Board games are a great way to turn a dull evening into a family game night! They teach children valuable lessons about life while also helping them make friends and memories that will last forever. Many of the board games on this list focus on problem-solving skills and strategic thinking. These skills are essential for kids about to enter into their teenage years. Here’s our list of the best board games for kids between 10 and 12 years old.
Best cooperative board games
Learning about working together to achieve a common goal is an important life lesson. That’s why we believe that the best board games for ten-year-olds are cooperative games like Pandemic or Forbidden Island. In these games, players require social skills to beat the game and save the World. They learn how to communicate effectively, make decisions as a team, and handle disappointment when things don’t go their way.
In Pandemic, players work as a team to stop the spread of disease. They must treat diseases before they infect too many people and take over the World! We love board games that teach cooperative play because it’s so important for children to learn how to deal with frustration from their peers in a healthy way. Players have four actions per turn, including moving around cities on an infection board, treating infected populations, or discovering a cure for one specific virus type.
With this variety of options, every time you play makes Pandemic an engaging game that kids will want to return to again! The components are also top-notch with detailed card art, thick cardboard player boards, and easy-to-use plastic pawns.
- STRATEGY GAME: Players must work together playing to their characters' strengths as they plan their strategy of eradicating the diseases before they overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. A truly cooperative game where you win or lose together.
- COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: Only through teamwork will you keep the world safe from outbreaks and epidemics. Your team must work together and plan carefully to stem the tide of infection while working toward finding the cures.
- WORK TOGETHER AND SAVE HUMANITY: Four diseases threaten the world, and your elite team of specialists must find a cure for each of them before it’s too late. Everyone must work together applying their unique character skills to benefit the team—and the world.
Forbidden Island is another great cooperative board game for kids. In this game, players are tasked with saving treasures from a sinking island. They’ll need to work together and use their unique abilities wisely to do this. This game is perfect for younger children as it’s simple enough for them to understand but challenging enough that they won’t get bored. The components are also top-notch quality with thick cardboard pieces and beautiful artwork.
- 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
- Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise
- 2 to 4 players
Best board game for strategy lovers
Board games are known for helping children develop their strategic thinking skills, and the best board game for ten-year-olds is no exception. If your child loves games like chess, they’ll love strategy board games like Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride. In these challenging games, players must consider all possible outcomes to win. This can be a difficult task for young children, but it’s a skill that will serve them well in life.
Carcassonne is a tile-laying strategy game where players compete to build the most impressive medieval city. The game board comprises several tiles, randomly drawn at the beginning of each round. Players then take turns placing one of their pieces on the board, claiming the tile for their own. At the end of the game, players score points based on how well they built their city.
Carcassonne is a great game for developing strategic thinking skills because players must constantly re-evaluate the board to make the best decisions possible. The game also has a ton of replay value as the board layout is always different.
- STRATEGY GAME - PLAN YOUR WAY TO VICTORY: Develop the landscape of a medieval fortress city one tile at a time. Whether blocking a city's growth or connecting with your opponent’s road to share the points, Carcassonne provides plenty of ways to use your cunning and outsmart your opponents.
- ELEGANT GAME MECHANICS: Players fill in the countryside around the medieval fortified city and choose from tiles that depict cities, roads, monasteries, and fields; each new tile creates an ever-expanding board on which players can then add their followers.
- MANY GAMEPLAY OPTIONS TO EXPLORE: Select from over 150 tiles and 7 meeple types to develop your own medieval countryside. As the map grows, so does the opportunity for players to disrupt each other’s plans. Clever placement of tiles and meeples is key to victory!
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is another excellent strategy board game for kids and a family favorite. In this game, players compete to build railways across America. They must carefully plan their routes to connect cities and earn the most points. This strategy game teaches children about geography while also challenging them to think ahead and make tough decisions. Ticket to Ride is perfect for kids who love puzzles because they’ll need to be able to visualize the board in their minds when planning out routes.
- STRATEGY GAME: Build your tracks across Europe in this fast-paced and strategic board game. Connect iconic European cities across a map of the early 20th-century Europe and build your train routes to earn points.
- FUN ADVENTURE GAME: Ticket to Ride Europe is a multi country train adventure game in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities through Europe! LOOKING FOR NEW ADVENTURES? Try Ticket to Ride expansions (Note: Expansions require Ticket to Ride Board Game to play).
