Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Trivia board games have been around for decades. These games have become family favourites and can be found in almost every Canadian home. Their popularity is due to the fact that they are a fun and educational activity the whole family can enjoy. There is an ever-growing selection of these games, although without a doubt, the most well known one is Trivial Pursuit.

Trivia games rely on more than luck and strategy, they require the players to have knowledge and to use their brain power — for this reason, not everyone is a fan of these types of games. However, due to the fact that they generally have questions concerning history, geography, art and other relevant topics, one could argue that players have an opportunity to learn a lot more from trivia games than from other types of board games.

Key Facts

  • Because trivia games require the players to have acquired knowledge in order to answer the questions, most of these games are meant for persons ages 8 and up and they are usually played with two or more players.
  • Trivia games are a type of board game where players are asked questions about different interesting but unimportant facts in many diverse topics. However, they can sometimes follow a particular theme.
  • These games can have many positive benefits to players of all ages. In Canada, trivia games are even used as learning and therapeutic tools by teachers, psychologists and speech therapists. They not only encourage teamwork and cooperation, they also contribute to cognitive development and concentration.

The best trivia games on the Canadian market

When trying to find an activity that is both fun as well as educational, trivia games are your best option. In this section, we have gathered the best-selling trivia games currently available to Canadians. All of these games are meant for the whole family to enjoy and by choosing any of them, you’re guaranteed to have some great fun.

Cards Against Humanity

This card game has become one of the most popular games amongst adults and is one that never gets old. This is a party game for adults, as the creators say, “a game for horrible people”. This game comes with a 600 different cards (500 white and 100 black) that contain different naughty sentences for you to choose from. This set offered is version 2.0! New and improved with 50 more cards and funnier phrases.

This is a game that can be played with large groups. The perfect game for any party; birthday parties, holiday parties, work parties or bachelor parties. The whole group will end the night laughing with sore bellies. This particular version includes Canadian cards so funny you’ll forget you’re Canadian! Each game comes with a booklet of rules and preposterous alternate rules for added fun. This game can get a bit racey so beware and let loose! It comes in an easy to transport box for on the go fun.

Outset Media — Canadian Trivia: Family Edition

From St. John’s to Kitimat, from Niagara Falls to Baffin Island, this game covers all topics about the beautiful country of Canada! You never know learning about Canada could be so much fun. This game is the perfect combination between entertainment and education and is great for the whole family. There are three different levels, junior, expert and genius. It comes with a large amount of cards with a variety of topics and questions, a board and small wooden pieces.

Take this game with you wherever you go for family fun, weather that be in the house, sleepovers, camping, birthday parties or family reunions. Directions for the game are included and easy to follow. The creators, Outset Media and the Manga Family, created this game to promote and encourage Canadian products, culture and the economy. Some questions can be quite difficult and get the brain working but don’t be discouraged! This game is centred around a whole learning experience!

National Geographic — Kids Quiz Whiz

This super fun, mind-bending game will have your kids laughing, learning and expanding their minds with 1,000 fun, fascinating quiz questions. These aren’t the kinds of quizzes that kids take in school. Instead, this game is full of fun trivia that kids will love to share with their friends and family. They can even put their whole family to the test to see who scores the highest! With a dynamic design and tons of colourful photos, these quizzes are interactive and enthralling.

Created by National Geographic, this game is based off of one of their most popular features on their website. This collection of quizzes include a wide variety of themes and models. It includes true-and-false questions, photo-inspired quizzes that include questions about animals, weather, countries and more. This compact book is the perfect size to carry with you in a backpack or purse to take with you anywhere, whether that be to school, the dentist’s waiting room or a friends house. This is one of Amazon’s best selling games.

Gareth Moore — Brain Games for Clever Kids

This book created by author Gareth Moore is the perfect companion for any vacation or day at home with the kids. This collection contains more than 90 puzzles, including memory, word and number workouts. The colourful book entertains kids while working the mind with code games, battleship, and challenging spot-the-difference puzzles. This small book is an excellent source of entertainment when your family is on the go and your kids need entertainment.

This game offers hours of fun for the kids and the whole family influenced by cultures from around the world. There are Japanese puzzles including hanjie, kakuro, hitori, and sudoku. There are mathematical mind-benders, minesweepers, word games and more. This is a great book for teachers and tutors to include in their classrooms to keep kids entertained and using their brains all at the same time. Some of these puzzles can be a bit challenging, and many reviewers recommend this book for kids 8 and up. Highly rated, this is a fantastic boredom-buster for even the cleverest of kids!

Hasbro — Trivial Pursuit: Questions and Answer Book

One of the most well-known trivia games, Trivial Pursuit, is now offered in an ultimate paperback special edition. This is one of the largest collections of Trivial Pursuit questions ever compiled, providing hours of fun for an affordable price. This book is a test for even the toughest of competitors and is great for both groups and solo entertainment. Trivia junkies from all around the world love this game.

