A Mighty Girl's top picks of STEM-themed games for all ages!
"Science is not a boy's game, it's not a girl's game. It's everyone's game." — Nichelle Nichols
When a baby drops a block over and over, she's doing what humans do naturally: turning science into a game! Playful experimentation is the first step to a lifetime of STEM learning. As kids get older, however, they can lose that creative spirit and start seeing learning about science and math as a chore, rather than a fun and exciting way to discover the wonders of the universe.
In recent years, game designers have realized that science and math games can be much more engaging than just getting kids to recite trivia and memorize facts and figures. Newer STEM-themed games use clever rule design and colorful components to encourage critical thinking and make learning science and math engaging and fun! Whether someone is a science nut or a reluctant learner, these games are an excellent way to teach new material, solidify understanding, and make learning science and math playful again.
With that in mind, we've put together a collection of our favorite STEM-themed games for kids of all ages. These games explore everything from math concepts to chemical reactions to geology. With so many to choose from, we're confident there's a game here for everyone!
For more of our favorite toys and games to encourage an interest in STEM fields, visit our Science & Math Toy Collection.
Science & Math Games For All Ages
Let kids experiment with sequencing, patterning, sorting, counting, and more with this 75 piece Rainbow Butterfly Garden from Skoolzy! This set comes with 56 butterflies in seven vivid colors. Find them a home with in the matching flower petals to practice counting, sorting, and matching, or lay them out in a pattern using the tongs that help develop fine motor and pre-writing skills. Eight double-sided activity cards and a free e-book provide plenty of suggestions for ways to play with this set.
Develop a multitude of math skills with mini-muffin counters! Different sorting-circle inserts boost color recognition, matching, sorting, counting, and early math skills. Squeezy Tweezers add to the fun and reinforce fine-motor skills. This set includes 1 muffin pan (including 6 muffin cups) with easy-grip rubber handles, 60 mini muffin counters, 1 Squeezy Tweezer, 2 foam dice (1 color cube and 1 number cube), 12 double-sided sorting-circle inserts, and an activity guide.
Even preschoolers can learn programming fundamentals! By using a system similar to the Logo programming language, kids write a program with playing cards so the "turtle mover" can direct their turtle through a maze to claim a jewel. As they progress, mazes get trickier, introducing longer code strings and functions — and, of course, if things don't go as planned, kids will have to debug! This clever game was a hit on Kickstarter, and it'll be a hit with your family too.
The creators of Prime Climb turn their expertise in teaching math to younger learners with Tiny Polka Dot! This box from Math for Love contains components for sixteen different games. They're all easy to learn and playful, but as kids grow, the level of complexity does, too. Kids will start with simple number recognition and counting and move their way up to arithmetic and logic skills. It's a little box with lots of math love inside!
Practice your counting with this fun game featuring an eager little pup! Shelby has buried bones in the sand at the beach and she needs you to help her get them back. Kids flip the spinners to figure out how many bones they get to pick up, but be careful — a seagull could steal some of your bones, or you might get distracted chewing on a flip-flop and miss a turn. Kids use the Shelby Squeezer to pick up their bones, which helps develop their fine motor control and pre-writing skills, too.
Get kids to think on their feet with this interactive talking floor mat! Fast and crazy quiz games make learning math fun. Kids listen to the equation, do the math, and then step on the right answer. The game gets faster as their scores get higher! This mat includes three games with two skill levels that reinforce numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction up to the number 20.
Get them hopping and dancing — and learning the principles of coding — with this fun new game! Kids decorate their own robot hats, then play the role of robots following coded directions. Choose a challenge card, then lay out your path on the 5' by 5' floor mat with direction tiles. Can you get to the finish square before the time runs out? It's the perfect choice to help kids get some energy out while learning about programming skills. For another Future Coders set, check out the Cube Stackers Coding Skills Kit.
It's time to get tracking! With this game from Laurence King Publishing, kids have to match the animal track to its owner. With 25 tracks to match — including a wide variety of animals, from elephants to coyotes to peacocks — kids will have to use their reasoning skills to figure out what kind of animal could create that shape. If you match more pairs than your opponent, you win! Kids will love the colorful animal illustrations in this easy-to-play game.