- MULTIPLE WAYS OF SCORING POINTS: Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.
Best board games for social interaction and imagination
Board games like Animal Upon Animal or Rhino Hero not only teach children how to work together but also foster a love of learning. These types of board games encourage creativity, communication skills, and self-esteem because kids are playing with friends instead of against them. We believe that these board games provide great opportunities for family bonding as well!
Animal upon Animal
In Animal Upon Animal, players must help the animals get onto Noah’s Ark before the floodwaters come. This interactive game is perfect for younger children as it’s simple to understand but still challenging enough that they won’t get bored. The gameplay is also very social, as players need to work together to win.
- The classic HABA Animal Upon Animal Game returns in this special holiday edition, featuring a keepsake metal tin.
- Players take turns stacking wooden Christmas-themed pieces onto the mountaintop, trying not to knock anything over.
- Includes four sets of seven wooden pieces, featuring a Christmas tree, a sled, a reindeer, a squirrel, a penguin and a snow bunny. For 2-4 players, although it can be free played solo as well.
Animal Upon Animal is a cooperative board game where players put different zoo animals on a Noah’s Ark board before the rising water drowns them. It’s an excellent game for young children because it teaches cooperation and how to win/lose gracefully. There is constant chatter and laughter with this one!
Rhino Hero is a board game that challenges players to build the tallest building ever. The board consists of different-sized cards, which must be stacked carefully to complete the tower.
Rhino Hero includes five levels of challenging play, so it’s perfect for kids from age four and up!
In this awesome game, players work together as they try stacking different size card pieces on top of each other without knocking them over! It’s an excellent cooperative board game with very little reading required – just pure fun! Kids will love stacking these colorful blocks into a tall tower before seeing if they have what it takes to make it stay standing long enough to win the round.
- Rhino Hero returns, and this time he's not alone! The superhero in training competes with Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin to be the first to climb the wobbly skyscraper. Watch out for the spider monkeys!
- The fun starts with players building a spectacular 3D cardboard skyscraper. Walls of different heights make it extra wobbly. You can even link the towers with bridges.
- If two heroes land on the same floor, it's time for a fight. Use the dice to determine who wins.
Best board games for memory skills
Memory skills are incredibly important for children, and what better way to improve them than by playing board games? These games are perfect for helping kids learn how to remember information while also having fun.
The best board games for memory skills are ones that involve a lot of different game pieces and require players to remember where each one goes. Games like Senior Moments or Peak & Push fit this description perfectly. Both of these games are very easy to learn but still offer a challenge for older children. They’re also great for improving focus and concentration.
In this game, players are dealt a hand of cards and must remember where they were placed. The player then flips over the top card of their deck and if it matches one on the board, they cover it with their token If not, the card is turned back over, and play passes to the next person.
The goal is to have the fewest cards remaining at the end of the game. This is a great game for teaching kids how to focus on specific information and then recall it later.
- Contains hundreds of zany lists to test your memory but first you have to find your lost keys
- It's the perfect gift for that 40, 50, 60th birthday party
- For 2-8 players
Peak & Push
A board game that also helps with memory skills. In this game, players are dealt cards and must remember the order in which they were dealt. The game begins with all the cards face down and players pushing their first cards forward.
- Be sly and connect patterns under the tiles before your opponent does
- 2 player strategy game; 5 minute gameplay; For ages 12 and above
- Sturdy and thick tiles; Thickness of 2 millimeters; Each tile measures 2.5 by 2.5 inches
Best Board Games for Problem Solving Skills
As kids play more board games, they’ll develop problem-solving skills that will help them in the future. The best board games for problem-solving are ones where players have to think about which move they’ll make next, what cards their opponent might be holding, and how they can win the round as quickly as possible. Some more recent examples of those types of board games are Clue and Trivial Pursuit.
Clue is a board game that challenges players to solve a murder mystery. To win, they must figure out who did it, where it happened, and with what weapon. This board game is perfect for developing children’s critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
In Clue, players are assigned different roles of the suspects, the victim, and the weapon. They must then try to figure out which cards are in each other player’s hands by asking questions and making deductions. This board game is perfect for kids who love solving mysteries!
