At this time of year you see plenty of reviews of gifts for children and teens – written by adults. It is not often you find ones written by the people who will receive the gifts. So, I asked a number of my students to review things that parents would view as educational – but they really enjoyed playing.
To make this offer appealing I told them I would give them 50% of my affiliate earnings when people bought any of the products they reviewed. I have now decided to make this a bit more lucrative for them and if anyone buys products through the Amazon affiliate links of this page – even if it is for other items, I will share 50% the additional revenue between the reviewers.
So – if you like something here, I encourage you to either click through and buy it immediately – or come back and click through when you are ready to buy. I will post on our Facebook page at the end of the holiday season, how much I was able to pay the students.
I let them review whatever they wanted to – and I have done basically no editing of their reviews. The last few items are actually educational card games, but I thought that was close enough to board games to keep in this post. I hope you find them useful and I also hope to help these students make their first online income!
Settlers of Catan – Review by Andrew J, 8th grade
Scattergories – Review by Charlie H, 8th grade
Scattergories is a vocabulary increasing game for ages 11 and up. In the game, a 20-sided die is rolled and it lands on one of the 20 letters on the die. The players then have a list of 12 subjects, with subjects such as “Famous People” or “Capitals”, and they have to write down a word starting with the letter for each subject. For example, if the letter was B, the player could write Barack Obama for Famous People and Bogota for Capitals.
Scattergories stretches your imagination to come up with words for the hardest subjects and letters. As the group shares their answers, players learn new words and facts increasing their own knowledge. Creative answers and puns are acceptable too, so the game really gets you thinking.
Agricola – Review by Jonathan Z, grade 8
Players start the game with two family members living a wooden hut. In each round, each family member can take one action, such as go fishing and collect one food. Other action options include cutting wood, mining stone, cutting reed, or digging clay. Players can also plow and sow fields, build fences, add rooms to their hut, build stables, build improvements, or make more family members. Extra family members are especially helpful to take more actions. Once a player has fences to make a field, the player can get sheep, wild boar, or cattle to place in the field.
To win, players must have the most victory points. Victory points can be acquired by upgrading your wooden hut to a clay or stone hut, by having sheep and pigs and cattle, and by plowing fields. But everything has to do with balancing food requirements or making everyday life a little more comfortable. The most beneficial educational aspect of Agricola is the opportunity for players to experience and experiment with local level economics through managing resources and strategic planning. The best part is that you don’t even know that you’re learning because you are having so much fun.
Pandemic – Review by Amy V, 8th grade
In Pandemic you play with your friends and family against the board. The aim of the game is to cure all disease, before the “pandemic” breaks out. You move around the board, treating diseases, and finding cures, to get rid of the disease for good. It takes about an hour to play. It’s for 2-4 players. This game is great for people who love strategy. I really like this game because it’s challenging, and fun to play with friends.
Mad Dash – Review by Andrew J, 8th grade
Trivial Pursuit – Review by Sami I, 7th grade
Professor Noggin Games – Review by Charlie H, 8th grade
24 Card Game, Review by Sami I, 7th grade