Learn about edible and medicinal plants in this unique cooperative board game! Players have to connect the icon on the challenge cards with icons on the plant card to move forward on the board — edible plants for hunger, medicinal plants for ailments like sore muscles and fever. Make your way up the mountain to the huckleberry patch and back to Grandma's before time runs out! This beautifully illustrated and educational game, with its "chutes and ladders" play style, is a fun way for kids to learn about the plants around us.
Reel in your number sense by catching combinations of 10! This game's sea-themed container holds illustrated cards with numbers on the reverse. Players take turns flipping cards to show numbers and shout out "I see 10!" when they see combinations of numbers that together make 10. Collect the most 10s and win! Just beware of the hungry Shark cards — pull one and your whole catch goes back! This fun math skills game is suitable for 2 to 4 players.
Kids love being able to spot the tracks of the animals that passed by, and this fun and educational game can help them identify them all! High quality cards depict animal photography, including both their common and biological names, as well as their tracks. Kids can then play three traditional games with a science-based twist as they remember and match the animals and tracks. Fans of this game can also check out the Science on a Tracking Expedition kit, which kids how to take their knowledge of animal tracks into the great outdoors.
Balance the beans and win — and learn about elementary algebra along the way! With this game from ThinkFun, kids place rows of beans onto the scale, with the goal of balancing it out. Place the red beans to match the challenge on the card and see if you can figure out the solution! As kids progress through the challenges, they'll solve less through trial and error and more through math and reasoning skills. With challenges ranging from Easy to Super Hard, they'll be balancing for hours!
Build your knowledge of geology and our planet with this fun game that doubles as the start of a rock collection! 18 rock specimens are included, along with cards full of interesting facts about rocks, minerals, and gems. Gameplay works like bingo, but several game variants let kids start out with simple identification by appearance to claim a space, and move on to using the information they've learned to fill their card. Plus, kids will love that it all packs into a convenient case so they can take their collection anywhere!
The fun of bingo and the beauty of detailed insect illustrations makes for a great way to learn more about the insects of the world! Sixty-four insect species make appearances in this beautifully illustrated game; identify each bug to fill the spaces on your bingo card and win. An included leaflet provides a few extra interesting facts about each species for budding entomologists.
Take a deep dive under the sea and put your knowledge of underwater life to the test with the Ocean Animals Game from The Young Scientists Club! This set includes four games in one, with 80 illustrated game cards that you can use to play bingo, two memory games, and fact-filled trivia fun. Match cards with a full-color image of an ocean creature to a card with three fascinating facts about it. Kids will learn to sort animals by different characteristics, and enjoy spotting all the animals in the included poster!
Math becomes an adventure with this addition and subtraction game that takes kids on a journey through Sum Swamp! They'll make their way over the hilarious pitfalls of the swamp, including the crocodile shortcut and the endless loop. The only way to escape the mire is to add and subtract the numbers on the dice. Two to four players can enjoy this game; for younger kids, it will sharpen beginning math skills, but older kids will play for the fun!
Code your way to the cheese with this board game from Learning Resources! Based on their Code and Go Robot Mouse activity set, this 2 to 4 player game sees kids take on the roles of rival mice hunting for cheese on the board. Each turn, players draw coding cards that they need to put together into a series of commands to get their mouse where they want to go — all while avoiding obstacles like maze walls, and seeking out advantages like warp tunnels that hop them closer to where they want to go! This analog coding game teaches logic skills and basic programming concepts in an innovative, screen-free way.
This kit is a fossil and rock collection and a learning game all in one! Open up the case and discover 15 fossil specimens, including a trilobite a mosasaur tooth, petrified wood, and more, plus 60 beautiful polished rocks and minerals. Use the identification guide to learn more about your new collection, and then play the paleontology game to strengthen your knowledge. Five levels of play allow everyone from pre-readers to adults to challenge themselves, and everything packs into the case for easy storage or travel.
Learn all about prehistoric animals with this set from the Young Scientists Club that's four games in one! 80 illustrated game cards depict a wide variety of prehistoric creatures, or offer three fascinating facts about each one. Kids can play bingo, two memory games, or trivia by matching the picture with details about the animal! Sort the cards by geologic era, or check out the 18 by 24 inch poster to find out just how big these amazing creatures were!
Avid bird watchers and those who admire the beauty and diversity of birds will love this version of bingo where identification is the key to the game! Sixty-four species, from robins to puffins to kookaburtas, are illustrated in exquisite detail on these bingo cards and tiles. Identify the bird correctly and you can mark off a spot on your card! An included leaflet also includes fun facts about each bird, perfect to let eager young ornithologists learn a little more.
