In the game, each player is trying to complete multiple train routes that each connect two cities. It’s a pretty simple concept, but there’s a lot of strategy involved—routes can be blocked when another player claims an area of tracks and different routes allow you to acquire varying amounts of points. Points are collected throughout the game, and the person with the most points wins.
Each of the different versions of the game also include added elements that will change the strategy of how you play. Ticket to Ride is recommended for ages 8+.
While playing this game, your kids will learn some geography while practicing their math and strategy skills. But the learning doesn’t need to end when the game does!
Learning Activities for Ticket to Ride
Read and Write
I love that games often start as a story. On the back of the box, Ticket to Ride says,
October 2, 1900—28 years to the day that noted London eccentric, Phileas Fogg accepted and then won a £20,000 bet that he could travel Around the World in 80 Days. Now at the dawn of the century it is time for a new impossible journey. Some old friend have gathered to celebrate Fogg’s impetuous and lucrative gamble—and to propose a new wager of their own. The stakes: $1 Million in a winner-takes-all competition. The objective: to see which of them can travel by rail to the most cities in North American—in just 7 days. The journey begins immediately…
Read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. Talk about the story, characters, and what happens. Notice how the author crafts the story. Was there a great use of imagery or an excellent descriptive paragraph? Point it out. For more ideas on how to expand your read-aloud, join our community and download Making the Most of Your Read Aloud!
Write your own short story based on the game you play. Read the description of the game above or on the back of the box. Take notes about what cities you connect as you complete your destination cards. Do some research on those cities to add realistic details to your story.
Then look at your notes and use them to write your short story. Be sure to include illustrations! You can even make it a children's picture book if you prefer.
Create journal entires as if you are a character riding on the train. What might you see as you travel? What does it feel like? Be sure to research the railroad in 1900 in order to add an authentic feel to your journal entries.
Write a letter. This is a variation on the journal entries, but instead you'll write a letter to a friend telling them about your trip.
Plan A Trip
Plan a trip based on one of the destination cards. Choose a destination card. Do some research to see how long this trip would take your family to go on it. What would you need to pack? What would you want to do or see along the way and when you arrive at your destination city? How much money do you think you’ll need for the trip? After you’ve done some research, make an itinerary for your trip and a budget. You can even create a travel brochure!
Advanced: What if you lived in. The 1900s? How would that change what you planned?
Create Your Own Version
Choose a state and create your own Ticket to Ride game within that state. Draw the state you select on a poster or foam board. Select some of the cities across the state and lay down the track just like the original game. Make your own destination cards. When you are done, get the family together to play the game using the trains from your Ticket to Ride game.
Be sure to design a game box, create a back story, and add your own twists to the game!
Learn About Railroads and Trains
Learn about the transcontinental railroad. How did the railroad change America? What opportunities were now available? What was the impact on different groups of people? Make a poster highlighting what you learn and do a presentation for your family. History's Transcontinental Railroad is a great place to start.
All aboard! Come along and join us in this engaging unit study, Trains! We’ll learn about the history of trains and about steam engines and inventors. With the Internet, we will watch train cams from around the world, visit railroad museums, and see all kinds of trains and rolling stock. We can read original newspaper accounts of the famous “Golden Spike” and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, and so much more!
🚂 Use coupons code: HSTTRAINS and get it for just $8! 🚂
Learning activities can be inspired by so many different things that you have right around you.
What games do you love playing as a family? Ask your kids to help you think of learning activities you can do along with you family's favorite games. Share your ideas in the comments below!
Kay Chance homeschooled her children for fifteen years. While teaching them, she discovered a passion for writing and developing curriculum resources. She loves sharing natural learning methods and creative lesson ideas with other homeschooling parents.
Kay is the Co-executive Editor of Homeschooling Today magazine and the author of the older extensions for the Trail Guide to Learning series. She makes her home in Texas with her husband Brian.