Little boys, especially, have a natural fascination with war games. Such games do not need to be violent, and the games can challenge a child's imagination and thinking skills while teaching her about history. Whether it's playing with classic toy soldiers, plotting strategy with board games or helping a pilot land on a ship in a simple video game, WWII games can provide hours of fun for kids.
Kids love playing with toy soldiers. Airfix bills itself as "the oldest UK manufacturer of scale plastic model kits," which it has been producing since 1952. The company produces a variety of WWII scaled figures, including U.S., German, Australian and Russian infantry figures as well as and U.S., British and German paratroopers. Each kit contains 14 unpainted figures that are perfect for kids at least 8 years old. Paint--in service brown, dark earth, flesh and gunmetal--is also available for each product.
Airfix Customer Care
Hornby Hobbies Ltd.
Kent, CT9 4JX, UK
01 843 233525
Axis & Allies
For ages 12 and up, Wizards of the Coast produces updated versions of the classic WWII board game Axis & Allies by Avalon Hill. These include Axis & Allies Europe 1940, Diplomacy, Guadalcanal and D-Day, among others. Axis & Allies D-Day, for example, "captures this dramatic conflict and places you squarely in the middle of the greatest battle of the 20th century." This game includes a 20-by-33-in. game board/map and 241 combat unit playing pieces along with tanks, blockhouses, fighters, bombers, tactical cards, reinforcement charts and dice. It can be played with two to three players.
Wizards of the West Coast
1600 Lind Avenue SW, Suite 400
Renton, WA 98055
World War II Game
Educational Materials Associates, a producer of educational games and posters for students, teachers and history buffs, makes a World War II Game designed to enable players to learn WWII history and geography. The game teaches both the European and Pacific fronts, the Allied and Axis forces, commanders, battle results, chronology, locations and dates--and more. Each kit includes a playing board, game cards, activities, battle and campaign summaries and a resource booklet and study guide. The standard edition can be played with one to six players while the teacher's edition is for up to 30 students.
Educational Materials Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 7385
Charlottesville, VA 22906
World War II Flash Games
The Eldred World War II Museum's website features World War II flash games that can be played online. The cartoon-like graphics and simple rules lack most of the violent elements of the standard war video games. For example, in "Solo Hero," the player takes the role of a WWII pilot who has just returned from a successful raid but has to cross enemy territory to get back to his ship. To win points, the player must destroy enemy planes and tanks and land his plane on the deck of the ship. There are 14 games in all on the site.
Eldred World War II Museum
201 Main Street
P.O. Box 273
Eldred, PA 16731
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