Welcome to winter, the time when you inevitably eat way too many cookies and binge way too much TV. Only me? Maybe. But I have a feeling that some parents can relate. And that may be even more true for their kiddos. So, let’s talk about stepping away from technology for a bit and passing the hours with some good ol’ fashioned board games—the ones that are designed to teach kids some applicable, real-world lessons.
Catan Junior: I’m not sure where you live, but here in Colorado, at least, the Settlers of Catan games have earned a cult following. I’m not kidding. Step inside any coffee shop and you’ll see people battling for resources. And there’s a good reason for its popularity. This game is tons of fun if you like strategic thinking. But if your children aren’t at the age where regular Catan is an option, the game’s makers offer this fun, and surprisingly brain exercising, alternative. Here, kids ages 6-9 will learn how to trade, build, think critically and obtain resources.
Zingo: I’m always on the hunt for fun games that encourage learning, especially for my toddler. And here, with 2-6 players, preschoolers can practice their reading, matching and language skills playing, as its makers say, bingo with a zing.
Cashflow for Kids: Developed by entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki, this game focuses on teaching your teens how to invest their money and build long-term wealth in a fun, relatable way. It’s aimed at ages 14+ and is for 2-6 players. It’s expensive, but they say you can’t put a price tag on financial independence.