20 History Board Games for Fun Ways to Boost Learning
History board games are fantastic ways to make learning fun.
Plus, these types of games are wonderful activities for slowing down and connecting with your kids.
Discover how you can use history board games to boost learning at home and check out our top recommendations!
History CAN Be Fun!
Think history is boring? Think again!
Playing history board games is one way to get your children interested in a different time periods or events in history.
And gameschooling brings history alive for kids!
Figuring out math board games is easy, but many parents find it harder to find games that connect to their history lessons.
While fewer are available, the history board games on this list are high quality and will help your children learn new history facts or become interested in a different historical period.
If you’re ready to bring history alive with games, check out this excellent list of history board games that your kids will love.
How to Use History Board Games While Homeschooling
History games are educational and fun. And you’ll find a mixture of these in the list below.
Some recommendations are trivia-type games. But, if your child isn’t interested in those types of activities, you’ll want to try some of these tips for using board games for history:
1. Pair with a Unit Study
It’s no secret that I love a good unit study! If you’re studying ancient civilizations or the Civil War, find a board game (or two) that goes with your unit study.
You can use the games after you have completed a unit study. This idea works well if you’re playing trivia games that require your kids know more about the topic.
Another option is to play it as you go through the unit study. This options works best if the game doesn’t require knowledge ahead of time.
2. Spark Your Child’s Curiosity
Another idea is to use a game to get your child interested in a history topic by using board games. Starting with a board game or a field trip encourages interest and a desire to learn more about a history topic.
It’s a great way to bring a topic to life!
3. Play and Enjoy the Game!
Sometimes, all you have to do is play to have fun.
Everything doesn’t have to be educational. Or maybe you don’t focus on the educational part and just have fun together as a family.
20 History Board Games Your Kids Will Love
Discover different ways to boost your home school (and family) fun with these games for social studies and historical events.
Here are some history board games that my boys and I have enjoyed – or have on our wishlist based on the recommendations of friends 😊
You might remember playing the classic Oregon Trail game on the computer. This board game is recommended for kids 13 years old and up, but it’s a challenging and complicated game. It’s not exactly like the computer game, but it has similarities.
Your goal is to make it to the Willamette Valley without starving to death or being bitten by a poisonous snake. The game uses tiles to build a path to the Valley. You can play The Oregon Trail with two to four players.
If you’re studying the history of the United States, this trivia game is perfect for your gameschool.
The set is perfect for ages seven years old and up. Since each card has questions for multiple levels, most ages can play this family favorite. You’ll learn all about American history, from colonial America to the Great Depression and beyond.
Here’s another excellent option by Professor Noggin. It’s full of great trivia questions (for example, about Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome) with facts that your kids learn as you go.
We love this game because it’s great for all ages, even adults, because each card contains different levels of questions.
My boys will even pull out these types of trivia games during meals!
I think this is an excellent history board game to add to your collection, recommended for ages eight years old and up.
Players travel through five time periods from the early Americans up to the Civil War. It aligns with national and state standards for history as well. Both kids and adults will love it.
If you have older kids between the ages of 12-15 years, History of the World is a great game that takes your family on a ride through humankind’s history as you build an empire.
It goes from the dawn of civilization to the twentieth century, working through five periods of history. Each player commands an empire at the height of their power.
Playing History of the World is seriously fun while being educational.
Carcassonne is an exciting game where the players build the area around the city, one tile at a time. Then, the players put followers along the board and have to follow these closely to win the game.
This game is inspired by the castles in Southern France. It’s straightforward, easy to understand, and perfect for families new to gameschooling.
Players take on different roles from the Middle Ages, like knights, monks, thieves, or monks. So much educational and imaginative fun!
We bought Imhotep for an Ancient Egyptian unit study a few years ago – and my kids still enjoy it to this day. It’s the perfect history board game if your kids need a bit of a break from workbooks.
Imhotep is a strategy game that builds pyramids and monuments in a race against the other players to see who is the fastest. You have five different construction sites, and you have to transport the blocks.
Imhotep is recommended for two for four players, taking between 30 minutes and one hour. I would say it’s closer to the one-hour mark, especially if you have younger kids.
7 Wonder is a strategy game that requires three to seven players at a time. Each player is the leader of one of the ancient cities and has to push for the best resources to build up the city and roads.
Players have to watch the other players. This game is a competition to see who can build up their empire fastest.
The game is divided into three ages and you draw new cards every round. You’ll find that it’s a quick-moving game that keeps everyone engaged and enjoying themselves.
Catan makes some fantastic board games for families to enjoy – and their Rise of the Inkas is so much fun.
Your entire family will have a blast as you explore an ancient civilization and learn about the indigenous cultures that developed and, eventually, declined in the Andean regions of South America.
