Educational space board games!
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s shop has an assortment of space games like
- Moon Mission (“Learn about conditions on the Moon and teach your children teamwork with this cooperative family board game”);
- Race to the Planets (“This exciting game for the whole family encourages exploration of the many intriguing worlds in our solar system. Players have fun getting to know the best ‘tourist’ sights on each planet. Use the ‘secret decoder’ to check your answer.”); and
- Cosmic Decoders (“features a deck of 72 cards with beautiful color images of cosmic objects from the Hubble Space Telescope and other major telescopes in space and around the world, with which you can play four different games”).
Learning Resources has a Linkology Solar System card game with word cards and photo cards to create connections and build content vocabulary and classification skills.
Teacher Created Resources has a Space Voyage game in which “students master essential reading skills as they voyage to a distant galaxy. When they respond correctly to questions about Main Idea or Noting Details, they collect cards they need to win. An engaging game board comes with 50 Main Idea cards, 50 Noting Details cards, 6 player pieces, and a die. For 2-6 players.”
I have not tried Space Voyage nor Cosmic Decoders, but I have copies of the other three. My astronomonsters aren’t quite old enough to play with them yet, and my only play tests have been with adults, but I think they’re all decent games for elementary school kids who can read. I especially like the collaborative, non-competitive style of Moon Mission. (If we leave the idea of astronomy games for kids and focus on collaborative strategy games for older players for a second, one of my favorites is Pandemic from Z-Man Games in which you work together to find cures for viruses and battle outbreaks across the world. Another decent one with a science fiction theme is Star Trek Expeditions.)
In recreational space games for kids, there is Race Through Space from Ravensburger which is kind of different with its moving board mechanic, and Robot Explorers by eeBoo which I haven’t been too excited to play with my kids–the board design needs some work. However, my kids like to play with the pieces and make up their own game of it, so that’s a bonus.
I know there are a lot of space-themed games for kids and adults out there. Do you have any favorites? Let me know–we like games 🙂