In honor of Earth Day and Earth Month, we wanted to put together a list of games that celebrate the natural world. If you have a budding environmentalist in your life, these might be the perfect way to combine a love of board games with an interest in sustainability and conservation.
I know my own two kids, who share my love of the outdoors, appreciate a good themed game, and we definitely have a few of these in our rotation. Enjoy!
The game Planet is great for kids (ages 8 and up) with its 3D shapes. Your individual game board is actually a 12-sided planet, and your main goal is to build a balanced and thriving ecosystem throughout the game. Kids will love the power they have of creating their own miniature world and helping the animals that live on it. This one is perfect for family game nights.
Okay, so we'll admit we're a bit biased with this one on the list since it's our own. Trekking the National Parks was definitely created to celebrate the beautiful and amazing public lands we have in the United States. (You can read the story behind Trekking right here.) We're proud of this game and the way it weaves in facts about the national parks while still having plenty of strategy. Ages 10 and up.
With Ecos, you're in charge of shaping the world with grasslands, deserts, and oceans to prepare it for life. For ages 14 and up, players will feel empowered to create a vibrant, sustainable climate. This game has a long shelf life because there are so many different way to play it. It's different each time.
This game celebrates the life cycle of trees while learning about the science behind photosynthesis. It's simple enough to learn (ages 8 and up), and it's also good for those who love strategy games. There's a reason this one has won so many awards. It's truly a gorgeous game—perfect for anyone who has an appreciation for plants.
This card game has so many natural lessons and things to learn along the way. The general idea is that you're building ecosystems for wild animals, but you must learn the importance of balance as you go. It's a quick game to play in 20 minutes or less, and it's great for ages 14 and up. If you're a teacher or embrace gameschooling, this game is also perfect for classrooms and encouraging STEM lessons.
If you're not a bird nerd going into playing this game, then you might become one by the end. There are 170 beautifully illustrated bird cards in this game, which you'll learn about as you try to build habitats for them. It's a little more involved—expect game play to last an hour or more—and it good for ages 14 and up.