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Lifelong learning
Board games are fun and educational
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Having spent a few days with great-nieces and great-nephews, we learned first-hand that there are some great educational board games out there that families can enjoy. Here are two:

• Camp – This game that children (ages 4 and up) and adults can play together teaches fun facts about the great outdoors. Two to eight players travel around the board, answering questions and reading “fun facts” from the 200 game cards. Only one player has to be able to read, and the questions have four different levels – starting with animal identification and other simple questions – so the game can grow with the player and players don’t have to be the same age.

• Constitution Quest – Students who are learning about the Constitution – or anyone who wants to learn, can answer questions on 233 game cards filled with information about the three branches of government, the Bill of Rights and other Amendments, checks and balances, etc. The game is easy to learn and it’s nonpartisan. It comes with a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The developers of this game say it has been field tested with players age 10 through 84 with great success. For students ages 7-10, there are “novice cards” that have the least amount of verbiage and the content of those cards is simpler to grasp.

Our weekend also included word games such as Scattergories, Apples to Apples Jr. and Mad Libs, but even simple games help young children learn to count spaces, identify colors and develop hand-eye coordination. The games promote family time and help children learn to follow instructions, communicate, plan a strategy, compete (and sometimes, cooperate) and learn sportsmanship.

We shared a lot of laughs with most of the games and the kiddos and grown-ups loved the interaction.