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Dec

Eco Friendly Board Games

eco board game

I was pleasantly surprised recently to find a new generation of games emerging in the market. For parents that wish to help their children learn about real and important issues while making it fun there are many board games that encourage eco awareness.

When I was a child I liked Candyland a lot. I also used to play a game that centered around shopping at the mall and a computer voice would announce sales. Hmm…surely we can do better than get our kids hooked on candy and senseless consumerism. Some games in my house now include Scrabble, RISK, Balderdash, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, SpongeBob Monopoly, and Cranium. BUT thanks to some very innovative companies we have added some more games to our home entertainment library. Thanks to everyone that sent me games to road test…we have had a blast playing! Here are some of the highlights in eco friendly Board games and entertainment:

Plan Toys Eco Recycling Game – This set includes a dice, a playmat, 4 recycled bins, 4 figures, and 16 pieces of recyclable waste token. A person who has no taken left is the winner. For 1-4 players. Under the Green Concept Design PlanToys selects only eco-friendly materials and manufacturers utilizing a minimal waste concept. PlanToys long-term commitment to social programs promotes healthy child development and environmental protection. All PlanToys are made using chemical free, kiln-dried recycled rubberwood and designed with water based non-toxic colors as accent. A small wooden playthings can produce big change. Through innovation and commitment to design excellence, PlanToys team of child development experts play a critical role in developing their selection of diverse wooden toys.

My kids and I had fun playing this game. Its great for teaching them how they can be a part of the solution.

Xeko – This is a really fun trading cards game that has won many awards. The game teaches kids (and adults) about ecology and endangered species. It is a trading card game with a social conscience and there are a couple different missions available…we have Costa Rica. Game players learn about the complex nature of ecosystems, as they try to save those endangered ecological communities in whatever mission they have. It is difficult to describe the game and it was pretty difficult to learn the game as well. Basically you play cards against each other on a big map of the ecosystem. While I found it to be quite fun I had to play against my husband. It was too advanced for my 7 year old but for kids 10 and older it would probably be a blast. The starter set comes in a lovely box and the cards and board (or map) are really beautiful. Extra cards can be bought to expand the game and the missions can even be combined.

Available Missions: Madagascar, Costa Rica, Indonesia

The Yoga Garden Game – This game is adorable! It helps kids learn basic yoga poses and teaches them about plants and animals at the same time. The goal is to plant a flower garden before night falls.

My First 3 Nature Games from Bioviva - This set of 3 games was very age appropriate for my 3 year old. My 7 year old enjoyed them too but got bored quickly. The simple, lively games help young children learn about the amazing animal world, from animal offspring to animal defense mechanisms. Plus, as children play the games, they are developing readiness skills such as visual memory and following directions. Created by environmental scientists to promote understanding of life on earth, the earth-friendly games are printed on recyclable papers using animal-free ink. My daughter especially liked the Who’s Afraid of the Fox game and Hide and Seek Dominoes. It provides us with a fun and educational activity when the two of us are chilling during baby brother’s nap time.

garden-opoly-small.gifGarden-Opoly – Based on the old favorite Monopoly, in this fun game, each player buys garden favorites, collects Clay Pots and trades them in for Greenhouses. Add aphid infestation, water bills and a dandelion outbreak and it becomes a little more difficult… and a lot more fun! A player may even be elected president of the garden club or find themselves on weeding duty and lose a few turns.

Ocean-Opoly – Buy your favorite sea creatures. Raise the rent by collecting Blocks of Water and trading them in for a Big Fish! Every deed is filled with fun facts.

Farm-Opoly – players increase their profits by collecting acres and trading them in for Big Red Barns. Full of country humor and an occasional fun fact, FARM-OPOLY s a celebration of an All-American way of life. It is all fun and games until you find yourself in hog waller or mucking stalls.

Other games in the same series include: Bug-opoly, Wild Animal-opoly, and Bird-opoly.

The Wild Seed Game – The goal of the game is to successfully “sprout” and grow. By turning cards, children either advance toward that goal or regress (deer eats the sprout). Fun way to teach basic concepts of food chains, nutrient and light requirements, and other conditions seeds need in order to germinate and thrive. Instructions focus on using four different strategy levels, with each level becoming increasingly challenging. This is the perfect game to bring out when children are sprouting their own sunflower, morning glory, or bean seeds.

Harvest Time – First, gardens are planted. Then everyone rolls the special die. to do the harvesting. The job is to harvest the gardens before Winter comes. Will we get them all? Maybe, if we remember to help each other out. A simple but challenging game for beginners. This is another great game that emphasizes cooperation and not competition.

A Beautiful Place – Another co-operative game! An ecology game for children! Planet Earth can be a beautiful place, shared by all. Sadly, it has been harmed and made ugly in lots of ways. Players work together to restore the beauty. Can they do it before the dark pollution clouds encircle the beautiful place? They have a much better chance if they work together.

All in all there are some wonderfully fun and educational games out there to teach kids about helping the environment, our individual impact, and how to take advantage of all the joy found in nature. I think that natural families will LOVE to have some of these games in their collection so keep that in mind next time you need gift ideas. ;)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

35 Comments

  • Kate

    Tiffany,

    How would you feel about blogging about your favorite eco-charity?

