Classic Games

Top Classic Games for Strategic Thinking in Kids | The Learning Apps


Encouraging strategic thinking in children from a young age can be a game-changer in their cognitive development. These skills will be incredibly beneficial as they grow, from solving complex problems to making informed decisions. What better way to foster strategic thinking than through classic games?

Often overlooked in our technological age, these timeless favorites offer an enjoyable way to stretch the mind and can be a fun bonding experience for the whole family. Let’s dive into the world of classic games that double as incredible tools for developing strategic thinking skills in children!

1. Chess

Chess is a two-player strategy board game that challenges players to think several moves ahead and anticipate their opponent’s strategies. It has been played for centuries and is considered one of the best games to foster strategic thinking.

The game involves a combination of tactical and psychological elements, forcing players to analyze the board and make calculated moves based on their understanding of the game. Teaching children chess can help develop their problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.

Here are some tips on teaching chess to children:

  • Teach them how each piece moves and their value in the game. Keep it simple and let them get hands-on experience.
  • As they progress, adjust your playing style to match their level of understanding. This will keep them challenged and motivated to learn more.
  • Encourage your child to analyze the board and think about their moves before making them.

2. Minesweeper

Minesweeper is a single-player puzzle game that requires careful thought and logical reasoning to avoid the hidden mines on the game board. Free Minesweeper is a popular online version of the game. Players must use the numbers on the board to determine where the mines are hidden and clear the rest of the squares to win.

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To figure out the whereabouts of the mines in this game, you’ll need to rely on your logic and deduction abilities. The numbers that appear when you click on a square will guide you along the way. Teaching children to play Minesweeper can help them improve their logical thinking and decision-making skills.

Below are a few suggestions for teaching children how to play Minesweeper:

  • Begin by playing an easy level and explaining the rules of the game.
  • Draw a simple grid on paper and use symbols to represent mines and numbers, making it easier for younger children to understand.
  • Share how you approach each move and explain your reasoning behind it.

3. Monopoly

A beloved classic, Monopoly is a board game that requires players to make strategic decisions throughout the game. It involves buying, renting, and trading properties while managing money and resources to outsmart opponents.

Teaching children Monopoly can help them develop budgeting, planning, negotiating, and decision-making skills. With its mix of luck and strategy, this game is a great way to introduce young minds to financial literacy and risk management.

Here are a few tips for instructing children on how to play Monopoly:

  • Start by explaining the rules and objectives of the game.
  • Motivate children to ponder their decisions thoughtfully and contemplate the potential consequences in the long run.
  • Use real-world scenarios to explain how decisions in the game relate to financial management.

3. Sudoku

Sudoku is a number placement puzzle that forces players to use their logical thinking skills to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and nine 3×3 subgrids contain all numbers from 1 to 9. This game is excellent for developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and pattern recognition skills.

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When students put pieces in a sudoku puzzle, they can think carefully about why a certain piece will or won’t fit in a specific square. It helps them make choices and solve problems by considering future moves and whether placing a piece now will impact the final result.

If your child is new to Sudoku, here are a few suggestions on how to get them started:

  • Begin with easier puzzles and gradually increase the difficulty level.
  • Teach them techniques like “pencil marking” and “elimination” to solve the puzzle more efficiently.
  • Encourage children to approach each grid systematically rather than guessing randomly.

4. Scrabble

Scrabble is a word game that encourages players to expand their vocabulary and improve their spelling while thinking strategically about maximizing their score with each word they form. This game is perfect for developing children’s creativity, language skills, and tactical thinking.

To determine the final scores at the end of the round, add the points for each word you play. You’ll notice little numbers on the bottom right corner of each tile indicating their value. Keep track of these points as you play. Once the game ends, the player with the highest score emerges as the winner.

If you’re teaching Scrabble to children, here’s how to get them started:

  • Encourage children to use their creativity in forming words that maximize their scores.
  • Discuss strategies like using prefixes and suffixes, placing tiles on bonus squares, and maintaining a balance between vowels and consonants.
  • Help them build their vocabulary by explaining the meaning of challenging words in the game.
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5. Risk

Risk is a board game that simulates the risk-taking and decision-making involved in military strategy. Players take turns moving their armies across territories, attacking and defending against opponents to conquer the world.

Teaching children to play Risk can help them develop critical thinking, strategic planning, and analytical skills. It also teaches them about probabilities and the importance of weighing risks versus rewards.

The following are some tips for introducing children to the game of Risk:

  • The game aims to conquer all territories on the board while eliminating opponents, so explain the objective clearly.
  • Promote children to anticipate and contemplate various situations before taking action.
  • Emphasize developing an overall strategy rather than focusing just on individual battles.

Develop Young Minds Through Classic Games

Nurturing strategic thinking in children is a gateway to honing their cognitive abilities and preparing them for life’s challenges. Classic games, often overshadowed by modern technology, hold the power to not only exercise young minds but also bring families together in a world of fun and learning.

As we’ve explored these classic games, each offering unique avenues to develop strategic skills, remember that the benefits go far beyond the game board. The next time you gather around the table for family fun, consider these games as more than just entertainment but as tools for building young minds.

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