Family game night gets educational. Just don’t tell the kids.

Ah, summer. It’s amazing what extra time you find when you’re not shuttling the kids back and forth to a zillion activities and games. We’ve been playing a lot of board games at our house–and some of our favorites come from a great company that not only offers fun and unique games, but ones with an educational slant too.

Candy Box Math educational game at Cool Mom Picks

Lakeshore Learning is well known for smart, engaging educational tools. When searching through the Lakeshore site, you’ll likely recognize many games from your children’s classrooms. There are literally hundreds of options for all age ranges–from infants to middle schoolers–and you can search through games by category, like block play, arts and crafts, language, mathematics and many others.

Candy Box Math (above) is a favorite in our house because, well, who wouldn’t want to learn math using chocolate? I think I was more excited about the cute little faux chocolate pieces than my kids were, but with different activities for sorting, counting, adding and subtracting, this is a great game for kids ages 4 to 6 to practice going beyond number basics. There’s an included activity booklet, but you can also create games on your own using the pieces, like my personal favorite: “If mommy takes ALL the chocolates, then gives you three, then takes two back, how many does she have left?” (Answer: never enough.)

Storyteller's Box educational game at Cool Mom Picks

Another fun game that the whole family can play is Storyteller’s Box, in which each player can call on his or her creative juices to tell a fun story. Similar in concept to the Story Cubes we’ve featured before, Storyteller’s Box is a game where kids pull out cards in each of the “Who,” “What,” and “Where” boxes and have to craft a story using their imagination. There are 45 cards included in the game for an almost endless variety of possible stories. Trust me, you won’t believe some of the stories your kids come up with. It’s great for creative play for kids of all ages, as the cards have pictures, so kids who can’t read yet can still play along.

Peruse the site and I’m betting you’ll find a handful of games that your kids will love playing with you. And with every Lakeshore game offering an educational benefit, family game night just got even more rewarding. But shhh. We don’t have to tell the kids that.  -Jeana

Candy Box Math and Storyteller’s Box sell for $19.99 each. For additional games and activities, check out the Lakeshore Learning site.

Jeana Lee Tahnk is a prolific tech writer, crafty mom, and fan of any products that make it easier to raise three children.

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