Previously in this series, we talked about video game safety for children. We discussed the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating systems. Additionally, we talked about keeping personal information personal and checking out children’s games as a form of bonding. However, this week we will discuss the best video games for kids.
Educational Online Games for Children
Online games were all the rage when I worked at my local elementary school. Sure, my students only talked about Five Nights at Freddy’s, but there are some fun educational games we can turn to!
|PBS Kids||PBS Kids has a variety of games spanning over 25 topics ranging from nature to vocabulary. Players can also search for games based on their favorite PBS Kids characters.|
|Math Playground||Math Playground helps make math exciting for students in first through sixth grade. Games focus on various topics, including addition, division, and geometry.|
|Code Monkey||CodeMonkey is an online educational platform that utilizes game-based learning to teach programming concepts in a fun and interactive manner to children. It offers a variety of courses, challenges, and puzzles, which help students develop their coding skills and boost their creativity.|
|ABCYa||ABCYa was created by teachers and offers games catered to elementary students. Topics include math, typing, science, and more.|
|National Geographic Kids||National Geographic Kids has over 100 games focused on science and geography. Players can find puzzles and action-packed games while learning about our world.|
|Hour of Code||Hour of Code is a great way to help children learn the basics of coding! The topics come from other known video games such as Minecraft or Angry Birds.|
Less Educational Console Games for Children
When I was a child, I was less impressed when my mom forced me to play ClueFinders over my summer break. Therefore, sharing a list of appropriate games and focusing a little less on learning is also essential.
|Animal Crossing: New Horizons||Nintendo Switch||Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows players to live peaceful lives on an island full of fun animal friends. They can also craft furniture, explore nearby islands, and catch many critters!|
|Disney Dreamlight Valley||Nintendo Switch, PS 4/5, Xbox One/X/S, Mac, PC||Disney Dreamlight Valley is another life sim but filled with Disney characters. Players can cook, expand their town, and create friendships with their favorite characters.|
|Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart||PS 5||Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a shooting game with fun graphics. Players can explore a vast world and take down evildoers.|
|Spyro Reignited Trilogy||Nintendo Switch, PS 4/5, Xbox One/X/S, Mac, PC||Spyro Reignited Trilogy is the remastered game with the dragon we all know and love. This 3D platformer allows players to take on puzzles and baddies and learn some lessons along the way.|
|Just Dance 2022||PS 4/5, Xbox One/X/S||Just Dance 2022 is a fun way to get the whole family involved! Like DDR, players dance the night away using a smartphone app to track their moves.|
Odds and Ends
Overall, I hope this list helps to spark some ideas on the best video games for kids. There are many games to choose from; however, I felt that only rated E games should be included in this list. As a kid, I highly enjoyed Harvest Moon, The Legend of Zelda, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Winners Circle. I would love to hear your favorite games growing up in the comments section!