Top 10 List of Games for Smart Kids

10. The ABC Game
This first game isn’t even a game you can purchase. It is simply a game that anyone can play, anywhere, anytime, and it seems to fascinate kids and adults alike. Although most kids like this game, smart kids will stay with it and want to play until the bitter end. Competition can get quite intense, especially if the category is popular. It is simply a game in which the players select a category (such as music groups) and start with the letter A. Each person tries to name a band or vocalist (whatever the group decides upon) that starts with A, and you stay in the game as long as you can name one that has not been said, at least someone playing can verify, or can be proven. Whoever is the last person to be able to give a correct answer wins the point for the letter A. Players then move to B, keeping the same category. Therefore, 26 points are possible and the game can last for hours, depending on the knowledge level of the players, the broadness of the category, and the determination and patience of the players!

9. Balderdash
This game is for smart kids who like to showcase their vocabulary and ability to BS, as well! Random odd and little-known words are selected from cards, and the object of the game is to trick players into believing that YOUR definition is the correct one. One player is the guesser, and he selects from everyone else’s fake definitions, but the real definition is mixed in as well. The guesser scores points by selecting the correct answer, and the other players score by having their fake definition selected as the correct answer. Everyone gets a turn as guesser, and some of the fake definitions are hilarious, while others are eerily believable, many times even more so than the correct answer itself! I think Wal-Mart carries this game.

8. Scattegories
Although this game has been around a while, it remains a favorite. Smart kids never seem to tire of thinking up words to fit categories! The object is to list as many words as one can. For example, if the letter rolled is B, players must list as many answers as possible to fit categories such as a)a famous musician b)a dessert c)an object found at a football game d)a cartoon character and so on. I think there are 8-10 categories on a list. There is a timer, but many times we just play until everyone agrees to stop. An extra point is given if the answer has two of the required letters, such as Bugs Bunny for cartoon character. The game can be even more challenging if there is a designated judge who will not allow cheap adjectives. For example, if the category was desserts, and someone said blueberry pie, blueberry would be considered a cheap adjective, because there are blueberry other things. Pie would be an answer if the letter rolled was a P for dessert. Butter Pecan ice cream would also be cheap. Ice cream starts with I. Of course, that is the strict version of the game, used by picky English teachers such as yours truly! Wal-Mart usually carries this game.

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7. True Colors
This is a game that works best among those who know each other pretty well. The object is to predict what the others think of you. Each player wears a different colored clip, and as questions are asked, they vote for whom they think best fits the description. For example, if the question is “Who is most likely to roll down the window and moo at some cows on a car trip?” and you want to vote for the player with the red clip, then a red card is used in the voting. Two votes may be cast. Votes may be both for one player, split between two players, or for oneself. Voting is private and cards are put covertly into little voting boxes which contain the question on top. Players pass the boxes around until all have secretly voted. Then players predict how many votes they will receive. This game causes a lot of friendly teasing, sneaky smiling, and loud laughing. I have seen this game at Wal-Mart.

6. Apples to Apples
This game is requested often by smart kids. On parent game nights for my classes, I have seen tables of smart kids with their siblings and parents all playing in mixed groups and wanting to stay long after the evening should have ended. Players are dealt cards with random topics and people listed. One might draw a hand with cards that said BATMAN, LONG UNDERWEAR, THE BOSTON TEA PARTY, MICHAEL JACKSON, CIGAR BUTTS, THE CIVIL WAR, YOUR PIGGY BANK and GRANDMA’S HAIRNET. A main topic card is set in the center of the players, such as SCARY. Players must then hurry to throw down a card UPSIDE DOWN that best fits the topic card. The last one to throw down a card must take it back and sit out this round. That causes players to either a)think fast for a good match with results that are often hilarious or b)make snap decisions with results that are often hilarious. Matching SCARY could be Michael Jackson (for various reasons), YOUR PIGGY BANK (scary if you are broke,) or GRANDMA’S HAIRNET (???). One player acts as “judge” and does not play a card but gets to decide the best match, using whatever logic he chooses. Others must remain silent and not influence the judging. The card that is selected as the best match is given to the player who played it, counting as a point for that player. Players take turns being the judge. I guess you have to play it to get how funny it can be, but trust me, it is!!! Several parents requested info on where to buy this game. I have seen this game at Barnes and Noble.

