Updated: Jul 17
While playing a regular video game may seem to be a waste of time, there are some games that can provide much more than just a pure entertainment but an opportunity to connect kids with their education in fun and engaging ways. Interactive playing environments contribute to a level of education that differs from homework and in-class instruction, and the games may be so fun to play that children don’t even realize they’re developing valuable skills through the game.
1. Rabbids Coding! (2019)
The game includes 32 levels that teach various aspects of coding, such as loops and conditions. Young gamers will not only learn the basics of programming, but will also develop an eye for economic coding: "All skills and concepts will help the player optimize their program by making their coding sequence as short and as efficient as possible," says Ubisoft.
Here is our selection of computer games suitable for children that harness their minds and foster a positive learning environment.
Subjects & Skills: Basic Programming Concepts
Available On: Windows PC
2. Kerbal Space Program (2019)
Kerbal Space Program does the improbable: it makes learning a complex subject fun. Designing, flying, and then retrying missions again and again is a tough challenge that goes right up to the brink of frustration, but the eventual success of achieving virtual space flight is rewarding and even inspirational. In Kerbal Space Program, students set goals, build rockets, evaluate mission results, change designs, and try again. It offers a solid simulation of astrodynamics and physics, and students who take the time to observe flight readouts and toy with the ship’s trajectory will learn fundamentals of rocket science and realistic, modern-day space flight.
Since it's tough, students will also need to help each other or watch player-created video tutorials and read forums for tips. In short order, students will be able to say, “Well, actually, it is rocket science,” just before explaining that it's most efficient to adjust a ship’s trajectory at the apoapsis or periapsis of its elliptical orbit. Students learn that small differences like this mean greater fuel efficiency and the difference between reaching mission goals or crashing and burning.
Subjects & Skills: Science, Creativity, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U
3. Assassin's Creed Odyssey : Discovery Tour Ancient Greece (2019)
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Discovery Tour is an inspiring journey through ancient Greece. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s game world is a massive, intricately detailed version of ancient Greece, and the Discovery Tour mode will allow you to explore all of it — free from combat or any of the other constraints of the main game. Any child let loose on this game for a few hours is going to come away with as solid an understanding of ancient Greece as might be gained from an expensive semester in university. This is the magic of walking through a colorful world, seeing what we believe history was like in action. These lessons aren’t so much “learned” as inhaled. The world needs more games like this one!
Assassin's Creed Odyssey : Discovery Tour Egypt (2018) Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed®: Ancient Egypt is an educational mode of the game Assassin's Creed® Origins in which you can discover and explore the world free of conflict, or game play constraints.
The Discovery Tour allows you to roam freely in the beautiful world of Ptolemaic Egypt. Learn more about its life, habits and customs by yourself, or let historians and Egyptologists guide you on one of the 75 available historical tours they have curated.
Subjects & Skills: Social Studies
Available On: PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One
Kids can learn to sort and order objects by like features, test their own theories, narrow down choices using logic, use observational skills, and build on what they've discovered. One of the puzzles mimics the logic found in simple computer programs, helping kids understand the process behind if/then conditional statements. Because the game is adaptive and gets trickier as kids succeed, it can grow as kids figure it out. Also, since kids can lose one part of the game and still bounce back by retrieving lost Zoombinis, kids practice perseverance. The app's only shortcoming is its lack of a tutorial and ongoing help or hints; a deeper introduction or parent guide would help remedy the lack of guidance. Wrapped up in a clever adventure-style game, Zoombinis still sets high learning standards and will continue to captivate kids.
Subjects & Skills: English Language Arts, Math, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking
Available On: Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps
5. Robo Instructus (2019)
Robo Instructus is a puzzle game in which players manoeuvre a robot by issuing instructions via a simple programming language. As players progress through the game they unlock new functions to overcome new puzzles, each of which can be solved in multiple ways. The game takes place in a distant world, where you will have a robot and must control it to overcome various puzzles and uncover the secrets of this world. The thing is, you won’t be able to directly move your robot from one point to another just by simply pressing WASD or the directional keys on your keyboard. Instead, all you can do is writing lines of code for it to read and execute.
