Did you know that children learn by playing? Even games that are not marketed as educational games tend to have value, teaching children life skills and other important elements for their development. With the advent of educational online games, many parents are wondering whether it’s worth the extra screen time for their children to play these educational games online.
There are plenty of free educational games to be found online. SplashLearn.com, FunBrain.com, and Kids.NationalGeographic.com are all examples of sites that offer kids the opportunity to learn for free. SplashLearn is great for math, FunBrain teaches topics that include math and science, and National Geographic Kids provides brain teasers to help kids develop cognitive skills. There are many other games available, too, and some of the best educational video games include:
- Big Brain Academy: Centered on the concept of measuring a player’s brain mass, Big Brain Academy offers questions to answer and problems to solve, including color coordination, shape matching, and image identification, then scores the players performance.
- World Rescue: This game teaches kids about real-world problems without being too scary or heavy handed. Inspired by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, World Rescue addresses issues like Zero Hunger, Climate Action, and Gender Equality.
- Animal Jam Classic: This massive multiplayer online game was made in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and teaches kids about Zoology.
- Endless Alphabet: A mobile game for young children, Endless Alphabet helps teach them the alphabet and build their vocabulary. The game uses simple words, colorful characters, and animated descriptions, as well as puzzles for children to learn letter shapes and audio to help without how words and letters sound.
- Cities: Skylines: This one is not branded as an educational game, but it can be a great tool for learning. Players are given a vacant plot of land on which to build a thriving city, and the game teaches about city infrastructure, including aspects like road planning, emergency service placement, pollution, employment, and budget.
- Prodigy: Placing players in a fantasy world, the game tasks them with adventures that require math to complete. This is a great way to teach children math skills.
- Wordscapes: A crossword puzzle, this game provides a selection of letters that players must combine to find words that fit into the spaces. It’s a great game for learning to spell, and helps enhance player’s vocabulary.
- Civilization 6: Like Cities, this one isn’t branded as educational, but it almost seems to trick kids into learning. Set in the Ancient Era of 4000 BC, it tasks players with building an entire civilization through the ages, until 2050 AD at the latest. Players build cities, research topics, build wonders, and more.
- Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: We know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry. While Assassin’s Creed is known for combat as much as historical information, the Discovery Tour version has all the combat and missions removed. Players get to travel across the ancient Egyptian world peacefully, embarking on tours that educate players on the time period. There are also versions available for Viking times and mythological Greece.
Learning Through Classic Games
It should be obvious that imaginative play- playing house, store, salon, or something similar- has educational merit. Children playing these games are learning important social skills, as well as things like counting. However, if you think that educational games for schools have to be expensive and computer-focused, think again. When it comes to learning, free games like these classics impart important skills.
- Duck, Duck, Goose teaches strategy and how to plan ahead.
- Musical Chairs teaches peaceful conflict resolution, patience, waiting graciously, and dealing with disappointment.
- Simon Says teaches kids to pay attention to instructions and helps them develop leadership skills.
- Hide and Seek teaches problem solving, builds special awareness, and helps develop strategic thinking.
- Parachute Games are great games for schools, because they are fun, exciting, and teach teamwork.
- Hopscotch may seem simple, but it helps children develop critical thinking skills and coordination.
- Red Light, Green Light teaches children to be patient ad follow instructions.
Children Love to Learn and Play at Just Children
If you are looking for a place where education is developmentally appropriate and educational play is encouraged, trust Just Children to care for your little ones. Founded in 1983, our family-owned, fully-licensed centers provide a unique learning environment where we help children build the skills they need to succeed in life. Our year-round programs in Bucks County, Philadelphia, and New Jersey are convenient for working parents, and we design every program with age-appropriate activities that allow kids to learn, grow, and explore. We’re dedicated to creating a worry-free experience for parents while enriching the lives of children and providing a safe, nurturing environment with the highest standards of care, creativity, and learning. Visit our website to find a location convenient to you, or contact us to ask questions or schedule a tour.