Battleship: A Logic and Critical Thinking Skill Game for Kids

Battleship is a fun game and a great learning tool. It's a fun way to improve your child's graphing and critical thinking skills. Read on to learn more.

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Battleship comes in various forms from the online computer version, to the electronic desktop version (with lots of cool sounds), to the standard desktop version, to the paper and pencil version from which it all began.

How to Play

It's a game for two players, or two teams of 2-3 players each. Each player or team has a grid that the other side is not allowed to see. Each square in the grid is identified by a number and a letter. So the square located at column A, row 1 is called A1. The square located at column G, row 14 is called G14, and so on. Each side has a fleet of ships. Each ship is a different size and spans a different number of squares on the grid. Here's the breakdown of the ships each side gets in the Milton Bradley version, along with the number of squares each one spans on the grid:

  • 1 Aircraft Carrier (spans 5 squares)
  • 1 Battleship (spans 4 squares)
  • 1 Destroyer (spans 3 squares)
  • 1 Submarine (spans 3 squares)
  • 1 Patrol Boat (spans 2 squares)

Arrange your boats on your grid at various locations. Your opponent does the same. Then start hunting each other down. To do that, you take turns calling out the names of squares on the grid: A4, G19, F7, etc. If the location you call out is empty, your opponent says 'Miss!' If the location you call out happens to be occupied by an enemy ship, your opponent says 'Hit!' You track your hits and misses on a piece of paper, or, in the Milton Bradley version of the game, with different color pegs (red for hits, white for misses) that fit in the holes located in each square on the grid. When you hit a ship enough times (the Aircraft carrier takes 5 hits, for example) you've sunk it. When the enemy fleet is destroyed, you've won.

How is Battleship an Educational Game?

It's a very simple game, but it's a lot of fun and it's a great learning tool. Grids and coordinates can be intimidating for school kids. Being exposed to them for the first time in a fun context is the ideal icebreaker It is a great way for a child to get familiar with how grids work. It helps them to understand the relationship between the columns and rows, as well as the relationship between an actual object or sequence of events and their representation on a graph. Battleship requires logic and reason. You have to keep track of the shots you've taken. Trying to figure out where to shoot next sharpens probability skills. If you make a hit, you need to decide what square is your best next target. Battleship requires you to formulate a mental picture of your opponent's set up and to keep that picture in mind, making and remembering adjustments as the game unfolds and new information comes in. Not only that, but you need to be aware of what your opponent is doing also.

Battleship is a game of strategy, memory and logic. Playing Battleship and games like it can sharpen a child's mind. It's important to make learning fun for children. Taking time out for a game, even in the classroom, can be a great way to let off steam without abandoning your lessons completely.

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