Subjects & Skills: Programming language
Available On: Windows PC and Linux
6. Human Anatomy VR (2019)
Do you know how many bones are in the human body?
Explore your body down to the smallest detail. Up to 7,000 precisely modelled anatomy structures in your VR device. Amazing graphics and intuitive control allows you to explore the human anatomy from a whole new point of view. A unique function – AntMode – makes you 40 times smaller in order to explore inner body structures in a greater detail.
Can you rebuild the human body? Do you know where is the Humerus located? Get to know the whole human body in an enjoyable way thanks to the Human Anatomy VR.
Human Anatomy VR is an educational application in virtual reality. The application depicts simplified anatomy models suitable for high school students. Human Anatomy VR offers unique virtual and educational experience. Human Anatomy VR employs all advantages of virtual reality in order to make learning more entertaining and effective.
The Human Anatomy VR contains all anatomy systems.
And lot of amazing functions.
Subjects & Skills: Anatomy in theory
Available On: PlayStation 4
7. Epistory - Typing Chronicles (2016)
Epistory immerses you in an atmospheric action/adventure game where you play a girl riding a giant fox who fights an insectile corruption from an origami world. As you progress and explore this world, the story literally unfolds and the mysteries of the magic power of the words are revealed. Combat is fairly simple at first. Words appear above the heads of various insects, arthropods, and arachnids. Type the word to fire a magic blast at that bug. Soon enough, some enemies will have multiple words in a row.
Subjects & Skills: Colorful adventure will push typing skills to the limit.
Available On: Mac, Windows PC
8. The Talos Principle (2014)
A beautiful game that serves as a wonderful vehicle for some very serious questions about humanity, the technology we create, our responsibilities to it and its responsibilities to us. The Talos Principledoesn't feel like a philosophy class lecture in the process.
Tasked by your creator with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles, you must decide whether to have faith or to ask the difficult questions: Who are you? What is your purpose? And what are you going to do about it? Overcome more than 120 immersive puzzles in a stunning world.Divert drones, manipulate laser beams and even replicate time to prove your worth - or to find a way out. Explore a story about humanity, technology and civilization. Uncover clues, devise theories, and make up your own mind.
Subjects & Skills: Language & Reading: forming arguments, reading, reading comprehension. Social Studies: history. Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, deduction, investigation, making conclusions, prediction, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy
Available On: Windows PC and Linux
9. Plasticity (2019)
2140. A future where plastic consumption has never ended, leaving lifeless lands, flooded cities, and widespread debris in its wake…
Plasticity is an innovative puzzle-platformer about a plastic-ridden world and the choices you make to save it. Play as Noa, a curious young girl who leaves her home in search of a better life. Embark on an emotional journey as your actions dynamically change both game play and the story. While each decision carries consequence, few are irreversible—you may stumble, you may fall, but only you can save the world.
This free game was created by students from the renowned USC Games Program and contains 20-40 minutes of content.
Available On: Windows PC, Mac
10. Minecraft (2011)
And Finally - Minecraft! It is a building game. It’s a little like LEGO and a little like Lincoln Logs. You take various textured cubes and build what you want.
The game world is rendered in cubes, every one of which can be destroyed, stored in your inventory, and placed back down anywhere you like. The map generates more terrain as you explore in a new direction, almost infinitely (you will run out of hard disk space at some point). That terrain is a quilt of discrete environmental regions, or biomes: as you travel, the thick forest you spawned in will give way to veldt or cliffs, or a desert peppered with cacti. You might reach the ocean, or a marsh clogged with exploding monsters and lily pads, or an ice floe leading to a wintry island.
Subjects & Skills: Math: estimation, geometry, shapes. Science: geology, rocks and minerals Thinking & Reasoning: defining problems, hypothesis-testing, problem solving Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content. Collaboration: cooperation, group projects, teamwork.
Available On: Linux,Mac, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One