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.
The most backed board game in Kickstarter history is now available to all with this edition from ThinkFun! In Robot Turtles, kids learn basic coding concepts as they direct their adult "computer" to move a turtle through a maze. It's inspired by the Logo programming language, and includes concepts like debugging and functions. Plus, increasingly challenging obstacles ensure that a wide age range can learn — and have fun! — with this clever game.
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!
Help Shelby the dog find all her missing bones! Your kids will practice fine motor control and counting skills as they use the Shelby squeezers to pick up bones to drop in their bowls. And be careful — you could spin a seagull and lose some bones, or even get distracted chewing on a shoe! This fun game will have kids laughing while also learning math and social skills. For more math fun, there's also a Shelby's Snack Shack counting board book for ages 1 to 4.
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.
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. After the game, the real fun begins: get outside and figure out which of those animals leave tracks in your area! With forty different animals from all over the world, kids will have plenty to learn and explore with this game.
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!
Spark an interest in geology with this fun science game! An 18-specimen rock collection provides the foundation for a game for up to 6 players that helps teach names, appearances, and properties of different minerals. Even the game chips are made of polished stones! It all comes in a carrying case with a handle for easy geology fun on the go. For another fun option, check out Fossil On! which includes 15 fossil specimens.
Learn all about the insects of the world with this gorgeously illustrated bingo game from Laurence King Publishing! Sixty-four species of bugs are featured, from the Giant Hawker Dragonfly to the Sacred Scarab to the Honey Bee! Mark them off on your card and get a bingo to win! The leaflet includes basic information and a few fascinating facts about each species featured, and kids will love the illustrated bug tokens and the colorful counters.
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.
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!
Celebrate the beauty and diversity of birds from around the world with this game from Laurence King Publishing! 64 bird species make their appearances on these bingo cards; mark them off as you see them appear so you can win. An included leaflet also provides some information — including a few interesting facts — about each bird species. If she's more a fan of insects than birds, check out Bug Bingo!
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.
It's a race to the number one with this 2- to 4-player fraction game! Draw a card and find the corresponding fizzy fraction tile. Drop the tile into your cylinder. "Hold" if you think you're as close to one as you'll get without going over or draw another card if you think you can get closer by adding another fraction tile. The player who gets closest to 1 wins the round. The included multilingual guide also includes instructions for using the game pieces as a fraction math manipulative.
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!
Turn chemistry into a game with this fascinating game that lets kids tinker with chemicals without setting foot in a lab! Weave together elements to create molecules and cause different reactions. The more you create, the more points you win, but be careful! Some combinations can have unexpected -- and dramatic -- results. Best of all, everything that happens in the game is something that happens in real-life science. Fans of this game can also check out Science Ninjas: Valence Plus, an expanded edition that adds 30 more cards with all-new artwork for even more elements and molecules.
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!
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!
Better gaming through chemistry! Ion is a card-based game where players have to create neutrally charged compounds — but think fast. Turns happen simultaneously, so everyone is engaged... but that also means you don't want to wait too long to make your play. The game mechanic is easy to use even for novice players, and variant rules make it more accessible to younger players. It's an amazingly fun way to reinforce basic chemistry concepts — or play the Radioactive expansion for an intriguing, more challenging variant. This second edition features entirely new artwork, a new theme, and an updated rulebook for a faster, more exciting experience with further accessibility to new and old gamers alike.
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. This game from two to four players is a supreme test of logic skills.
Sharpen your math skills with this fun game from The Master Theorem Games! In Adsumudi, players try to get the adorable monster's answer with the numbers on the card. Each player chooses their own difficulty level, from two or more numbers (3 X 6 = 18) to the monstrously hard version using all five numbers (14 ÷ (6 ÷ (9 ÷ 3)) + 11 = 18). Each card has a difficulty level, too, so you'll really stretch your brain! You can play competitively, or you can select one of the collaborative gameplay options so you can problem solve together! This game can be played solo or with 2 to 6 players, and includes a total of 416 unique challenges in every box.