    I remember your entry for Babylune’s Family Vacation Group Writing Project this summer. I’m hosting another one for charity and I think it is exactly your kind of thing.

    Details here:
    http://www.babylune.com/the-generous-december-group-writing-project/

    Kate’s last blog post..Project Blog Week 4 Sponsor

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  • http://www.naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog Carrie

    Wow, I had no idea those even existed! I am also really bothered by these consumerist games. The Barbie ones are really gross. Cha-ching! as the credit card is swiped. Yuck!

    Carrie’s last blog post..Bloomin? Belly Soaps – Luscious Lather

  • Kimberly

    Thanks so much for the list. Now I will have some new summer games to play with the kids

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  • Mother Earthbeats

    Excellent! :)

    Mother Earthbeats’s last blog post..Seven Virtues on Canku Luta and the Cannunpa

  • melinda

    Some of these games are on our Christmas wishlist….I really hope we get something like this….something the whole family can enjoy—not some dorky plastic Made in China toy!!!

  • http://fieldoftansy.blogspot.com kristine

    have you seen wildcraft? it’s another cooperative type game that teaches about wild herbs and their uses:

    http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft-ordering.html

    it’s a hit with all my kids from 3 – 13 (the 1 yo is still too young).

    kristine’s last blog post..januray blog party

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  • http://jergames.blogspot.com Yehuda Berlinger

    This is a great list. You can find another score or two-score ecologically themed games on Board Game Geek (www.boardgamegeek.com) .

    Yehuda

  • Audrey

    Any thoughts from anyone about a possible game promoting interaction (of course), idea generation from problem solving, to building the idea and social awareness of sustainability and our environment? I know this is vague but I would love to hear some initial comments from anyone. Thanks!

  • http://www.kidica.com/kids-products/kids-games/board-games.aspx Best Board Games

    Hi Tiffany,

    Its a great list of Board games, as a parent its the responsibility of parent to aware the kids about environment. The games list provided by you are really helpful. We can help the kids in learning atleast at initial stages. They are fun and knowledge oriented.

    Thanks
    Rowena

  • http://eco-systemboardgames.com Eddie

    I think it’s fantastic what your doing. I created an Eco game and would everybody to try it. Please support me by visiting the website. If anyone can help market / advertise please let me know
    http://www.eco-systemboardgames.com

  • Maya

    I’m a girl from Boise, Idaho and I’m doing a science fair project at my school. My idea is a board game that makes you more eco-friendly, by having you draw cards that have “green” things for you to do on it. It has spaces lilke a regualr board game, but the object of the game is very uniuque. Even though it’s a game of luck, once everyone playing reaches the finish line, you count up how many cards each person drew, and the person with the most cards is the winner. If anyone that visits this website has heard of a game like this please email me at mtginvent@yahoo.com, because my game needs to be original. Thanks! Maya :)

  • http://naturalblackmom.com CeeCee

    What cute games! I especially like the yoga poses one – my daughter loves doing yoga with me!

  • Hayden

    Me and my friend are working together on Invention Convention and we found this website and it helped us so much! Thank-you and hopefully we will win our category with your help.

  • Texas Eco Blog

    I like the look of Xeko, our family really tries to make smart choices when we buy our kids games and the idea of increasing ecological awareness is great, plus kids love animals!

    We have just released an online recycling game which teaches kids about the value of recycling, check it out;
    http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/fun-recycling-green-game

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  • KY

    this is absolute creative. thanks for the tips!

  • http://www.huntnshrooms.com MG

    Here’s the information site of a new eco-educational/nature type game called “Hunt’n Shrooms!” that teaches 40-varieties of common North American Mushrooms, the difference between real morels and false morels, in-field identification, fantastic artwork and more.

    http://www.huntnshrooms.com

    Ages 10 to Adult

  • Mathcoolgames231

    You got a bunch of cool games, Farm-opoly and Ocean-Opoly looks interesting. My kids love playing educational games too… but their more on online games like Math cool games than the traditional board games and it helps a lot in developing their Math skills.

    • Mathcoolgames231

      BTW, they are playing at http://www.clubtuki.com , you might want to check it and let your kids try it.

  • Lsandersen13

    One we love is “Take Off” of geography of the whole world.  We race our own planes, flying across the world. 

    • Klrhudy

      I just searched to purchase this game & saw it listed on Amazon for $145.00.  Is that correct?  That seems very high for a board game!

  • stefanie

    We are a big board game family and I love the eco mindedness of these games. I would love to share this on my blog http://www.greeninspirationblog.com. Would that be ok?

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      You are welcome to link to it.

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  • Waseem Pakseo

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  • Waseem Pakseo

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  • http://buyforlessonline.co.uk/ playmobil

    This game is very cute. I hope kids love this one its very educational too.

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  • IOGoods

    who knew there were so many of these games out there? Beats Candyland, right? My children just received “The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game”, which is great for preschool-aged and young elementary aged little ones!