Behavior & Learning in School/Educational games for children


Hi Deborah!
Could you give me your opinion on what to look for when selecting board games for children?
Thank you so much!

Kelly, thank you for filling me in - I'm happy to help.

When I select board games for children, the first thing I do is see the suggested ages for the game.  The makers usually have tested their games well.  

Next I consider what interests the children have.  If they are pre-school, I try to get games that don't require reading.  And while there are good new games, I gravitate to some of the old standards:  Candy Land, Snakes and Ladders (Chutes and Ladders in my day).

Older children need to have games that can grow with them.  I want to see games that involve problem-solving or creative thinking.  It also helps to be a game that adults will be willing to play so considering who will play the games most often, look for versatility for mixed ages and action and creative thinking for similar ages.

There are MANY open-ended games nowadays - games where players are not necessarily playing to win but just to have fun.  Games that talk about feelings, morals, etc. are wonderful to have and, most of the time, these make great family games.

Personally, I do not encourage games of blood and guts, violence of any kind, and vulgarity is out.  Games that glamorize sexualizing girls at a young age, drinking, drugs, or 'more adult themes' just aren't going to get purchased by me.  Let children be children!

LOTS of fun games out there - a good way for children (and many parents) to learn how to lose gracefully, to play fairly, to praise each other and to model behaviors such as waiting for your turn, counting, recognizing shapes, etc.

I hope this helps you!


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Deborah Robinson


I have a BA in Elementary Education (1-8) and Speech and an MEd. in Reading and Language Arts (K-12). I am a reading specialist. I also have a great deal of experience teaching children who are non-native English speakers. I am qualified to address teaching issues in all subjects K-8 and Reading and Launguage Arts at all levels. I am not qualified to advise people on higher levels of Math or Science. I`m also quite interested in using computers in the classroom as a teaching tool and have ideas and resources for integration of computer skills into each subject area.


I'm a reading specialist (K-12), have taught elementary school, all subjects, for 30 years - have extensive ESL experience although I'm not officially certified. I taught computer (Macs) to K-8 for 6 years. I have taken graduate level courses on The Writing Process and completed a course on writing books for children and teens. I have taught combined grades k-2, 1-2 and 2-3. I've taught in the US and abroad - I have worked in Libya, Morocca, Chad, Japan, headed up a school in Indonesia and am now the director of the American International School of Niamey, Niger - Africa.

MEd. - University of Vermont - Reading and Language Arts/Reading Specialist; K-12 Administrator - Plymouth State University, NH.
BA - Muskingum College - Elementary Ed / Speech

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