8 Educational Video Games to Keep Kids Occupied

April 24, 2020

The last few weeks have changed the way that billions of people around the world live. The COVID-19 pandemic means that the vast majority of people are now stuck indoors and cannot go outside.

Parents looking for a way to keep their children occupied have a lot of options when it comes to video games. Of course, you might not want to let your youngsters loose on just any game. After all, there are plenty that are unsuitable for younger players. Fortunately, there are some great educational games available for all platforms that can help teach kids a few things while they have fun at the same time.

Endless Alphabet

Available on a variety of platforms, including Android, PC, and iOS, Endless Alphabet is a game that focuses entirely on teaching kids about letters and words. The language-based experience uses puzzles along with colorful characters to help teach the basics of sentence structure and how different words function. There’s also a variety of add-ons that can help with reading comprehension and even learning foreign languages. This is a game that is for younger children who aren’t yet in school or in early grades.

Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure doubles not only as an educational tool but also as a way of staying fit. This is even more important considering it is so much harder to exercise at the moment with the current restrictions on going outside. This Nintendo Switch game uses a special ring peripheral and various straps to measure and record your movements. It also features a wide variety of mini-games in addition to more formal workout routines, teaching kids the basics of staying fit and healthy. 

Animal Jam

Animal Jam is a hugely popular virtual world that is in the unique position of collaborating directly with the National Geographic Society. The main focus of Animal Jam is for players to explore the in-game environment and interact with the different elements. These can take the form of mini-games, small adventures, and trades between different players. The educational elements come in the form of facts and journal entries that try to teach users about animals and their natural habitats. 

Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts is a puzzle game created by the developer 5th Cell in 2011. Since then, there have been at least half a dozen sequels and spin-offs for a variety of platforms. The unique mechanic that helps it stand out is that typing out words summons the object or item within the in-game world. This forces the player to not only think creatively to decide what they should make appear but also be able to spell the subject in question. In that sense, it enhances problem-solving, vocabulary, and spelling all in one go. 

Minecraft

Minecraft has long found use as an educational tool. In fact, there’s a special version of the title specifically for use in schools to encourage creativity, problem-solving, and working together as part of a team. It has been used to help teach kids about everything from city planning to coding, using the standard gameplay available to all users. Microsoft and Mojang have also released new packs for the title that add lessons such as marine biology and tours of famous landmarks around the world.

Prodigy

Prodigy is a cross between a math game and an RPG. It features gameplay that is similar to the Pokémon series as players answer a variety of math questions to make progress. Users can also team up with friends and explore the world. Additionally, they can go on quests to unlock more challenging math problems that provide greater rewards upon completion. The fun gameplay should keep kids entertained while they learn valuable skills. Parents and teachers can even get access to personalized reports. So they can see where users are performing well or struggling in different math subjects.

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo Labo is fairly unique even for an educational video game. The experience combines traditional gaming with physical toys. Users build various items with special cardboard sheets provided with the game. The Japanese company aims to have the game help teach those playing about a range of topics. These include engineering and programming through easy-to-use peripherals, providing a basic understanding of the technology and how it works. Nintendo even offers kits to schools to use in classrooms around the world, demonstrating its educational potential. 

Rocksmith

Rocksmith is unlike most other music games in that it doesn’t use plastic peripherals. Instead, users plug in actual guitars and use them to play. A special adapter allows practically any bass or guitar to be plugged into consoles. Therefore the game supports platforms such as PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Once set up, the title essentially works as a learning tool to teach players the basics of playing musical instruments. While there is a large selection of songs available, the best resources are the lessons. These cover everything from basic chords to bends and slides.

What educational video games do your children enjoy? Tell us in the comments below!

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