Try some smart games and educational mobile apps for kids and strike the perfect balance between play and learning.
My Sunday started with a message from a Kaspersky Daily editor: “Denis, you wrote about a series of games for child development a long time ago. The problem is that this publication has become a bit out of date and right now this topic is more relevant than ever since millions of families are in quarantine. How would you like to make a new one? “
One of the surprising phenomena that have caused social distancing * in my family has been the disappearance of certain borders. Weekdays and weekends are very similar, but something new has emerged: a hybrid type of weather. We continue with our educational and work duties, but we also have a lot of time that we used to spend on going to work and other computing-related tasks.
More than four years have passed since my last list of what I myself called “profit games.” Pedagogues have developed new theories and teaching methods and, unsurprisingly, developers have released new applications. My children have grown up and we have had others too. You may also be interested in Math it Right 3D Adventure
But my attitude towards computer games has not changed. Electronic games are here to stay, so giving them up would be to deny reality and deprive our children of real strategic advantage for the future.
When it comes to games, I think that resisting is useless, but it is better to take control and manage the process than to simply give up. We can use fun applications and games to help children learn the purpose of computers, show them that technology is at our service (and not the other way around).
Any parent will tell you that the forbidden fruit is the most succulent. And, well, in the end, it is up to you to choose the way you decide to start and manage the time your children spend playing video games. However, we have concluded that children’s digital activities require certain control measures. As in the adult world, addiction problems and asocial behavior abound, not to mention the potential danger posed by strangers. Therefore, you should try this fruit together, but do not forget about time and other limits! Some of the elements to take into account are the genres of video games, interactions between people, and, of course, the basic questions of our relationship with smart devices (including cybersecurity standards ).
When you are very busy, giving your children (digital natives) freedom of action can be very tempting: you get time to rest and they get privacy and freedom in territory that is deceptively welcoming to them. This current period of confinement is a perfect opportunity for you to share your knowledge with them, safely.
Here are some of my kids’ favorite smart mobile games, as well as other cool educational apps we’ve enjoyed discovering together.
- What’s inside?
How do they do it? And this other? How does this other thing work? That and a million natural science questions invade children’s minds, who often throw them at you while you’re supposed to be working.
This series of fun and enlightening apps, developed by Learn Land, aims to release this pressure:
- Logic puzzle
Both adults and children find benefits when it comes to putting the gray matter into operation. I must confess that REBUS is my favorite hobby for flights. According to its creators, to solve a pictogram “you will have to wring your mind”. In particular, pictograms involve solving visual puzzles through logical associations.
Some of the problems are complicated enough to spend days wondering. Others you solve easily as if it were peanuts. Together, they are a great way to exercise original and combinatorial thinking. For kids who aren’t ready for these challenges yet, the creators offer AZZL, albeit only on iOS.
- Classic Arcade Games
Oh my, what memories! Create new memories with classic titles like Digger (or Dig Dug ), Lode Runner, Tetris, and PAC-MAN. Even after several decades, the games we grew up with are still pretty much alive. It turns out that the gameplay has a certain genius that lasts over time.
- Find and guess
The games from the Czech studio Amanita Design stand out for their astonishing level of detail, exceptionally dynamic characters, and fascinating magical worlds.
Designed in the spirit of classic ’80s and’ 90s adventures, the games gracefully force the cogs of the brain to adopt unfamiliar patterns to escape common problem-solving routines. If CHUCHEL is easy for you and you want more, try the other games from the studio: Samorost 3, Machinarium, and Botanicula; and, for the little ones, Pilgrims .
- Divine powers
It is not easy being a god. In Pavilion, various supernatural symbols prompt the main character to act in an environment that the creators describe as a “fourth person puzzle adventure.” If that’s not enough to pique your curiosity, then I don’t know what else to add. Personally, I have not regretted having spent those four euros.
- A visit to Lumino City
I could have listed this game on Pavilion’s list as a “similar” one, but I have rejected the idea of classifying it this way. This game deserves all the attention you can give it due to its aesthetics and fascinating settings. The developers have erected a monument to themselves, in a style that pays tribute to the puppet movies of the ’70s and 80s. As a taste, you may want to enjoy Making of Lumino City first. Surprising!
- The afterlife
A game from the authors of the famous LIMBO. Created by Playdead, INSIDE is about a child’s adventures in the other world. It sounds scary, but you won’t be able to look away. Parents can relax and admire the artistic character while their children play it.
- Amazing creativity
If your children have already passed CHUCHEL and Lumino City, REBUS is a piece of cake and they have already started with Pavilion and INSIDE, now is the time to install Gorogoa: an original puzzle adventure with exceptional game dynamics.
Well, at the least I’ve never seen anything like it. To be honest, I was dumbfounded for the first few minutes, unable to find my head or tail. But once you understand what the goal is and how to do it … I assure you that this game can end up appearing in your dreams.
- Smart words
Parallelepiped, bisector, and centroid. The Pythagorean theorem, rectangular trapezoids, and perpendicular bisectors. Isosceles triangles, central symmetry, and medians.
If your kids can’t pass up the opportunity to show off their knowledge of Euclidean geometry in front of their friends, then this easy and fun Pythagorean app is made for them. And who knows, maybe last night you sent a future famous architect or mathematician to sleep.
Minecraft closed my previous list of the 10 best mobile games and closes this one too. On this occasion, to bring a touch of fresh air, it is Minecraft Earth .
Note to future readers of this post: As of March 2020, when I wrote this, many countries had adopted rigorous measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. These measures include social distancing, minimizing contact with other people, and teleworking.