This book can be used either as a trivia game, or simply a question and answer book guide for looking to pass the time without any form of competition. Almost every subject you could possibly think of is covered in this book: art, entertainment, history, geography, science, sports and more. Buyers love how this book is set up and say this is one of the best Trivial Pursuit games that has been created. It’s a great travel buddy that fits easily into a backpack, even for the lightest of travellers.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about trivia games

Everyone likes to showcase their knowledge — probably why these kind of games are so much fun. You get to show your skills while also learning all sorts of fun facts. If you have all the right information at the time of purchase, you can get a lot out of these types of games. For this reason, in this next section we have answered all the frequently asked questions buyers have to help ensure you get the most out of the game you buy.

people, emotions and communication concept - group of friends or students covering faces with paper sheets

people, emotions and communication Trivia games can be fun and challenging for everyone, not just children. (Source: Dolgachov: 41728565/ 123rf.com)

What are trivia games and where did they come from?

Trivia games are a type of game in which players are asked a series of questions about different themes — the goal is to get as many correct answers as possible. Trivia games are usually organised during family gatherings, at the cottage, at parties and as pub entertainment.

The themes of these games are often educational in nature and they cover topics from history, literature, sports and entertainment, among many others. Normally contestants are organised in teams and the team who gets the highest score wins.

Trivia games started and date back to the extremely successful board game Trivial Pursuit, which was created by sports editor Scott Abbott and photographer Chris Haney. It was brought to market in 1981 and within just one year it was already famous. To date, it has sold around 88 million copies worldwide and it continues to be the favourite of its genre.

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Did you know that the leading bestseller trivia game in Canada, and worldwide for that matter, is indisputably Trivial Pursuit from Hasbro.

What are the benefits of trivia games?

Board games overall are already considered educational and beneficial to children. However, trivia games in particular, are known to be great tools for educational purposes while also providing entertainment. As you may know, in Canada it has been established that the best way for kids to learn is through play. Below are some of the benefits of playing trivia games:

  • Increases and improves concentration: Players must pay attention in order to understand the question quickly and give the right answer in time.
  • Helps improve communication and social skills: By having to play with others, players have to constantly compromise and negotiate with players in order for the game to be successful.
  • Develop and hone skills of cooperation and teamwork: The majority of these games are meant to be played in groups or teams.
  • Supports cognitive development: With trivia games, children and adults alike, continuously learn while playing. Since most of the questions are educational in nature, contestants are gathering knowledge in all sorts of topics throughout the session.
  • They teach kids about structure and rules: Because of the dynamic flow these types of games tend to have, in order for the game to be successful everyone must follow the rules.
  • Great lessons in winning and losing: These types of games help players appreciate that the most important thing is to have fun and maybe learn a few things while playing.

What is the recommended age for playing trivia games?

In order to actively participate in these games players usually need to be competent readers (for reading cards and other aspects of the game), they also need to have adequate listening, concentration and interpersonal skills.

This means that unfortunately, the biggest downside of this kind of game is that they are typically designed for 8 years and over. Nonetheless, in some cases you can still find games where children as young as 6 can play.

Depending on the theme you can find games with questions that are designed mainly for adults. However, in most games questions are normally designed for a wider age range that also includes school-age kids. Keep in mind that even in these games, a younger child may not yet have the required knowledge or skills to play the game.

In these cases, they may still benefit from participating while not actually being active participants, listening will also result in learning. This of course depends on the child’s ability to self regulate, because they will have to sit and listen most of the time.

Regine GalantiClinical Psychologist

“I often use board games as a mechanism to work on parent-child relationships. They can also be used to promote the child’s ability to self regulate”

What categories of trivia games are there?

In Canadian toy stores today you will find a wide selection of brands, themes and types of trivia games. The objective in all of these games is fairly similar, they are generally designed to encourage players of all ages to learn new things while having fun. Each game however, will have a different theme or topic, this is what usually sets one model apart from the other. Here’s a list of the most popular trivia themes in Canada:

  • Geography: In these games you’ll find questions about rivers, capitals, mountains and countries, among other geographical topics. Sample question: “What country has the largest population in the world?”
  • Literature and art: These games will ask about artists and their works throughout the ages. You’ll learn about actors, writers, painters, books, films and music. Sample question: “Who is the author of the Harry Potter books?”
  • History: The games in this theme cover interesting facts about places, dates, characters and events throughout history. Sample question: “Which countries where involved in the Second World War”?
  • Entertainment: These games will have questions that will relate to  movies and theatre, directors, actors, music and festivals. Sample question: “What Disney movie has the villain Yaffar?”
  • Science and nature: With this games you’ll be asked questions about the human body, animals, matter, space and scientific inventions. Sample question: “What are the organs in the human body?”
  • Sport and hobbies: This games will ask you questions about different sports like basketball and baseball, the Olympics, athletes and records. In these games you’ll find questions like: “To date, what country has won the most Olympic gold medals?”

