Childhood games do more than pass the time – they teach children important skills. Below are five simple games that can actually teach children quite a bit – and might even make them smarter.


One of the classic games of childhood, hopscotch can actually teach a child several skills. Your child will benefit not just from learning how to count, but will learn how to make connections between numbers and actions, and how to take turns – all great skills to have later in life.

Chutes and Ladders

This may be a simple game, but it’s one that’s packed with learning. The grid shape of the board means that your child is going to learn how to count, basic spacial relations, and might even pick up on the concept of odds through rolling the dice.

Building Blocks

Building blocks might not be a game per se, but this children’s toy is incredibly important. It allows the imagination to run free while giving children concrete exemplars of geometric shapes and concepts like symmetry.


Jenga, the classic game where you try to not to knock down a tower, is filled with little bits of knowledge. Symmetry rears its head again here, as does spatial organization. Jenga is also a great tool for teaching basic physics lessons – there’s a reason why the tower gets trotted out in high school and college every so often, after all!


Battleship is another one of those games that fulfills the spatial reasoning quota, but it also requires a child to recognize patterns and to develop basic people-reading skills. It’s as much a game of playing your opponent as it is guessing the location of the pieces, and skilled young players can actually grow to be quite the formidable negotiators as they get older.

These are all games that really work for helping a child to nurture his or her own intelligence. Next time you’ve got a rainy day, put away the movies and break out the board games – you might both learn something. If you want to learn more, follow us and read along at Bryerson Education.