Curious what first graders should know before the school year starts? Wondering about second grade curriculum, or what math third graders are taught these days? You’re not alone! As parents, caregivers, and home educators, we naturally want our children to do well in school and to know how to best prepare them. If you’re ready to put those first-day jitters to rest, read on to discover some of the best back-to-school games for 1st-3rd graders.

Acorn Paws

2-4 players • 15 min • 7 & up

Skills Focus: Division with Remainders, Probability

Lend a paw and earn your share of acorns as the park squirrels gather all the loose acorns from around town and divide them up! In Acorn Paws, players select cards from their hand, trying to receive the most acorns from the day’s collection. Second graders hone their early core math skills like addition and subtraction within 20 as well as practice multiplication and division within 100.


2-5 players • 30 min • 8 & up

Skills Focus: Spelling, Vocabulary

Your third graders new favorite word game! In Chalk-A-Word, players make words from letter cards worth one or two points, in an attempt to get the highest score. Power cards add a strategy element, as they allow players to double points, swipe, copy, trade, or draw additional cards. Practice reading, spelling, and vocabulary, and be best prepared for third grade!

Cow Cents

2-6 players • 30 min • 6 & up

Skills Focus: Money, Addition, Subtraction

In Cow Cents, players learn about counting change through basic math skills to reach specific goals. Great for those entering first and second grade, Cow Cents is a math game focusing on addition and subtraction within 20 and helps to understand place value and properties of operation.

Do It Again!

2-8 players • 10 min • 7 & up

Skills Focus: Memorization, Gross Motor Skills

Stay in the game by using your memory skills to repeat the existing action sequence before performing the action on the card. Make a mistake, and you are out! In Do It Again!, second graders will brush up on core skills such as language, reading, and word recognition.

Pelican Cove

1-5 players • 30 min • 8 & up

Skills Focus: Algebra, Spatial Reasoning, Quick Thinking

Think fast to get your pelicans nested before time runs out in Pelican Cove, a fast-paced game great for third graders! Each pelican has their own preferences. Can you make them all happy? Each player takes a penalty stone for every pelican that is not placed correctly, and the player with the fewest penalties wins! Third graders play to improve skills surrounding the four operations of math while they sharpen their algebraic thinking.

Spell Trek

2-4 players • 30 min • 6 & up

Skills Focus: Vowels, Spelling

You’re off on a road trip around the world, but some animals are missing some vowels. Keep your adventure headed in the right direction by putting the animal letters back where they belong! In Spell Trek, first graders play to learn or revive their phonics and word recognition, speaking and listening comprehension, and vocabulary acquisition.

Discover More!

Planning to prep even more? Check out our Essential Games for Math & STEM and our Essential Reading & Language Arts Games to get the little ones ready for a great start to the school year.