Should parents play trivia games with their children?

Absolutely, even if the game is made for younger audiences, they can still be lots of fun for adults as well. Grown-ups will enjoy them the same way — having fun while learning new fun facts. What’s more, playing with your kids will mean working together as a team, improving everyone’s skills of communication and cooperation.

As you can see, trivia games have many advantages for all who play, whether it is with your children or not. These games are even used in schools and a range of other educational and therapeutic settings. Either way, bringing one of these games home is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Mother and son playing modern board game in teenage room at home

It is well known in Canada that children learn best through play.(Source: Leszek Glasner: 104289038/ 123rf.com)

What types of trivia games are there?

There are of course the classic trivia games like Trivial Pursuit. However, over the years other forms of trivia games have popped up, adding a great deal of variety to the genre by including, for example, writing elements, electronic components and different categories and themes. All of these games will also be intended for different age ranges and with varying levels of difficulty.

There are also special editions of Trivial Pursuit and other models which have been released over the years, each with their own specific theme. Some of the most famous are “Friends” and “Game of Thrones” with questions relating to the shows and their production. There are also editions aimed at younger audiences with themes like “Disney Characters” and “Harry Potter”.

Shopping criteria

Now that you know the basics about trivia games and, above all, their many benefits, we have no doubt you’re probably considering getting one for your kids, or maybe even for yourself! When looking to find a game that will suit your needs or be apt for the whole family, follow the criteria we outline in this next section. With this information and keeping in mind that in Canada there are excellent (and endless) choices, we are certain you are sure to find the perfect game.

Ages

Trivia games are usually designed for players ages 8 and up, so this is the first thing you should keep in mind when trying to find the most adequate game. That being said, these games are great for adults as well, so it may also be something you buy to play with friends.

If you keep in mind the age of the people who will be playing the game, you’ll easily be able to determine which game and theme is more appropriate, from “Disney” editions for kids to Trivial Pursuit’s genius or “Star Wars” editions for older players. Worry not, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

Beatrice Tauber Prior

“Families today are struggling to find the balance between digital and [real-life] connections, board games help provide a tool for that emotional [real-life] connection to each other.”

Categories and themes

In the sections before we covered the most popular themes in trivia games. This is good to keep in mind because in some cases, certain categories may be more suitable than others. For instance, your children may love the Lord of the Rings movies and books, so an edition relating to this epic story may be the best option to keep them involved.

On the other hand, keep in mind that if you buy a certain special edition, it may very well be that not everyone in the family wants to play because they lack the specific knowledge related to that subject. If it’s the case that people from different ages and backgrounds will be playing together, we suggest you opt for a trivia game that offers varying degrees of difficulty, and that it offers topics of general knowledge — this will ensure that everyone will enjoy the game.

Happy young parents and two little daughters playing board game at home

It is important for families to be able to enjoy activities together.
(Source: Iakov Filimonov: 51765920/ 123rf.com)

Number of players

The majority of trivia games are designed for multiple players, but you should check whether they can be played with just two people. This is particularly important so that your children can enjoy the game by themselves. This is also relevant if you intend to play the game with the whole family, like over the Christmas holidays for example, in these cases you should make sure the game allows for a large number of participants.

If you find there are more people than the official number of maximum players, you have the option of playing in teams. Usually this could mean splitting into pairs or even sometimes groups as large as 6 people teams. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to play as a family, and having all family members being active participants.

Game format

Despite the fact that trivia games are simultaneously lots of fun and educational; children and adults who are more active may find some of them lack the movement and energy requirements to keep them involved. If you know this is the case, try to find games that are a little more complex, adding pressure with things like a time limit is a great way to increase the stakes.

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In Canada, board games are often used by paediatricians, psychiatrists, and speech therapists because of their many benefits for children’s development.

Game duration

This is a very important consideration for some players, either because the game may not offer a lot of playing time, or because they get bored with games that seem to go on forever. It’s good to keep in mind that most trivia games usually take at least an hour to play, this is of course largely depends on the number of players and how well they do.

Summary

Without a doubt, board games are one of the best ways for everyone to have fun and, beyond that, trivia games are the best way to have fun while also learning all sorts of fun facts. As we mentioned throughout this guide, these games offer countless benefits: they promote teamwork while teaching players to win or lose graciously and they help improve overall communicational and interpersonal skills, to name a few.

When trying to choose the right trivia game, it’s important to consider the age range the game is intended for, the number of players, and the categories included in the questions. Even though Trivial Pursuit is the first game that comes to mind when we say trivia, it’s good to keep in mind that there are many different themes and models of trivia games available to Canadians, all which offer a wide array of different topics to suit all sorts of different interests.

We hope you’ll be inspired to find one of these awesome games to enjoy playing with your kids, all while also learning fun facts. Please share this article on social media and let us know which game is your favourite in the comments below!

(Source of the featured image: Pavel Zhukov: 92649752/ 123rf.com)

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