Monday, November 15, 2010

Games in the Library

National Gaming Day was celebrated on Saturday, November 13 in libraries across America.  ALA says, "National Gaming Day @ your library is an initiative of the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games."

We are celebrating Gaming Day in the Riverside Library this month by learning several new games. I have tried to build our game collection over the past three years.  I have focused on word games, strategy games, math games and games connected to books. All of the games in the library support curriculum in some way.

This week, to celebrate games, I'll share a game or two a day. Most of the games I have purchased have been reasonably priced and are somewhat durable. I would recommend them for elementary kids to play at school or at home.

Pentago is one of the most popular games in the library.  Pentago is a two person strategy game.  The goal of the game is to get 5 marbles in a row. The tricky part is that the 4 pieces of the board move. So, on every play, the player places one marble on the board and turns one part of the board one rotation. So, you really have to look ahead and predict in order to win.  Here is how it works.  This has been a favorite with grades 3, 4, and 5 and I recently introduced it to our younger students. They loved it too.

There is an online version of this game which I LOVE! Pentago Online.  It is a great tool for learning the game. Often, when kids begin to play, they forget to turn a piece of the board after they've placed a marble. The online game won't move on until the board is moved.  Also, the online game allows players to play against a friend or against the computer.  Playing against the computer is a great way to practice great strategies.

Plus, the sound that the online version of the game makes when someone wins makes the library a very happy place.


  1. Adding this to our house collection during the holidays. Thanks for sharing, we love a good strategy game.

  2. I just bought Scrabble Slam after seeing it at a workshop I was at. I haven't played it yet, but it looks like fun, small and compact (which is perfect for me because I travel to different schools) and seems like it is versatile for different ages. It was $5.99 at Target. :)

  3. We've had so much fun with Pentago since you recommended it last summer. We call it "tick-tac-toe-twist". The online game is great! Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic finds!

  4. I love the idea of having educational games in my elementary library, but I am wondering about the implementation. How do you build time into your day for the kids to play? Do they come at recess to play? When do you teach the rules? Thanks for the great game ideas!


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