a typical Christmas tradition in many households. Not only are they fun to play, but they also foster bonding among family members and better parent-child relationships. In some cases, board games can also instill entrepreneurial traits in kids

But, do you want to add an educational twist to your Christmas game night? If so, we have the best STEM family games for you!

 

Why Play Educational Family Games?

 

Educational games are fun and engaging, and they have the potential to positively influence your child's future by supporting science learning among kids. According to a study in 2020, educational games are effective in improving kids' engagement, motivation, and satisfaction in learning.

If you want to propel your kids to a life of independent learning and success, upgrade your family game night sessions with STEM games this Christmas!

Here are the best educational games to consider playing for your STEM-packed holiday celebration!

 

You also might be interested: Creative Christmas STEM Activities Your Children Should Try 

 

The Best Educational STEM Games for the Whole Family 

Best Educational Family Games to Play this Christmas Season

STEM Learning Board Games this Christmas

 

1. Dr. Eureka by Blue Orange

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  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Number of players: 1-4
  • Playtime: 5-15 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: hand-eye coordination, speed, motor skills

Dr. Eureka is a fun chemistry-based family game that trains kids' motor skills and analytical thinking. Using only test tubes, colored balls, and challenge cards, you need to help Dr. Eureka recreate the perfect chemical concoction.

The STEM board game is very straightforward to play. Every player gets 3 test tubes, and they have to fill each with 2 balls of the same color. Once you flip the challenge card, the goal is to do the same combination shown, using the balls. 

The extra challenge of this educational family game is that you have to pour the balls from one test tube into another without dropping or touching them — a great way to practice kids' coordination, speed, and critical thinking.

 

2. Sum Swamp by Learning Resources

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  • Ages: 5 and up
  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Playtime: 10-20 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: Arithmetic operations (addition and subtraction)

Sum swamp puts the fun in educational board games for kids. If you want to practice your child's basic math comprehension, then this is a family game to try.

The educational game is like an improved version of snakes and ladders. First, rolling the three dice will result in an equation you need to solve to determine how many spaces your character can travel. Then, using luck and math skills, the goal is to get your avatar across the deadly river.

Sum Swamp is one of the top educational family games with a rating of 4.8 out of 5, and it's a good kid's math trainer too.

Plus, the illustrations are adorable!

 

3. Cytosis by Genius Games

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  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Number of players: 2-5 
  • Playtime: 40 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: Chemistry, cell biology

Learning about cells using textbooks can be incredibly dull. But, this family board game can make the family fall in love with cell biology!

This game suits the pre-teen crowd since directions can get a little complicated. Immerse in the world of cells and explore various organelles like the Golgi apparatus, nucleus, and mitochondria. The goal is to turn cellular action towards your favor through effective resource management!

A bit technical family board game to play this Christmas season, but truly effective in developing kids love for science and in no way any less fun!

 

4. Evolution by North Star Games

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  • Ages: 12 and up
  • Number of players: 2-6
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: resource management, adaptation, environmental science

Learning about history and the origin of life is a staple science subject discussed in class. But it all started with proper resource management, adaptation, and speciation.

This STEM family board game puts every player at the starting point of evolution. Then, using the limited resources, each will battle it out to grow their species, manage their food, keep them safe from predators. 

It's by far one of the best board games to teach environmental science and evolution. Plus, it teaches actionable lessons to kids like proper management of resources and learning to adapt. So if you're dealing with younger kids, the entry-level Evolution: The Beginning is an excellent place to start.

 

5. Code Master by ThinkFun

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  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Number of players: 1
  • Playtime: 10-30 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: Programming logic, analysis, and critical thinking

Unlike the rest, Code Master is a one-player educational board game. But, don't let it fool you because no matter your age, you'll have fun learning programming logic in this. Anyone in the family can play and enjoy learning from this STEM game. Once you develop the knack for coding, maybe learning to use Arduino boards would be an ideal progression. 

Children will spend their Christmas cracking the code from the many 10 maps, 60 levels, 12 tokens, and 12 scrolls! It might look overwhelming, but it's easy to play. 

As you progress through, you'll develop planning, analysis, reasoning, and management skills to beat the game. So build your coding-expert child with Code Master!

 

Educational Card Games for the Family

 

1. UNO by Mattel

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  • Ages: 7 and up
  • Number of Players: 2-10
  • Playtime: Depends
  • Concepts and skills learned: Strategy, motor skills improvement, social interaction

Uno has been a classic family game for generations because of the excitement and thrill it brings to the table. In addition, the educational card game is easy to learn for both kids and adults.