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5. Tri-Bond
This is truly for the sharp-minded! Questions range from hard to easy, so some editing might need to be done for younger players. Players are given 3 words that have something in common, such as STRAIGHT, HAT, SAFETY. (The answer is PIN = straight pin, hat pin, safety pin. ) I usually just read the clues and let the first person to answer correctly get a point. If one person is too good at it, I pronounce him winner and then have him help me read clues so that others get a chance to think and answer. This game doesn’t need a lot of explanation, but don’t think that it is not a great game just because I don’t babble on and on. It is an excellent and fun game. I have seen this game at Wal-Mart.

4. Smart Mouth
Smart kids love this game, but anyone who loves words will love it. Kids have begged to play this game! Two tiles at a time are drawn, and the object is to think of the longest word that begins and ends with those letters. If a M and an N is drawn, Player A might say MAN. He would be winning until Player B says MOAN. However, when player H gleefully shouts out MODERATION, he will most likely be the winner, unless someone can beat 10 letters. Of course, MUMMIFICATION would beat it, and I would win with my 13-letter word! Hee Hee. For some reason, smart kids are really competitive in this game and want to keep trying to beat the last word. I have seen this game at Barnes and Noble.

3. Loaded Questions
This is another game that is best enjoyed by smart kids who know each other pretty well. It’s also a really popular adult game, well. A small group of 4-5 makes the game more intimate and easier to play. If you have a large group, the cards can be divided among small groups of 4-5 once all have learned how to play. One player is the reader and guesser. He reads a question such as “Where would you hate to be stuck waiting?” The others write their answers and creativity is encouraged. Players are not supposed to lie, but there is always that chance. Then intense psychological analysis is needed to decide who could be lying or pretending to answer like someone else would or telling the truth. The guesser’s job is to determine whose answer is whose. The guesser scores a point for every correct guess. Players take turns being the guesser/reader. If the guesser reasons out loud, it is hilarious. Here are some answers I have seen to that question: HELL, WAITING IN LINE FOR THE PORTAPOTTY, WAITING IN THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE FOR STD RESULTS,(an 8th grader used that one after having to watch the ever-popular health video!) NEXT TO YOUR STINKY FEET. Wheee! Creative and funny answers are the best! I ordered my copy of this game from

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2. Set
This is an award-winning game that has been around for years, but is one of the best smart kid games I have ever found. It is playable by many different ages, but many times kids can learn it much faster than adults. It is very challenging for many! It is addicting once a player gets good at it, and I had a student say that he was dreaming about the symbols on the cards. In this game, players spread out 10-12 cards with various symbols face up. Players stare until they see a set of 3. Sets can be made by color, shape, number, or filler. Trying to explain it without pictures would take too long and be confusing, but trust me, the directions are clear and the game is absolutely wonderful. It engages several areas of the brain to play this game. After a parent game night, many parents have asked me where to find this game, and they promptly bought it for their kids. There is a reason this game won an award. Take my word for it! I have seen this game at Barnes and Nobel.

1. Blink
After I ordered a Blink game for my class, it was so popular that I had to order 8 more!!! It is played by only 2 people, but it gives the brain a real work out. It is a combination of the game above (Set) and also of the popular game played with a regular deck of cards called SPEED or SPIT, depending on where you were raised. It was called SPIT in Ohio and SPEED in Missouri. Again, after an early December parent night, this is a game that parents demanded to know where I got it, and many kids wound up with this game in their stockings! I have seen this game at Barnes and Nobel.

Remember, these games have been played and rated by a very tough audience of very smart kids, and they have come out as favorites year after year. They are some of my favorites to play as well, and I am over 40 years old!!! Note: Smart kids of most all ages can play these games! They can be modified for younger players, but I have seen smart kids as young as 3rd grade enjoy them without modifications.