Children's educational game, Last Word Parents often ask me for good game ideas for their kids. Today a mom wrote down every game I played with her son directly to her Christmas list! Here are some new games I tried out this week that are fun, educational and challenging.

Pirates Undercover by Educational Insights is a puzzle lover’s delight! Kids from 5 and up are challenged to use the 4 puzzle pieces to hide the pirate ships, rowboats, islands, and treasure and only reveal what is pictured on each page of the challenge book. The book provides 48 pages of images that must be left uncovered to master that challenge–from “starter” to “expert” to “master.” Parents want games they can play as a family and this is one of them. It can even be played alone, as a challenging puzzle requiring strategy and logic.

Last Word by Buffalo Games is “an uproarious race to have the final say.”  Aged for 8 and up, this game of naming in categories can be adapted to a younger set so you can play it as a family. Turn over a subject card like “things is a purse” or “things that you fold”, and pick a letter card to begin your words. Start the timer and you are off! Everyone yells out words belonging in that category until the buzzer goes off. The last player to say a word advances on the game board. So far every child I’ve played this with has gotten louder and louder as they get excited trying to race against the timer and fill the time with their word entries. To adapt this game to the younger set, just skip the letter card and name things in the category. What a great game to strengthen vocabulary, naming in a category, and speed in calling up words.