In What Bird Am I? your bird identification skills will get put to the test! This card game from Outset Media features 300 photographs with spectacular close-up photographs of birds from the continental US and Canada, and a series of five clues about the bird's identity. Your goal is to identify the bird species; the fewer clues you need, the more points you win! Three different levels of play ensure that everyone from budding birders to long-time birdwatching buffs can have hours of fun with this game.
Learn your multiplication in a visual way with this set from Math for Love, the creators of the award-winning games Prime Climb and Tiny Polka Dot! Three decks of flashcards present math facts in three different ways: Deck 1 features 25 cards based on "equal groups of" visualization; Deck 2 features 100 cards using an array visualization, and Deck 3 has 37 cards that help kids visualize prime factors. With games, puzzles, and other explorations, kids will quickly develop fluency with their math facts — and learn how the facts they're memorizing connect to real-life questions.
Move across the periodic table to win with this strategy board game from Genius Games! As you collect elements and activate periodic trends like "decrease atomic mass" or "increase atomic radii," you'll fulfill goals and win points you can use to take more powerful turns in the future. However, you have to end your turn in specific families of elements, so make sure you keep track of where you are! This game for 2 to 5 players includes a "Science Behind Periodic" booklet that was compiled and reviewed by 20 PhDs, scientists, and educators.
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!
Prime Climb is a beautiful, colorful, mathematical board game for 2 to 4 players! Roll the dice and add, subtract, multiply and divide your way to the center of the board, picking up Prime cards and bumping your opponents back to start as you go. The first person to get both pawns to space 101 wins! This brilliantly designed game is the perfect way to help solidify math concepts while making learning fun for kids and adults alike.
Create and adapt your own creature in this game that puts your creation against a dangerous world! Traits like a Hard Shell will protect you from carnivores, while a Long Neck helps you get food others can't reach. With a dynamic ecosystem happening around you, you'll have to adjust your plan without warning, so make sure you're ready. With over 12,000 different species to create, every game becomes a different adventure! Plus, this game has multiple expansions for even more options to help your creatures eat, adapt, 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.
Jump into the world of Mendelian genetics with this clever dice drafting game from Genius Games! In Genotype, you'll test your luck in St. Thomas' Abbey, the 19th century monastery where Gregor Mendel performed genetic experiments on pea plants. You start with a Pea Plant card that indicates what traits you need to collect. Then, draft dice so that you can collect those traits — or further your research. You can improve your chances of success with Punnet Squares to help you select parent plants... but watch out for Mutation Dice! This game for 1 to 5 players takes 45 to 75 minutes to play, and even comes with a booklet that explains the science behind the game.
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.
Walk through a garden gathering flowers in this soothing, simple card game from Pencil First Games that's perfect for relaxing play! In Floriferous, you've got three days to enjoy your garden full of flowering plants, friendly insects, and gorgeous sculptures. Your goal is to create a beautiful arrangement, while also enjoying the abundance of nature around you. As you play, your choices help determine how you'll score, and you even have the opportunity to take chances on face-down cards. When all is said and done, you'll score the sets you've collected to see who wins. This game features stunning watercolor artwork on the cards and beautiful wood tokens for play. It can be played with 1 to 4 players and takes approximately 20 minutes to play.
Race to program the world's first computer, the Analytical Engine, with this game inspired by the real-life story of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace! In this fast-paced game, you have to balance your quick mental math with some careful strategic thinking. Your goal is to help Patrons — renowned figures like Charles Darwin and Mary Shelley — by upgrading the Engine with subroutines that impress them. Do you want to collect a set now, or set up for a bigger one later? Do you take every second you have on the clock, or pressure your opponent by acting fast and flipping the timer? This fun, geeky technology game for 2 to 4 players takes 15 to 30 minutes to play.