Have fun — and learn about geology — with this set of rock- and gem-themed games from National Geographic! Inside the box you'll find everything you need play rock bingo, mineral memory, gem-tac-toe, and trivia. They'll also get a full deck of rock-themed playing cards that they can use for standard cards games, or use as flash cards. Plus, they'll even get 25 rock specimens and 150 polished stones for game pieces — and as the foundation of their new rock collection.
There's no challenge too tough for addition superstars in this game from Logic Roots! In this cooperative addition game, players work to escape the monster and find the mountain's treasure by practicing their addition skills. Roll the die and add the number to your current position to figure out where you need to move next. Once you've made it to the top and snagged the treasure, it's time to make your way back down the other side to your boat! The monster jumps in steps of 5, so make sure you think about where it will land next. This fun math game for 1 to 5 players takes about 20 minutes to play.
It's all about getting to "one" with this fraction game! Draw a card, find the corresponding fraction piece, and drop it into your cylinder. When you think you're as close to one as you can get without going over, stop! The player who finishes closest to one wins that round. Multilingual instructions provide a guide to playing the game and also include suggestions for using the pieces as exploratory math manipulatives.
In this unique strategy game, players take on the role of coral reef, carefully choosing colors and patterns in which to grow and expand — the more beautiful the reef, the more points they will score! On each turn, players select cards that include a top half detailing what coral pieces they can collect and place, and a bottom half with a formation they can build that scores points. As their "reef" grows, players can stack coral up to four high — but you'll have to think ahead, since the coral pieces on the top half of each card never appear on its bottom half. Easy to learn but tricky to master, this game is perfect for repeated family play.
The rules of chemistry are the rules of the game in this cooperative molecule building game! One players knows the identity of several organic molecules that the other players have to work together to build. With the Knower's hints, Builders have to complete all of the molecules before they use up their Clue and Guess cards. With four different levels of play for two to seven players, there's plenty of play potential in this seemingly simple game!
Kids too young for the lab can learn chemistry concepts like molecule formation, acids and bases, and chemical reactions with this fun game! Kids need to combine elements to create molecules and earn points, but be careful! Some combinations have unexpected results that can set you back. All of the interactions that take place in the game actually exist, so kids will be ready to take their game knowledge into real world science. This version of the game includes 86 linen-finish cards; for an expanded version of the game, with a whopping 166 cards, check out the new Science Ninjas: Valence Plus.
Build your comfort level with fractions, decimals, and percentages with this cooperative math game from Genius Games! In each round, players have to work together to sequence fractions, decimals, and percentages in ascending or descending order before the timer runs out. Is 2/3 more or less than 75%? Unlike flashcards or other math games where players are competitive, this timed cooperative game encourages kids to develop fluency and help one another learn math principles, building confidence in their understanding of how these different representations relate. It's the perfect fast-paced game for up to 5 math-loving kids!
Show off your planting skill with this push-your-luck dice game from Pencil First Games! In Herbaceous Sprouts, you and your opponents are trying to collect seeds to grow sprouts in the community garden. If you plant quickly, you'll grow sprouts faster — but you'll score more points if you can save up long enough to plant in a premiere section of the garden. The gorgeously illustrated seed dice, tool and flower cards, and game board make this game a treat for the eyes!
This is the chemistry card game where the rules are in Fluxx! Chemistry Fluxx from Looney Labs is a chemistry-themed game with a twist: the rules, and the end goal, are constantly changing. Players have to come up with the right combinations of elements and lab gear to win... but just as they're getting ready, the rules might change again! Along the way, they'll learn how elements interact (and have a whole lot of fun. Fans of the original Fluxx will love this chemical variant.
Learn about viruses in this clever blind bidding card game from Genius Games! In Virulence, each player takes on the role of a virus. To take over the host cell and replicate successfully, you'll need to bid on different virus component cards — but then you have to decide whether to use them for points now, or save them to strengthen your hand for critical future bids. Avoid powerful vaccines and hit end-game bonuses to score the most points and win! This intriguing and timely biology game, which uses real biological principles in its rules, is suitable for 2 to 5 players and takes about 20 minutes to play.
