We play a lot of board games in the class during free choice time. One of my favorites is Ticket to Ride: First Journey. Normally the children’s version of a game is a really skeletal version of the adult game, but not here! It has the same mechanics and concepts, but the towns all have icons to represent them on the map.
Fun fact: My home town of Helena is on both versions of Ticket to Ride.
Rules: Everyone gets 4 colored cards to start and 2 tickets. Every turn you can build or get 2 more cards. When you complete a ticket by building a path between the icons, you yell ‘ticket!’ and flip it over. First to 6 wins.
Skills taught: Abstract spatial reasoning, geography, being a kind competitor
Cost: $30 on Amazon.
Time/Players: 30 minutes/2-4 players (more is better)
Modifications for younger students: If the games go on too long, you can play first to 5 or even 4. Some kids need help figuring out the paths they are building but most are more than capable.
Can it be played if pieces go missing: It ships with extra trains, and the colored cards can be lost without much of an issue.
Is this a game only kids would like: I think adults would prefer the adult version, but this is a perfectly acceptable stand in for family game night.