In the digital age, online gaming has become a popular pastime for children of all ages. As parents and guardians, it’s crucial to ensure that these games are not only entertaining but also safe and age-appropriate. This article explores the best online games for kids, focusing on those that offer a balance of fun, learning, and safety.
Minecraft is more than just a game; it’s a tool for creativity. It allows kids to build and explore their own worlds, learn basic coding with the Minecraft: Education Edition, and enhance problem-solving skills. Its multiplayer mode also teaches teamwork and collaboration. The game has a “Peaceful” mode which is great for younger kids to play without the stress of enemies.
Roblox is a platform where kids can create and play games made by other users, making it a vast universe of user-generated content. The games range from simple obstacle courses to complex simulations. Roblox has parental controls that allow parents to restrict chat functions and limit access to a curated list of age-appropriate games.
3. Animal Jam
Animal Jam, developed in partnership with National Geographic, is an online virtual world for kids. It offers a safe and educational environment where children can learn about animals and the environment. The game has built-in chat filters to prevent inappropriate language and moderators to ensure a safe playing environment.
4. Lego Games
The various Lego video games available online are excellent for children who enjoy building and creativity. These games are not only fun but also promote problem-solving and cognitive skills. Titles like “LEGO Marvel Superheroes” and “LEGO City Undercover” offer adventures in a kid-friendly package.
5. PBS Kids Games
PBS Kids Games offer a range of educational games based on PBS Kids television shows. These games are designed to educate and entertain, teaching kids about science, math, reading, and more. They are particularly suitable for younger children.
6. Prodigy Math Game
Prodigy Math Game is an educational game that makes learning math fun and interactive. Aimed at 1st to 8th graders, the game covers over 1,400 math skills in a game-based format that is engaging and visually appealing to children.
Starfall has been helping kids learn to read through phonics for years. It now includes additional subjects like mathematics and music. Starfall activities are research-based and align with Individual and Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics.
8. Club Penguin Rewritten
Club Penguin Rewritten is a remake of the classic Club Penguin game, providing a safe, virtual world for kids to explore, play games, and interact. The game has strict safety features including a moderated chat, making it a safe online environment for kids.
Created by Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Poptropica is a story-based virtual world where children can explore, take on challenges, and play games. The game’s content is both educational and entertaining, with stories and characters that keep children engaged.
10. Toca Boca Games
Toca Boca’s series of games for mobile devices are immensely popular among younger children. These games encourage creativity and exploration, with kid-friendly themes and easy-to-understand gameplay. Titles like “Toca Life: World” allow kids to create their own stories and characters.
11. Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch allows kids to create their own Super Mario levels. It is an excellent game for encouraging creativity in children, as they can design levels and then
play through them or share them with others. The game is intuitively designed, making it easy for kids to understand and get creative with game design.
12. Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 is a kid-friendly shooter for the Nintendo Switch that replaces bullets with paint. This game emphasizes teamwork and strategy over violence, making it a great choice for younger gamers. Its colorful graphics and fun gameplay mechanics are appealing to kids, while also fostering a sense of competition and skill development.
13. Nintendo Labo
Nintendo Labo combines the fun of video games with the creativity of building. The kits allow kids to build cardboard accessories for the Nintendo Switch, which can then be used in various games. This hands-on experience is not only entertaining but also educational, teaching basic principles of engineering and physics.
14. Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is an adventure game that’s perfect for kids who enjoy platformers. The game features cooperative gameplay, allowing family members to join the fun. Its vibrant world, humorous characters, and manageable difficulty level make it an excellent choice for children.
15. Just Dance Series
The Just Dance series is a great way for kids to get active while gaming. The game encourages physical movement, as players mimic dance routines shown on the screen. It’s an enjoyable way for kids to exercise and perfect for family playtime.
16. Rocket League
Rocket League combines soccer with cars, creating a fast-paced and fun game that’s easy to understand but hard to master. While it’s competitive, the game’s playful concept and approachable gameplay make it suitable for kids and teens.
17. Slime Rancher
Slime Rancher is a charming, first-person, sandbox experience where players manage a farm of adorable slime creatures. It’s a relaxing game that teaches resource management and responsibility, with a cute aesthetic that appeals to younger players.
18. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game that is surprisingly deep and engaging for kids. It teaches time management, resource allocation, and the importance of routine, all in the context of a fun and engaging game world.
While not a game in the traditional sense, Scratch is an online platform where kids can learn to code by creating their own interactive stories, games, and animations. It’s a great tool for learning the basics of programming in a fun and accessible way.
20. Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids offers a variety of free educational games for children. The content is age-appropriate, covering topics from math and reading to logic and emotional skills, all presented in an engaging, interactive format.
The world of online gaming for kids is vast and varied, offering numerous options that are both safe and entertaining. These games can provide educational benefits, foster creativity, teach problem-solving skills, and even help with physical activity. As with any online activity, it’s important for parents to monitor and engage with their children’s gaming habits to ensure a safe and healthy balance. With the right games, online gaming can be a beneficial and enjoyable part of a child
‘s life, offering a platform for learning, development, and fun.
When selecting games for children, consider the child’s interests and developmental stage. Games like “Minecraft” and “Roblox” allow for creative expression and problem-solving, while “PBS Kids Games” and “Prodigy Math Game” offer more structured educational content. For physical activity, games like the “Just Dance series” are excellent choices.
It’s also crucial to establish ground rules for online gaming, such as setting time limits, ensuring games are age-appropriate, and discussing the importance of online safety. Parents should utilize parental controls and engage in open conversations about the content encountered in these games.
Remember, the best online games for kids are those that provide a balance of fun, learning, and safety. They should encourage creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and physical activity, while also giving children a chance to explore new worlds and ideas in a secure environment. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the options for child-friendly online gaming, offering new and exciting opportunities for learning and play.