Board Games that Develop Critical Thinking Abilities and Teach Life Skills


When children go to school they’re taught reading, writing, and math, but what about life skills? Luckily, your kids can easily learn and thing or two about real life scenarios through fun, educational board games.


The following board games can help your child develop a greater understanding of money management, handling the experiences life throws your way, making the most of successes and failures, and more.



Skills taught: Focus, concentration, planning, critical thinking, and good sportsmanship.

Age range: 5 and up

Fun factor: We love chess! Chess is one of the world’s most popular strategy games. It promotes brain growth, can increase your IQ, and it is also super fun to play with friends!



Skills taught: Money management, investing, buying and selling, cause and effect, and how to be financially responsible.

Age range: 8 and up

Fun factor: It may be the longest game you ever play, but it’s worth it because it really does teach a lot of important life skills. There are so many themed Monopoly games to help get your child interested in it and its pretty much guaranteed to be a classic hit.


The Game of Life

Skills taught: Money management, decision making, being an adult.

Age range: 10 and up

Fun factor: Teaching about life is literally in the title, and this game is great at giving children a glimpse into being an adult. From owning a car, to buying a house, or starting a family – kids learn about the financial reality of some of these expensive and exciting times of life.


Settlers of Catan

Skills taught: Managing resources, negotiation, planning and foresight.

Age range: 10 and up

Fun factor: Players try to start a settlement on the island of Catan by building cities, roads, farm land, and other resources. This game is really fun for both children and adults.



Skills taught: Learning words in new languages (Spanish, French, Italian, or English).

Age range: 6 and up

Fun factor: In some tests, player’s averaged learning 20-30 words in their target language each game – without even realizing they were learning.


Chutes and Ladders

Skills taught: This game is filled with cause and effect life lessons to learn from. It also teaches children that “chutes” are a part of life, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Most importantly, children learn that they can always recover – and you never know when a great opportunity is headed your way!

Age range: 3 and up

Fun factor: This game is great for young children. It’s fun, simple, and filled with opportunities to have meaningful conversation about life.


Let us know - which game was your families favorite?