Which was invented first, the wheel or fire? The record player or copy machine? Timeline is a game all about discovering world history and with easy & quick game play it makes a perfect game for just about anytime! In this card game for elementary ages and above time and history collide in a way that makes learning history fun.
Timeline is a fantastic series of games made by Asmodee and the premise is simple: make a timeline by placing your cards in chronological order. Simple, right?
Here is how game play works:
-Each Timeline card features a historical event, one side of each card is the fact side. The fact side tells you what date the event occurred and the person who discovered or invented it.
-Each player is dealt 5-7 cards, fact side down. Extra cards are placed in a reserve pile, fact side down.
-One card is turned fact side up. Players then take turns selecting one of their cards and placing it either before (to the left of) or after (to the right of) the turned-over card. Flip the card over to see if you are correct.
-If the player is correct game play moves to the next player. If the player is incorrect they discard the card, select another from the reserve pile, and their turn is over. As the game progresses a timeline is created (and your children start getting a great sense of time and start memorizing important dates!)
-The first player to correctly place all of their cards wins!
Some things you should know:
Timeline is an expandable series of games. Each game can be played independently or you can combine card packs to create a larger game.
Current Timeline game topics are Inventions, Science & Discoveries, Music & Cinema, Historical Events, American History, Diversity, and Americana.
Each game is stored in a metal tin so it’s an easily portable game. The tins stack together for easy storage of multiple games.
We love this game, it’s one that we can finish rather quickly so it’s a great game to play first thing in the morning or before bed. I originally purchased the Inventions deck for my 10 year old son as a Christmas gift and he enjoys it so much we recently added Science & Discoveries to our game closet.
The game states that it’s best for kids 8 & initially I thought “No way, any kid who can read can play this” but then I realized that 8 is probably an appropriate age for this game. Time is abstract, it’s not linear and as thus is kind of hard to visualize, especially for very literal younger children. To quote my favorite television show “[Time] is more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff”. Some kids may be able to play well before 8 and some may take longer. The good news is that you can always provide help so your child can have an enjoyable playing experience.
My own 8 year old son says of Timeline, “It’s great. I love playing it because it’s good history and I like history. It helps me learn what time things were invented and discovered.”
Timeline is a game I think all families should have in their closet. The games run in the $15 range but they’re frequently sold on Amazon for less, but even at full price the game play you get is worth the price.
Number of players: unlimited
Recommended ages: 8 & up
Reading level required: Moderate
Gameplay time: 10-30 minutes
Buy the game on Amazon
Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes, please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.