- PLAY USING ALEXA: Players have the option of playing this Clue game using Amazon Alexa. (Alexa device sold separately). Note: sound comes from paired Echo device
- GET HELP FROM THE GHOST OF MRS. WHITE: Use the Alexa skill to summon the ghost of Mrs. White. If she's in a pleasant mood, she might help solve the case. If she's not…watch out
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE: Solve the mystery of Mr. Boddy's murder. In this classic mystery game of whodunit, players figure out who committed the murder, the weapon used, and the room in which it was done
Trivial Pursuit is a board game that challenges players to answer trivia questions. It’s perfect for improving children’s problem-solving skills because it requires them to think quickly and creatively when figuring out the answers. This board game will also help develop memory skills, concentration, focus, and more!
In Trivial Pursuit, players have to answer a question correctly before rolling the dice and moving their piece around the board. They can earn points by picking up wedges in different categories but lose them if they land on a space where another player has already claimed it. This board game is perfect for improving focus and concentration while also having fun!
- Quick play trivia for the whole family
- Features cards for kids and cards for adults
- Includes over 1,400 trivia questions
Best Board Games for Teaching Kids about History
Some of the best board games for teaching kids about history allow them to experience it firsthand. These board games usually involve a lot of role-playing and storytelling, which helps kids learn about different cultures, periods in history, and more.
Some examples of board games that teach kids about history are History of the World and Timeline.
History of the World
History of the World is a board game that takes players on a journey through history. They’ll get to experience everything from the ancient Egyptians to the modern-day United States.
In History of the World, players are divided into different civilizations and must compete against each other to score points. They can do this by completing different tasks, raiding their opponents’ cities, and more. This board game is perfect for teaching kids about history in a fun and engaging way!
- Marshall your forces and defeat your adversaries.
- At the end of the game, only the player with the most points will have their immortal name etched into the annals of history!
- Whoever can make the best use of their civilization’s unique attributes will position themselves to rule through the ages.
Timeline is a board game that challenges players to put different historical events in chronological order. It’s perfect for teaching kids about history because it requires them to think critically and remember details about different events.
In Timeline, players are given a series of cards that depict different historical events. They must then place the cards in chronological order by matching the date on each card with the correct spot on the timeline board. This board game is perfect for kids who love learning about history!
- 110 historical-related cards; Each card has a different historical event and on the opposite side its associated date
- Option to play with other timeline versions for added challenge
- Fun and educational at the same time
Best Board Games for Teaching Kids about Geography
Some board games are perfect for teaching kids about geography because they mimic real-life maps. These board games usually involve placing pieces on a board representing different parts of the World, which helps improve players’ knowledge of places around the globe.
Examples of board games that teach kids about geography are Geo Bingo and Trekking the World.
Geo Bingo is a great board game for kids aged ten and up. It’s perfect for families, as it encourages teamwork and communication. The goal of the game is to collect as many Geo Bingo cards as possible by answering questions about different countries around the world. In addition, the game board features a handy world map which makes it easy for players to track their progress.
- BINGO GONE BETTER - What could make the classic, best board game of bingo even better? Geography! GeoBingo USA is a riotous family game and educational game that livens up learning the US states and capitals.
- FAST FACTS - GeoBingo USA includes cards that show the land area, population and nickname of each US state and capital. This means fast geography facts and fast fun with the best board game around!
- GET 5 STATES - It is easy to play GeoBingo USA. Just flip a card, put a bingo chip on your board if you have a spot that matches, and keep watching your board. The first one to get five states in a row gets bingo!
Trekking the World
Trekking the world is another great board game for ten-year-olds. Players travel around the board, visiting different locations and earning points along the way. The game can be tailored to fit any location – real or imaginary – so it’s perfect for any geography-loving youngster.
- Great Gift Idea - Makes a unique and meaningful gift for kids and adults
- Experience New Cultures - Travel the world from your kitchen table during family game night.
- Good For All Ages - Whether you’re looking for fun family games, games for teens, or geography board games for kids, this game delivers. Grandparents, Adults, Teens, Tweens, Girls & Boys will all enjoy exploring the world together
Best Board Games for Teaching Kids about Math
Some board games are perfect for teaching kids about math because they mimic real-life situations. These board games usually involve placing pieces on a board representing different numbers, which helps improve players’ knowledge of mathematical concepts and skills.
Examples of board games that teach kids about math are The Settlers of Catan and Prime Climb.