Fall of Rome takes you back to one of the greatest empires in history – Rome. Players have to recruit armies, fortify cities, make alliances, and stop the invading hordes.
This history board game is a cooperative game. You have to work with your team to defend against the invaders. Each player has unique skills to help protect against invaders.
Your family will love the Fall of Rome. You can play it with one to five players, so you can even enjoy this as a solo game! It’s recommended for ages eight years old and up.
Academy Games Freedom is a cooperative game that encourages all the players to use teamwork to raise funds and free slaves to end slavery in the United States.
The gameplay introduces important historical figures, political agendas, and significant events between 1800-1865.
While Academy Game Freedom is a cooperative game, it also involves strategy. Players need to balance their goals while helping runaway slaves move from the Southern states to Canada. Watch out for the slave catchers who roam the board trying to catch runaway slaves.
Great Western Trail is great for kids 12 years old and up for two to four players. Each game takes 75 to 150 minutes. Players will manage and navigate their way through the great western trail, dodging dangers.
The game takes place in the 19th century. You’re a rancher, herding your cattle from Texas to Kansas City, where they need to be sent off by train to earn your money and points.
Great Western Trail is a strategy game, so your kids have to complete actions to earn points throughout the game. Of course, there are pitfalls along the way that you need to avoid. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins!
Axis & Allies needs two to five players. Play this game when you have some extra time in your schedule. Playing time is about two hours and you play as the five major powers struggle for supremacy.
Players control one of the Axis or Allied powers and command their military forces through strategy. You’ll learn about the wartime economy, plan attacks, enter enemy territory, and resolve conflicts. It’s a detailed game that is well-planned and beautiful.
Memoir ‘44 is a history board game that goes through 17 historical scenarios with the players. It’s recommended for older kids and teens ages 12 years old and up.
This board game is easy to learn and fast-paced, so your family will have tons of fun with this game. If you have any World War II fans, this game uses a huge, monster-sized game board with impressive reviews. It’s beautiful and well-worth adding to your collection.
Founding Fathers involves three to five players as they play in the footsteps of the historical delegates as they work on America’s new government. Players start the beginning of the nation, acting like statesmen and working through creating the new country, war, and debts.
Then, you go through the period of Abraham Lincoln and see how the elections affect the country. Finally, you’ll watch as your decisions shape history and the new world.
The Grizzled is a cooperative card game that brings players into the front lines during World War I. It’s a cooperative game that has the players make the best decisions for the group and make sacrifices to live.
It’s not easy to survive this game!
Since it’s a cooperative game, players need to work as a unit to survive until Armistice Day – the goal. After that, they’ll face gas attacks, blizzards, and many hardships, just like our soldiers during World War I.
The Grizzled is a dramatic, fast-moving game that only takes about 30 minutes to finish. It’s best for kids 14 years old and up for two to five players.
Merchants and Marauders bring you into the life of an influential merchant or a pirate in the Caribbeans during the Golden Age of Piracy. You have to seek your fortune while plundering, hunting, and going on missions.
This history board game uses a trading system and thematic combat system that helps them make crucial decisions. Merchants and Marauders is a strategy board game designed for 12 years old and up.
Expect this game to take quite a while – the playtime is three hours!
The Colonists is a strategy and development game that lets you adapt to meet the needs of your kids. It follows history over several years and eras as the players grow their settlements, aiming to make it the largest and most valuable.
The players recruit workers and find jobs for them while helping them advance. You have to find the right path for your colony to allow it to grow and prosper.
The Colonist is for ages 12 years old and up and has playtime varying from 30 minutes up to multiple hours.
Thebes is an innovative game that immerses players into ancient times. All of the materials are high-quality and beautifully created. You play with two to four players, ages eight years old and up. Expect the playtime to take 60-90 minutes.
You become archeologists with your fellow players during the game, traveling through Europe to learn and gather equipment.
You have to excavate historical sites throughout ancient Greece, Crete, Egypt, and Mesopotamia as quickly as possible.
The Guillotine is a fast-paced game with 100 playing cards. The only way to win is to lose your head.
This hilarious game takes place during the French Revolution. The players represent rival guillotine operators who want the best collection of noble heads. You play through multiple rounds, with each noble worth different amounts of points based on their notoriety.
The goal is to behead the right nobles to get the most amount of points – let the heads roll!
Bring History Alive with Board Games!
I can’t think of a more excellent way to get your kids interested in history than playing educational board games with them.
Playing history board games helps your kids learn new facts and spend special time with you. And through these historical board games, you just might find that you have a history buff among you.
What history board games would you add to the list? Please add your recommendations in the comments area below!