In this strategic card game from Renegade Game Studios, you're trying to build a beautiful arboretum path by placing cards from your hand. Each color of card features a different species of tree, and you can score points for paths that begin and end with that color — but be careful! You only score points if you also have the highest value of cards of that color in your hand. Elegantly simple rules require surprisingly complex strategy in this gorgeously illustrated game!
Work your way through the periodic table with this chemistry-themed card drafting game! Players combine ion cards and noble gas cards to create stable compounds, but think fast: turns are simultaneous, so the action keeps moving. The gameplay mechanic is fun and easy to learn, making this a unique and entertaining way to learn basic chemistry concepts. This version also includes the Radioactive expansion for an intriguing addition to the game.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Players ad or subtract 1, 2, or 3 to the number on the top card on the pile to determine if they have a card that can be played next. Sounds simple, but with everyone playing simultaneously, the options are constantly changing! The first player out of cards wins. This game for 2 to 4 players takes only minutes to learn and play, making it great for families or as a classroom game.
Build a world with this unique strategy game from Blue Orange! In Planet, you build a "globe" using your 12-sided, 3D planet core and a set of magnetic continent tiles. Select landscape tiles representing oceans, deserts, mountains, or frozen terrain. If you place them together carefully, you'll create ecosystems that fulfill habitat objectives and encourage animals to populate your world! This strategy game for 2 to 4 players will get kids thinking about the remarkable planet we call home.
Sumoku is a unique crossword-style game with numbers that can be played five different ways. Players add up the tiles to multiples of a number shown on the die. Once all the tiles are connected together, it's a sumoku. Five different versions are available in the same bag, which allow for solo play or multiple players. Sumoku teaches number recognition, basic math skills, and color recognition, and the cooperative variants teach working towards a common goal. Packed with endless challenges, Sumoku is pure adding fun.
In this game from Blue Orange, the goal is green energy! Cultivate your trees to take best advantage of the sun... without blocking out the littlest seedlings from the much-needed light. As your trees move through their life cycle, you'll earn points when they catch the light — but since the sun shifts in the sky, the tree that was in a clearing a few turns ago could be in darkness now, so you'll have to think ahead. With exquisite artwork and a unique game mechanic, this game is a unique way to learn about the energy that powers a tree's life cycle.
Celebrate the beauty of America's National Parks with this game from Keymaster Games and the Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series! Each player takes on the role of a hiker trekking the trails during four different seasons. As you make memories on the trail, you collect resource tokens like mountains, forests, and wildlife; collect a set and you can trade them in to visit a National Park at the end of each season. Who will see the most of America's wilderness by the time the year is done? This gorgeously illustrated game for 1 to 5 players is sure to inspire some real-life park visits. For two more games to inspire an interest in America's National Parks, check out the National Park Adventure Board Game for ages 8 to 12 and Trekking the National Parks for ages 10 and up.
Dive into the daily life of a human cell in Cytosis! In this board game from Genius Games, players take turns putting flasks on available organelles inside the cell; then, they activate the organelle, to either gain macromolecule resources or take actions like completing cell component cards. As the game goes on, resources and space get tight, so think strategically! Everything in this engrossing game mimics actual processes in human cells, teaching cell biology concepts in a clever way. For another biology-themed game from this innovative company, check out Peptide: A Protein Building Game.
Welcome to the competitive world of bird enthusiasts! In this engine-building game from Stonemaier Games, you are hoping to build an extraordinary aviary — one that puts your fellow ornithologists and collectors to shame. Each turn, you use action points to add birds, gather food to attract new (and perhaps rare and special) birds, or even have your birds nest and lay eggs. Each habitat fosters a different type of action, so you'll have to balance your choices carefully to ensure you can build the best aviary around. This 1 to 5 player game with exquisite illustrations will delight both gamers and bird lovers, and includes swift-start pack with 4 guides and 10 new cards to make it easier for new players to join in!
With this fun and colorful mathematical board game, players can learn to multiply and divide as they work their way to space 101 at the center of the board. Roll the dice, then add, subtract, multiply, or divide to move ahead — or earn Prime cards and bump your opponents back to the beginning! The first player to get both of their pawns to 101 wins, but along the way, everyone will be building math skills and having a ton of fun. Winner of Dr. Toy's Top 10 Educational Toy Award and a Mom's Choice Gold Seal, this beautifully designed game is the perfect way to help solidify math concepts while making learning fun for kids and adults alike.