The Settlers of Catan
The Settlers of Catan is a board game that encourages players to build cities, farms, roads, and other structures. Players use resources like lumber, wheat, sheep, and ore to do this. This board game is great for teaching kids about math, as it involves counting, ordering, and measuring.
Participants start out with one resource token per player. Then, they roll the die and move their piece forward or backward depending on what number comes up. If a player lands on an empty space, he can either build something there or claim that space for himself.
Players must keep track of how many resources they have left at the end of every round, so they know when to stop building.
- TRADE, BUILD AND SETTLE: Embark on a quest to settle the isle of Catan! Guide your settlers to victory by clever trading and cunning development. But beware! Someone might cut off your road or buy a monopoly. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious games!
- STRATEGY BOARD GAME: Use resource combinations - grain, wool, ore, brick and lumber - to buy handy development cards and build roads, settlements and cities. Acquire your resources through trades, cards or lucky dice (even outside your turn).
- MINUTES TO LEARN AND A LIFETIME TO EXPLORE: The basics of CATAN can be learned in just minutes, but it offers enough depth to remain compelling as you explore strategies and tactics for years to come. The random mix creates a different board virtually every game. No two games are the same.
Prime Climb is a board game that teaches kids about math through its theme. In this game, players try to climb a mountain made of blocks. Each block has a unique color, shape, size, and material.
When players reach the top of the mountain, they get points based on the colors, shapes, sizes, and materials of the blocks they used.
This board game is perfect for learning about math because it requires players to count, measure, and sort objects.
- Perfect STEM gift for pre-teens and teens to inspire deeper math learning
- Ideal for family board game night or for classroom/homeschool/after school clubs! Best for 2-4 players
- Easy to learn, and endlessly replayable, thanks to dynamic mix of strategy and luck
Best Board Games for Teaching Kids about Science
Some board games are perfect for teaching kids about science because they mimic real-life situations. These board games usually involve placing pieces on a board that represents different elements, which helps improve players’ knowledge of scientific concepts and skills.
Examples of board games that teach kids about science are Periodic: A Game of The Elements and Cytosis.
Periodic: A Game of The Elements
In Periodic: A Game of The Elements, players take turns drawing cards from a deck and using them to create a periodic table.
Each card represents a chemical element. When players draw a card, they place it in the appropriate column of the periodic table. After all the cards are placed, players must answer questions about the elements they represent.
This board game is perfect for teaching kids about chemistry because it allows students to learn about the properties of each element. It also gives them practice answering multiple-choice questions.
- CHEMISTRY BOARD GAME - Learn Chemistry from Periodic, a science game where players move across the periodic table to collect elements using the periodic trends. This game will go great on a learning table in a classroom to teach students about the structure and function of the periodic table of real elements, as well as some of the most fundamental principles in Chemistry!
- STRATEGIC PLAY - An Action Economy, Tactical Movement and Set Collection game about chemistry with the periodic table with real elements is highly strategic to engage an adult gamer, yet intuitive enough for kids 10+ and up to play at home or in the classroom.
- ACCURATE SCIENCE - All elements, groups, periodic trends, and vocabulary in Periodic are concepts covered in chemistry class, making it one of the best educational games to aid science teachers. They also make great gifts for science teachers and gifts for chemistry teachers especially!
In Cytosis, players take turns drawing tiles from a bag and placing them on a board that represents cells.
Once all the tiles are placed, players must identify the cell type represented by each tile. For example, if a tile shows a heart, players should say “cardiac muscle.”
This board game is great for helping kids understand cellular biology because it requires them to think about the structure of cells. It also tests their ability to recognize patterns and make connections between things.
This board game helps children understand cell biology because it simulates collecting cells. It also tests their ability to think logically.
- BIOLOGY BOARD GAME - Learn cell biology from a science game! Players build enzymes, hormones, and receptors and play with proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and DNA or mRNA, just like in biology class. This game is great on a learning table in a classroom to teach students about various parts of cell biology, including animal cell organelles, enzymes, and hormones.
- STRATEGIC PLAY - Cytosis is a worker placement game that takes place inside a human cell! Players take turns placing flasks on available organelles within a human cell in order to collect resources or take actions to build enzymes, hormones, and hormone receptors and detoxify the cell.
- GENIUS GAMES - Engage your kids and students with a game that will help them learn while also challenging them to think critically. Our board games about biological concepts like cell development give you a way to bond with your young ones without any electronics or screens.