It’s no wonder that video games are becoming an increasingly more popular form of entertainment for children. Not only that, but increasing numbers of parents are allowing their children to play hard-core games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty—games that will most likely not be appropriate for their young children. While some of these games are rated M for mature (which obviously is not appropriate for young children), others are not, and there’s growing concern that children as young as five are beginning to play video games.
Kids playing online games are nothing new. It’s nothing new for parents to worry about, either. What should kids be playing, and how should parents ensure gaming is safe? The Academy of Pediatrics made recommendations in March of this year, saying kids age 10 and younger should not play games that require or are distinguished by “more mature content.” But what about kids age 12 and older? You might be surprised to know that while kids 12 and older should be restricted from games with mature content, they should be allowed unrestricted access to “socially beneficial” online gaming. Here are the games for your child’s age.
Kids 5-8 Years Old
- Rhyme Blast – There’s no shortage of online games for kids, so finding one that both you and your child can enjoy can be challenging. One of these games is Rhyme Blast, which combines silly rhymes and songs with puzzles that teach kids about letters, numbers, and shapes. Instead of mindlessly tapping on numbers or letters, kids need to think out the rhythm of the words and use that knowledge to complete the puzzles. In addition to helping your child practice his reading skills, playing Rhyme Blast together is a fun bonding activity.
- Big Brain Academy – Most kids go through the learning process effortlessly, and while there are some that struggle, most learn quickly. However, if your child is struggling to learn, there might be a good reason. Many kids struggle with attention, learning, and remembering, and that may be related to a neurological issue. Big Brain Academy is an educational game designed by neuroscientists to help kids develop attention, memory, and learning.
Kids 9-11 Years Old
- Lego – The Lego video game series is just one of the popular children’s games that LEGO has reinvigorated over the years. Many other children’s games have been part of the LEGO toy company’s line over the years. These include LEGO games based on toys and characters such as Ninjago, City, Friends, and Star Wars. Today, the LEGO series of video games continue to do well with the gaming community. Lego City Undercover is the latest installment, which came out on October 30, 2015. It is a game designed for kids ages 8-11.
- Hearthstone – Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game (CCG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment. This popular game is free to download and play, but there are in-app purchases that players can choose to make. Hearthstone is currently one of the most popular mobile CCGs on the market; kids love to play it for hours and hours.
Kids 12 Above
- Marvel Avengers – The Marvel Avengers is actually an online game that is good for 12 years old kids. The game has several chapters, and you need to meet certain tasks or objectives to finish each chapter. The tasks are fairly easy, and you can skip them if you wish. The game has a lot of missions, and you can play with friends. You can also compete with other players online. The game is also divided into chapters. This makes it easy for you to play a certain chapter every day.
- The Sims 4 – Welcome to the world of The Sims. This simulation game is for ages 12 and up, and (according to its publisher, EA Games) it’s “the world’s most popular life simulation game franchise created by Maxis.” Publishers often like to refer to their games as family-friendly, but it’s no secret that The Sims is just a game, and while it might be fun for 12-year-olds, it might not be appropriate for all kids, and that’s why many parents play with their children.
Online games are a great way to teach kids or adults who are having a hard time learning or retaining information. Whether it’s math, history, or language, you can find an interactive game that helps you learn it better.