With homeschooling a reality again for many families, and kids missing out on time in the classroom, anything that makes life easier – and more enjoyable – for everyone sounds like a good idea all round.
We look at some educational games that might help…
Educational Games For Kids
Platform: Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, PC, iOS, Android
Price: From €10.99
Who would have thought aliens could help you learn sums? Educational Games For Kids certainly makes things like mathematics and geography more fun. With 21 different games and 51 variations to suit ages between three years to 11-plus, much of the focus is on reflexes, logic and memory. The games are simple but effective – our favourite is blasting the alien holding the correct maths sums, but also identifying countries across the world was enjoyable. It would surely work as an ideal way to break up the day and provide children with some console time which also goes towards their learning. Other games include jigsaws, mazes and memory tests.
Skip to the end: Simple does it best, with mathematics and geography the main area of focus in this title, though overall there is more to be gained for infant children here.
Platform: iOS, Android
Price: From €5.49
DragonBox offers a variety of apps which take on various mathematics topics, but most impressive of all are the algebra app and the Elements app for geometry. The algebra app is based on a pedagogical method developed in Norway that focuses on discovery and experimentation, using dragons to turn it into more of a puzzle game, where you don’t even realise you are learning as you go. Elements takes a similar approach, with the aim of building an army full of hidden shapes to defeat evil dragon, Osgard. It’s certainly a novel way of teaching these two areas, which can be tricky in normal settings. The slickness of the games art and use of an actual mission make for an interesting alternative.
Skip to the end: Algebra and geometry are carefully disguised as games by DragonBox, making it easier to understand these key subject areas.
Platform: iOS, Android
Understanding global problems such as displacement, disease, deforestation, drought and pollution can be a complex issues to explain, but World Rescue makes them accessible. It also has the support of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Players are able to explore Kenya, Norway, Brazil, India, and China, forming a better understanding of the world we live in – and not necessarily on your doorstep. In one part, you are helping to create a community action plan to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks, while the next you are directing people to the correct recycling bins to throw away old goods, between paper, plastic, metal or glass.
Skip to the end: Children are able to get a grasp of important global problems with World Rescue, through simple but effective game play.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, PC
Price: From €15.99
A game that blends entertainment with education is never going to be an easy feat, but Beyond Blue certainly makes a deep dive at it. This simulation title sees you play marine biologist Mirai, as you document a pod of whales for a livestream. You find yourself learning a lot about the creatures and marine life in general through this gentle, easy-going type of gaming – and knowing that scientists and the team behind BBC’s Blue Planet II were involved in development is a sign you’re swimming in safe water. While you get to explore some varied parts, the contents are not always as filled as you might hope, but the interactivity still beats the usual learning methods.
Skip to the end: Lots to learn as you roam the ocean.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
3. Just Dance 2021
4. FIFA 21
5. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
6. Ring Fit Adventure
8. Grand Theft Auto V
9. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
10. Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Ukie Games Charts ©, compiled by GfK