Looking for a fun way to help young people learn teamwork, collaboration and strategic thinking and problem-solving? Try playing some cooperative board games!
While most games pit one player against another, in cooperative board games all players work together to beat the game, pooling resources and developing cooperative strategies through discussion on how to handle the game's challenges. They must also use strategic problem-solving to figure out the best ways to achieve the goals of the game.
PandemicOne of the best known cooperative games is Pandemic ($29). Designed for 2-4 players, the group works together to save the world from 4 diseases before time runs out. Players must coordinate their actions and use their roles (assigned at the beginning of play) to treat and cure the four diseases raging throughout the world. You can also buy add-ons for Pandemic that provide additional challenges, including trying to capture a bio-terrorist who is secretly spreading disease.
Below is a brief video that gives you an idea of game play, as well as the power of cooperative games.
In Flashpoint ($28) 2-6 players form a firefighting team where they have to gather equipment, rescue victims and fight a major blaze. It offers two different rulesets (families and more experienced players) and three levels of difficulty and no two games are the same.
Sentinels of the MultiverseDo your kids like superheroes and comics? Then this the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game ($28) is for you! Each player has one of ten heroes to play as the team battles one of 4 villains in different environments. Each hero plays differently, so players have a chance to find different ways to battle the villain and learn a little about their own preferred team strategies.
Forbidden DesertIn Forbidden Desert ($20), 2-5 players must survive scorching heat and a relentless sandstorm to recover the pieces of a legendary flying machine buried in the desert. Along the way, you must find water, food and other supplies to keep yourselves alive.
Forbidden IslandOn Forbidden Island ($17), you must find 4 hidden relics while keeping the Island from sinking, capitalizing on each player's strengths and talents to beat the game.
Why not give one or more of these games a try with your students. Let us know how it goes. Or if you are already using cooperative games, drop us a comment to share what you're using and how your students are responding.