The name of the game is survival of the fittest! You play a new organism in a dangerous world. Create and adapt your creature to take best advantage of the environment around you, while avoiding the pitfalls! Will you invest your adaptations in traits like a Hard Shell or Horns to protect you from predators, or a Long Neck to get food other creatures can't reach? With 4,000 species to create — plus additional expansions like Evolution: Flight, there's no end to the ways you can eat, multiply, and thrive.
Blast off for an outer space adventure in this cooperative game from Thames & Kosmos! Players are on a mission to discover if there really is a ninth planet at the edge of our solar system. The game spans 50 missions, each of which take approximately 5 minutes to play. To achieve your goals, you'll have to work together to win card tricks — but there's a wrinkle: you can't talk to on another. Once per mission you can show another player one card in your hand, so you'll have to choose wisely to succeed and win! This innovative game for 3 to 5 players also includes a separate set of rules that makes it just as fun for two players. And for more cooperative adventures — this time set in the deep ocean — check out the follow-up game The Crew: Mission Deep Sea.
Get down to the basics of how your body works with Peptide from Genius Games! In this card-drafting game, players compete to link Amino Acid cards side-by-side, building a protein chain or peptide — just like in real life! As you select Organelle Cards, you'll either get molecular resources or cellular actions you can use to build your chain. Build a chain with a variety of Amino Acids and you'll score points to win! This clever game teaches how RNA Translation works in an engaging way, complete with professional illustrations that can even be used as classroom illustrations.
Grab your walking stick, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare to explore the nation's natural wonders with this board game from Underdog Games! As 2 to 5 players race across the country, they collect trail stones and compete to claim Park Cards, each of which includes an interesting fact and a gorgeous photo of the park. Each game begins with a unique setup, ensuring endless replayability. By the time you've played it a few times, you'll be itching to get out there and explore the real thing!
Fans of the strategy game Evolution can dive under the waves in this new game from North Star Games! In Oceans, each player is working to create a vibrant web of underwater life over millions of years of evolution. Survival depends on your ability to adapt.... and a little luck. Be cautious, because mysterious creatures lurk in The Deep! This game for 2 to 6 players comes with 120 Surface cards, 89 Deep cards, population tokens, scenario cards, a reef board, and oceans board, and more elements necessary to challenge your ability to survive the mysterious depths.
It's all about better gaming through chemistry with this clever game. Each player takes on the role of a Lab Manager who is trying to complete compounds before their opponents — or before an unfortunate lab accident results in an explosion! You might want to invest some time in creating a fire extinguisher...but while you're doing that, your opponents could be putting together the elements they need to snag compounds out from under you. With a ruleset that incorporates social play, trading, careful management of elements, and a little luck, this social game is endlessly entertaining — and educational.
Expand your vocabulary and prove your knowledge of scientific terms with this fun word game from Genius Games! In Nerd Words, players have to identify a scientific term from progressive hints given by this turn's lead scientist — one-word clues, which the scientist must ensure start with a letter within the hidden word. Once you've written down your answer, bid based on your confidence , but be careful what you wager: if you're wrong, it will cost you everything you bid. With over 400 terms from biology, chemistry, and earth science, and gameplay that works with 2 to 12 players, this is a fun and fast-paced way to challenge your science knowledge.
Experience life as a monarch butterfly in this game from Spiel des Jahre winner Elizabeth Hargrave and Alderac Entertainment Group! Mariposas is played across three seasons: in spring, your butterflies head North; in summer, they spread out; and in fall, they return south. Along the way, you're trying to collect flower tokens and breed future generations by landing near milkweed plants! Keep an eye on your objectives to score extra points, and win even more points for every butterfly that makes it back to Mexico at the end of the fall. With stunning artwork, simple but deep gameplay, and different strategies to try every time you play, this game for 2 to 5 players is sure to be a favorite.
Learn the basics of particle physics and chemistry with this innovative card game from Genius Games which uses real scientific principles in its gameplay! In Subatomic, players use their starting deck of photons and quarks to build larger particles like protons, neutrons, and electrons. Combine those subatomic particles to make atoms — or hold onto them in hopes of buying even more powerful cards for your deck! It's big fun on a quantum scale for gamers who are ready for a scientific and strategic challenge.