By Melanie Haiken
Ages: Battleship, 5 and up; Stratego, 8 and up
Whether kids are trying to find where the flag is hidden in Stratego, or attempting to locate and sink their opponent's fleet in Battleship, they're learning deductive reasoning, a skill they'll need for every subject they tackle in school. In Stratego, the goal is to capture your opponent's flag while simultaneously protecting your own. In Battleship, players strive to sink their opponent's ships before their own get blasted out of the water. Both games require a degree of sleuthing and trickery — that's where the deductive reasoning comes in. When players are hiding their ships and flags, they're developing important strategy and planning skills. According to board game expert and author Jeffrey Hinebaugh, kids who play strategy games including Sorry! Clue, Battleship, and Stratego in childhood earn higher test scores in high school and college.
Bottom line: Kids learn logic, strategic planning, goal setting, and deductive reasoning skills — on land and at sea.
Next: Chess and Checkers »
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