Although some would not classify it as STEM or educational, it effectively teaches children color distinction and number familiarization. On top of that, it's a fun learning game that teaches you how to play your cards right through logic and strategy. 

 

2. QBitz by MindWare

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  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Playtime: 15 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: pattern matching, spatial reasoning, problem-solving

QBitz is not your ordinary card game because it involves colored cubes vital objects to win the match. Each QBitz card contains a pattern that you'll need to follow using the proprietary cubes.

The goal is to finish replicating the shape in the fastest time possible. So let me tell you that this educational game is not a walk in the park for kids and adults alike. But you'll have fun playing with every passing second!

Puzzles and block-related games are potent to teach spatial reasoning and pattern matching. The designs are also pretty! Check out some below:

Qbitz sample card symbols

3. SET

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  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Number of players: 1+
  • Playtime: 20 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: Pattern matching, memory, and symbol retention

Quick thinking is an essential tool if you want to win in a game of SET. Using the deck of cards, you lay a 4 by 3 grid of cards on a flat surface. The goal is to identify sets of 3 cards that are different or alike in either one of the 4 categories:

  1. Color (red, blue, purple)

  2. Shape (oval, squiggly, diamond)

  3. Number (1, 2, 3)

  4. Shading (shaded, outlined, striped)

It's complicated than it looks, but kids will have fun squeezing their brains to see patterns in a race against other players! SET is a fantastic family bonding card game that trains player speed and analysis.

 

4. Quiddler

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  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Number of players: 1-8
  • Playtime: 35 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: Spelling, vocabulary, critical thinking

Although Quiddler is not a STEM game, it still counts as educational (and still loads of fun!). Imagine transforming Scrabble into a card game; this is what Squiddler is all about. It nurtures kids' memory on letter sequences, which is necessary to learn how to spell words.

Each card comes with a corresponding letter or letters. You begin the game with three cards which you'll use to form words. If none is possible, you can draw from the deck to give you more options. The game is scored after every round by adding the points from each card. 

After each turn, players get to increase the cards in hand for a sweet difficulty progression. So get ready to build a child linguist after playing this educational card game!

 

5. Spot It! by Zygomatic

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  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Number of players: 2-8 
  • Playtime: 15 minutes
  • Concepts and skills learned: shape recognition, speed, accuracy, critical thinking

Spot It! is possibly one of the best games if you want to teach kids to be quick on their feet. In addition, this fun STEM game is a great pastime to play with the family.

The game begins with every player having one card that contains various shapes and sizes. Next, one player flips one card from the deck, and each must identify one common object between their card and the one that's flipped. The round winner is the one who says the mutual object and grabs the card first.

Whoever gets the most cards win. This might be a simple game, but it requires incredible thinking and shape recognition. Kids and adults alike will giggle in thrill with the swiftness of the gameplay.

 

FAQs

 

What are other great learning activities?

 

Aside from educational games, science experiments and creative STEM activities can be great learning opportunities for kids. These activities teach kids essential lessons in STEM through hands-on experiences.

Visit our barrage of holiday articles if you want a STEM-packed Christmas celebration!

 

Why should you have family game nights?

 

Family game nights are avenues to teach kids essential life lessons like obeying rules, accepting defeats, and being humble in victories. Plus, game nights are fun ways for families to bond and make meaningful memories. Once it becomes a tradition, it's an activity your family members will look forward to!

Infusing educational STEM games in family game nights can be effective for the benefits mentioned above and for learning.

 

What are some excellent games for family game nights?

 

The best family games encourage bonding, facilitate social interaction and enjoyment among each family member. Games that instill essential lessons and concepts are also ideal qualities of bonding games for the family. What matters is that everyone has fun, and it brings the family closer together.

 

In Conclusion

 

Educational family games are some of the best ways to teach kids essential lessons in a fun and interactive fashion. They can come in all shapes and sizes — from board games to card games and even STEM toys. All these are practical tools to teach kids.

If you want to impart curiosity and lifelong learning to children with toys, STEM toys are the answer. These learning devices are fantastic ways to keep kids occupied while teaching them invaluable lessons under the hood.

Our STEMscope pocket microscope is a great place to start. Check it out along without our complete catalog of science gadgets to find the perfect gift for a kid you love!

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