Computer games for kids have in recent years been overshadowed by popular console games, but there are a wide range of choices for educational computer games that can’t often be found for other systems. Even if you own every gaming system there is, kids will still flock to the computer and parents love to to see kids having fun while learning at the same time. Another advantage of computer game software is to expose kids to computers while limiting their online use. With the competition, computer games have come down in price quite a bit over the years. Amazon even has a games download store where you can purchase games for immediate download. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the higher quality educational kids’ computer games.
Giggles Computer Funtime For Baby
Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby is a multi-award winning software program developed for babies 6-36 months. Babies watch their parents punch away on the keyboard and they want to do the same. With this software you can let them explore the computer without worry. It’s been designed to lock out your computer so that no matter what key your child presses, your files are protected. With a cause and effect learning system, babies hit any key and something happens on the screen: blocks pop up, sound effects, and animal voices. In the ABC’s and 123’s version the letter and number keys correspond to the letters and numbers that appear so that eventually kids will learn letter recognition. If a non-letter key is pressed then an animal appears on the screen. This game also allows baby to start learning how to use a mouse. There are 14 different activities and 50 songs. This game is compatible with Mac and Windows Vista, NT, 95, 98, 2000, XP, and Me.
Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby Game is sold on Amazon.
Clifford The Big Red Dog Thinking Adventures Game
This game by Scholastic features the lovable Clifford the Big Red Dog as he assists preschoolers with a variety of skills such as problem solving, colors and shapes, classifying and sorting, logic and reasoning, matching, memory, and following directions. Kids can help Clifford get out of a traffic game, play a soccer game, bake a cake, all while helping Emily Elizabeth prepare for Clifford’s Birthday party. With adjustable skill levels, it’s been designed for ages 4-8. This game offers a larger quantity of levels and activities than other comparable preschool computer games. Works in Mac and Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, or XP.
Sells on Amazon.
Crayola Art Studio
In the Crayola Art studio kids can design artwork on the screen with 12 different art tools including pencils, markers, crayons, chalk, watercolors, and paints- and no mess for parents to clean up. This game has won awards from Parent’s Choice and Children’s Technology Review. Includes a beginner’s level to learn basic computer drawing techniques. Kids can use their designs to make greeting cards, illustrated stories and decorations. They can also choose from over 1000 supplied images to supplement artwork or to learn digital editing skills. This game is designed for ages 4 and up. The Crayola Art Studio has received a 4.5 star rating by Amazon reviewers. Compatible with Windows Vista, 98, 2000, Me, and XP.
You can get the Crayola Art Studio on Amazon.
This version of the Backyard Football game casts kids as favorite NFL football players such as John Elway, Steve Young, Brett Farve, and Jerry Rice. Kids create their own game beginning with choosing the field and level of difficulty, setting up their team, picking the NFL team logo and colors, selecting defensive and offensive plays, and even choosing weather conditions. This game is for one player only, but does include a multi-player networking capability to track stats. Designed for ages 5-10, this game has a wide range of levels from easy to challenging and has received a positive review from Children’s Technology Review as well as 4.5 stars from Amazon reviewers. For Mac or Windows 95, 98, Me, XP or Vista.
The Backyard Football game sells on Amazon.
Scholastic Math Missions
Most kids who find math a drag at school will enjoy math games on the computer. In Scholastic Math Missions, grades K-2, kids must rescue Spectacle City from the mathematically-challenged store clerks. For each correct answer they earn money for arcade games. Math concepts include counting, addition & subtraction, early division, classification & sorting, problem solving, logic, money, measurement, time, temperature, early geometry, and navigation & direction. Kids can choose from 12 activities with 3 separate levels which automatically increases after each successful completion. Also includes useful hints to avoid frustration. Scholastic Math Missions is also available in a version for grades 3-5 which features higher level math concepts. Compatible with Windows Vista, NT, 98, 2000, Me, XP, 95, and Mac OS X.
I Spy: Spooky Mansion Deluxe
Just like the I Spy books, the I Spy computer game series is a hit with kids. A toy skeleton guides kids through the I Spy Spooky Mansion while solving picture riddles and games to find 3 different ways out of the house. There are also hundreds of hidden objects to discover. Learning skills include reading, rhyming, vocabulary, and memory. Also includes 2 fast-paced games and an I Spy mini CD and book. This game is developed for kids age 6-10, younger kids will enjoy the seek and find while the older ones will be challenged by the puzzles. Windows and Mac compatible.
I Spy computer games are sold on Amazon.
World of Goo Game
If you’re looking for a non-violent game to entice your tween or teen, World of Goo by Brighter Minds Media is a multi-award winning, multi-rave review winning puzzle game for kids and kids at heart. Your job is to drag and drop the lively, innocent citizens of World of Goo to help them explore their world, while avoiding the various perils that threaten them. Work your way through 47 levels that depict the imaginative World of Goo which is reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss book. There are 10 different types of goo, all with their own special talents. This game is rated E for everyone, though kids younger than 6 could get frustrated by it as the levels get more difficult. Kids can team up or compete for best scores. World of Goo has received 87 5-star reviews by Amazon users.
Plants Vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap Games is another parent-friendly, non-violent game for older kids. Okay, the object of the game is to kill zombies, but there is no spurting of blood and the plants are the ones to destroy the zombies. Plants vs. Zombies has won the prestigious Game of the Year award. It’s not especially educational, but rates high on the entertainment factor with 5 game modes and 50 levels in the adventure mode. Use the hilarious variety plants such as pea shooters, cabbage-pults, and jalapeno bombs to defend your home against 26 types of zombies like the pole-vaulters, bucket-heads, and Zamboni drivers. Kids can also create their own zombie which will come to life in the game. This game has earned a 5 star review by 63 Amazon reviewers. System requirements: Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS X.
Plants vs. Zombies sells on Amazon.
Award winning Rosetta Stone is the leading interactive language software program. Using Dynamic Immersion, which is a natural learning process for language, kids as young as 5 can begin using this program. Features include live online sessions with native speakers, headset with microphone to go along with the speech-recognition software, language games, an audio companion CD, and a mobile application for iPhone. You can buy each level separately or all 5 levels in one set, depending on your personal goals and how far you want to go in the desired language. At around $600, the 5-level set may seem a bit pricey, but one study claims that 55 hours of Rosetta Stone is the equivalent of one semester of a college course. And if you have a struggling student, it can ultimately be cheaper than hiring a tutor.