Make history more fun with the 11 best historical games for older kids!
Intro: sentence with best historical games for middle school and high school
Do your middle and high school kids (or you!) ever get tired of your history curriculum?
Even if it’s a great curriculum, having a break from it from time to time can be like a breath of fresh air.
If your family loves board games, playing a fun game together can be a great solution to breaking up homeschool monotony.
Since the onset of the worldwide pandemic, board games have seen a huge surge in popularity according to Today.
With more options than ever to choose from, there are some awesome historical board games that can help you spend quality time with your teenagers – AND learn history.
How perfect is that for a homeschool family?!
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The 11 Best Historical Games for Middle and High Schoolers
Each of these games have been tested and played at our house.
While most of them state a recommended age range beginning around middle school, we have a 9-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy who often play too!
This game is amazing for any middle or high schooler studying ancient history!
Up to seven players each work to build one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
Collecting and using scientific, military, trade and cultural resources, there are so many different ways to achieve your goal.
For ages 10+, with a playing time of at least 30 minutes (but often about 45 minutes!).
There are several great expansions to this game, too. We especially love the Leaders expansion at our house!
This extremely fun game is perfect for any middle or high schooler who is studying the Middle Ages!
Throughout the game, up to 4 players try to grow their simple estate to duchies and provinces by acquiring copper, silver, and gold. This is done by collecting different kingdom cards that grant the holder special privileges.
Featuring lots of cool medieval artwork and motifs, Dominion is recommended for ages 13+ and has a playing time of 30 minutes or less.
Kingdomino is a delightful 4-player tile-placing game that is also based in the Middle Ages.
Each player tries to build his or her own grid of different types of land – water, fields, mines, and more.
Winning major awards such as the ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award, the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year), Mensa Mind Games, and the Games and Puzzles Magazine Game of the Year Award, this is a great family game you definitely don’t want to miss!
To add knights and more complexity, try Queendomino too!
Recommended for ages 8+, Kingdomino takes 30 minutes or less to play.
Azul is an awesome tile-placing game that is not only lots of fun – it is beautiful too!
Set in the time of Moors’ occupation of Spain, you are a tile-layer in the court of the Portugese king, working in the palace of Dvora. Your goals is to place your tiles strategically to gain as many points as you can.
Another winner of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award, Azul can be played by up to 4 players, ages 8+ and takes about 30 minutes.
A hugely popular board game that changes every time you play it, Settlers of Catan can be a great history tie-in for studying any ancient civilization through to the Middle Ages.
Players focus on building, settling and trading to create your own small civilization, avoiding the robber, and gaining the most points first.
Game play usually is about 60 minutes and is for up to 4 people, ages 10+. An expansion is available to increase play with 5 or 6 people.
Once you master Settlers of Catan, there are lots of other fun expansions to add. My personal favorite is Cities and Knights.
This is a fun bluffing game set in the time of Robin Hood in 12th or 13th century England.
Players take turns in the role of the Sherriff of Nottingham, trying to decide whether the others are sneaking contraband goods to sell at the market.
This version here contains the sixth player expansion as well as a new playing variant.
For 4-6 players, ages 12+, this game takes about 45 minutes to play.
Set in Europe in the late 1800s, players try to create the longest continual train and reach each of their destinations.
This has been my favorite game for 10 years! It’s a great idea to incorporate into your history curriculum before studying World War I to help your kids learn European geography.
For a less complex, American version, check out this version of Ticket to Ride.
This game is made for 2-5 players, can last up to 60 minutes, and is for ages 8 and up.
Puerto Rico is a perfect game to play while your kids are learning about the era of colonization.
Assuming different roles such as mayor, builder, and more, players establish their own colonies in the New World.
One of the longer games we like to play, Puerto Rico playing time is about 60-90 minutes. For 2-5 players, ages 12+.
One of the most well-known board games available, Risk is definitely worthy of making this list of best historical games!
Set in the Napoleonic Era, Risk is a game of strategy and global domination. Winning is often dependent on good dice rolling too!
For up to 5 players, ages 10+, Risk takes at least 60 minutes to play, but this can be a lot longer too.
If your kids are learning about World War II, this game is a must play!
Players square off at the beaches of Normandy, in an awesome recreation of the battle that changed the course of World War II.
With awesome attention to detail, this games takes about 2 hours to play and is for 2-5 players, ages 12+.
If your kids really get into this type of game, consider checking out different Axis and Allies for different years during the war, such as Axis and Allies 1942.
Finally, if your kids really get into historical war games, our very favorite is Memoir ’44. With 19 different, highly-detailed battle scenarios and pages of information covering each battle, this game is an incredible way to learn the intricacies of World War II. Sadly, Memoir ’44 is currently out of print, but in my opinion it’s almost worth paying the out-of-print price for it!
Final thoughts about the best historical games for older kids:
If your middle and high school kids (or you!) ever get tired of your homeschool history curriculum, give one of these awesome games a try!
They can be a great way to break up your typical routine and add some fun to your homeschool days.
Finally, don’t forget to join the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s FREE Resource Library to get a hold of tons of awesome free printables for organizing your homeschool!