May 8, 2015
Summer is coming fast and, before you know it, kids will be begging their parents for the latest video games to help pass the long, hot break. While many parents might see video games as a mind-numbing waste of time, there’s actually a strong case to be made for games being valuable learning tools with potential to develop cognitive function as well as career skills for the real world. Even the U.S. Department of Education sees the value of gaming, hosting the upcoming Games for Learning Summit.
However, parents don’t need to wait for games to enter the classroom to reap the benefits of educational games for their children. With this in mind, I wanted to share our picks for the top family-friendly games that offer fun, engaging learning experiences as we head toward the end of the school year.
Here are five of the best options for the summer:
3- Garry’s Mod
LittleBigPlanet 3 (available on PlayStation) is Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Project Spark. It has a drastically different style, though, both in terms of aesthetics and gameplay – the game is a side-scrolling platformer at its core, meaning players move across two dimensions, and it features a pre-built story mode that challenges players to solve puzzles as various cute characters and unravel the story. The series is best known for its level editor, which lets players design their own levels, puzzles, and physics-based contraptions, and ultimately publish them to a shared community space for other players to check out.
What’s great about these games is that they’re rooted in fun rather than being created for (and tagged with) the express purpose of “education.” They happen to have tremendous upside by instilling creativity in players, and giving people of all ages and skill levels a chance to explore their imagination and the tools to build and share something.