University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Collage of small circles connected by lines, a large bird, a rabbit, game pieces and dice
Illustration by Hanna Barczyk

Board Games That Put Learning into Play

These three games are educational for both teens and adults

At U of T Mississauga’s Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, students will find the Boardgame Café – a place where they can relax and make new friends while playing a game of their choice. The café is run by the centre’s learning strategist, Thomas Klubi. He says playing board games enhances the student experience but also fosters academic competencies, such as social skills and information processing. Due to COVID-19, Klubi has cancelled the café for now – although playing continues online. Below, Klubi and his student mentors recommend three games that are good for both teens and adults.

Photo of Pandemic board game box


Klubi calls it “the best cooperative game” he has ever come across as multiple players, each fulfilling a different role, learn about managing a pandemic while trying to discover the cure. It’s especially appropriate for the current situation, he adds.


Photo of Wingspan board game box


Aside from its esthetics and artwork, this ornithological board game is praised for how it encourages players to learn about bird habitats, wildlife and nature. It is a great example of an entry-level strategy game that essentially teaches you as you play.


Photo of Root board game box


Two to six people play as animals fighting for control of the forest in a game that incorporates economics and psychology. With so much variance in how Root unfolds, you won’t get bored no matter how many times you play.

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *