5 Unique Board Games That Are Fun Brain Boosters

posted by Shweta Sharan, April 09, 2019

Summer holidays will soon be upon us. What better way to spend it than gather round a table with family, shout 'Uno!' with a card in the hand, and drink a lemonade or two? As kids, our own best memories are of playing carom or cards with friends or families, out in the balcony.

They are great fun and we enjoy them. But there are deeper benefits to board games. Science says that for children, board games are very good for the development of the brain. Many children who have problems with reading and writing perform infinitely better when a board game is used to kickstart a class! Board games sharpen executive functions, strategy and other skills.

Gamification could be the new revolution in education. When any concept, abstract or concrete, is turned into a game, we all tend to apply these concepts in the real world. We strengthen our instincts too. But most of all, games bring excitement back into our lives!

Here are 5 board games that are not just fun but boost our kids' brains and get those neurons firing! What's special is that these are not your run of the mill games.

Ghost Blitz

This game is hugely popular among children and they never tire of playing it. Adults have great fun playing it too. It's a dexterity and reaction game, so it gets everyone to be lighting fast on their feet. This makes it loud, unstoppable and fun!

How is it played? All players play at the same time. Five wooden items sit on the table -- a white ghost, a green bottle, a grey mouse, a blue book and a red chair. There is a deck of cards. Every card will have pictures of any two of the objects. One or both objects may be colored wrongly. If one object is colored wrongly in the card, then the players have to compete to grab the right object from the table. If both objects are colored wrongly, then the players have to aim to grab the object and the color that is not represented in the card. So if it is a green mouse and a red ghost, then you have to grab the blue book.

What it does: Tests reflexes, sharpens working memory

Age: 8 +
Picture credit: Board Game Geek


A favorite word game among kids, Boggle also has a Junior version for smaller children. A timed game that can be played with 2 or more players, Boggle gives each player 3 minutes to find as many words from the letters sitting on a 16 cube grid. Each player comes up with as many words as he or she can. When the time is up, the players have to compare their word lists. If there are words that multiple players have used, those are eliminated. Those who have the most number of original words are rewarded points.

What it does: Builds vocabulary, sharpens spelling skills

Age: 8 + (Boggle Junior is for 3-6 year olds)
Picture credit: Language with Laura

Cash Flow for Kids

I have always been financially illiterate. Today, we insist on financial literacy for children. After all, they should understand the value of money and where it comes from. Cash Flow for Kids, designed by Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, is a superb way of introducing kids to financial instruments.

When I played the version of this game that's for adults, something magical happened. There is no other way to say it -- finance came alive. I have always found saving, investing, borrowing and financial planning to be daunting at best. Once I played this game, I understood exactly what it meant to borrow from a bank, pay interest, trade and more. My nieces and nephew played it and they loved it!

What it does: Teaches financial skills at a young age, gamifies investing and saving that can become tremendous life skills.

Age group: 6 to 12 years
Photo credit: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Granny Apples

My daughter loves this game. It also made her love math. This is a fantastic and fun game that teaches kids math. There are 8 wooden apple halves. Inside each half, there is either a picture of an apple or, unusually, objects like a bird, a pie, a worm and a Granny. Let's say one player rolls the apples like dice. If there are 5 apples facing down, 1 facing up with the cross section of the apple showing, 1 facing up with a worm, one facing up with the pie, the score is 2 and a half. The first player to shout it wins a 2 and a half apple token.

What it does: Teaches addition, subtraction and basic fraction in a fun way.

Age: 8 to 12 years
Picture credit: Board Game Geek


A fabulous strategy game for the kids, Qwerkle consists of 108 wooden blocks. They are of six different shapes and in six different colors. The players have to build lines that have blocks of the same shape or color. When the kids and adults familiarize themselves with the game, you can even use the illustration included in the game showing possible color-symbol combinations.

What it does: Teaches strategy

Age group: 6+
Picture credit: Board Game Geek

Featured image credit: Flickr

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