Games can be useful tools for education — they are fun and engaging experiences that can teach a wide variety of skills and concepts! They come in a wide variety of formats, including digital games (mobile, console, video games) and tabletop games (card games, board games, collectible trading card games).
In this guide, we focus on tabletop games. Tabletop games have many benefits and advantages. They include:
- Practicing valuable skills. Games provide opportunities to practice important skills such as creativity, problem solving, planning, and strategic thinking.
- Social interaction with friends, family or peers. Quality time can be hard to find — games can provide a memorable bonding experience.
- Short length of time needed to play. Tabletop games don’t require a huge time commitment – usually 30 minutes to a few hours.
- Relatively low cost. Board games tend to be fairly cheap — usually ranging from $10 to $30, making them a good value.
What are some examples of games that are great for learning?
Some of our favorite games include:
Apples to Apples Junior – The Game of Crazy Combinations! – a funny party game involving word associations — quickly choose a word (red apple) that matches an adjective (green apple). The judge for that round chooses the best match. This game is useful for English Language Learners (ELL). You can buy the game for about $10 here.
Timeline American History Game – a fun game in which players take turns trying to place famous events in history in the proper place on a timeline. Each card contains events in American history, or scientific discoveries and other important events — when did the American Civil War begin? When was electricity discovered? You can buy the Timeline Game here for about $10-15.
What about making your own card games? Our recommendation is a free tool called Card Game Toolkit.
Create a Card Deck in 5 Easy Steps
CardGameToolkit.com is an excellent tool for making your own custom printable educational card games and paper-based tools. You can quickly make various creations, download them, and then print them out. You can also try out other peoples’ creations.
Some more examples of card decks that could be created include:
- Role play cards (take on a new role in the classroom for the week)
- Flashcard decks for learning vocabulary (memorize and test your knowledge)
- Achievement Badges/Currency (allow students to earn or use badges)
- Pokemon-like trading card game to teach science
- History timeline games (compete to arrange the cards in the right order)
To try it out, go to CardGameToolkit.com and create a card deck. Simply follow these five steps:
- Choose a card template. You can choose a card front and back, or make it one sided.
2. Add images and resize/place them onto your card. Make sure your images are not copyrighted, or else your work cannot be featured on our website.
3. Add, move and format text. You can change color size, color, and other formatting options.
4. Add a card to your deck. Once a card is made, it’s easy to duplicate and modify additional cards. Be sure to make several cards (a complete deck).
5. Save your deck and provide details. Write a short description about your deck, including the subject area and any instructions, rules and guidelines.
Right now, we are running a contest: create an educational card game — share it with our community — and win $100! We want you to “put your best deck forward” and see what kind of creative or fun materials you can come up with! Create a card game or educational learning tool that students can use to learn either at school or at home.
How to Submit an Entry
You can submit as many entries as you wish. You are encouraged to share your creation to others and have them rate or review your game/tool.
Deadline for Entry: December 15, 2016. Entries will be judged based upon criteria: useful for education, design, peer rating, and overall quality. Winner will be announced by December 31, 2016 on Learning-Theories.com and awarded a one time Paypal payment.
Submissions must be original. All Submissions become the property of Learning-Theories.com. You will receive credit as being a contributor. As all submissions will become hosted on our site, we reserve the right to modify, edit, delete or sell your creation.
Go on and make a deck! Go to CardGameToolkit.com and then come back here to submit your entry.
Submit your contest entry here:
Terms and Conditions:
All submissions become the property of Learning-Theories.com. We reserve the right to modify, edit and sell your creation.
(a) Work Product. During the course of submitting to the the Educational Card Game Contest (Contest), the Contributor in conjunction with Learning-Theories.com (Company), develop information, produce work product, or achieve other results for Company.
(b) Ownership. Contributor agrees that such information, work product, and other results, systems and information developed by Contributor and/or Company (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Work Product”) shall, to the extent permitted by law, be a “work made for hire” within the definition of Section 101 of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 101), and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Company.
(c) Assignment of Interest. To the extent any Work Product is not deemed to be a work made for hire within the definition of the Copyright Act, Contributor with effect from creation of any and all Work Product, hereby assigns, and agrees to assign, to Company all right, title and interest in and to such Work Product, including but not limited to copyright, all rights subsumed thereunder, and all other intellectual property rights, including all extensions and renewals thereof.
(d) Moral Rights. Contributor also agrees to waive any and all moral rights relating to the Work Product, including but not limited to, any and all rights of identification of authorship and any and all rights of approval, restriction or limitation on use, and subsequent modifications.
(e) Assistance. Contributor further agrees to provide all assistance reasonably requested by Company, both during and subsequent to the Term of this Agreement, in the establishment, preservation and enforcement of Company’s rights in the Work Product.
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