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Maybe you and your child are on a long road trip, sitting in a waiting room, or traveling on public transportation. It doesn’t take long for an adult to become bored in these situations, much less a child. Technology brings us many benefits — these include ways to keep our kids entertained when they are stuck without toys, their favorite book, or their bike.
If you allow your child to use your mobile device or they are lucky enough to have one of their own, then use it to your advantage. Instead of listening to “Are we there yet?” or “I’m bored,” give them something fun to help pass the time. These games are grouped by age so that no matter how old your child is, you’ll have an enjoyable game for everyone.
For Little Ones (Up to 5 Years Old)
From tiny tots to those entering kindergarten, these colorful, exciting games help teach your child as they learn.
1. First Words for Baby
For toddlers and preschoolers learning letters, numbers, words, and sounds, First Words for Baby is a terrific app. It contains over 100 words to learn, enjoyable games, and cute characters and graphics.
The starting categories include colors, food, animals, numbers, and body. Your child will see an item, hear the word for it, and listen to it used in a sentence. You can also check out the quiz and memory game to test what your little one learns. The app has an in-app purchase download for all of the content and activities if you enjoy it.
2. PBS Kids
If your little boy or girl loves the shows on PBS, then the PBS Kids app is ideal. It’s packed with games themed after characters and shows like Thomas & Friends, Arthur, and Bob the Builder. There’s also a super variety of game topics like science, creativity, math, and more.
Your child can check out over 70 free games in a safe, kid-friendly environment. Parents, you can review the PBS schedule directly from the Grownups section of the app. Note that you need to first download your selected games to play, so keep this in mind if you are traveling.
3. Sago Mini Forest Flyer
If you haven’t heard of the Sago Mini game series, then you should definitely take a look at it. The company creates amazing educational and fun games for children as well as toys and other products. A cute game to get started with is Sago Mini Forest Flyer.
Both boys and girls can enjoy flying their little robin through the forest in search of neat surprises. To help along the way, yellow markers help to reveal the colorful animations, with over 30 in all. There are no time limits, scoring, or special skills needed, making this a great choice for toddlers. If your kids love this, be sure to check out other Sago Mini games available.
Playkids is another nifty option that offers a variety of different games and content. The games help to reinforce your child’s memory and motor skills while providing colorful, upbeat characters and animations. Pick from puzzles, memory challenges, or connect-the-dot style games.
You can download Playkids for free and give it a try with the seven-day trial. This lets you see games and a limited amount of content. If your child likes it, take a look at the in-app purchases that include a premium version and subscriptions. The upgrades give you even more to love like videos, television shows, and foreign language learning, perfect for kindergartners.
For Older Children (Ages 6 to 8)
Elementary school-aged children need a different type of mental stimulation than the younger ones. Help broaden their mind, their creativity, and their problem-solving skills with these cool games.
5. Toca Kitchen 2
Like Sago Mini, Toca Boca is a company whose mission is to provide children fun and entertaining games. Toca Kitchen 2 is one cool game to start with, for boys and girls alike to get creative. Your child will feed silly characters the craziest combinations of dishes they can come up with in the kitchen.
Your kids can really go wild in Toca Kitchen 2 by making messes or just laugh at the goofy reactions from the characters they feed. These types of games let your child have endless fun without the pressures of scoring or time limits. Head to the Toca Boca website to check out other games your child may enjoy.
6. Thinkrolls: Kings and Queens
Maybe puzzles that encourage creative thinking and problem solving are what your child enjoys. If so, Thinkrolls: Kings and Queens is an excellent game. This physics puzzler takes you through majestic castles with silly ghosts, friendly dragons, and funny crocodiles.
The goal in each level is simple, get the key and head to the door. It’s how you make that happen that brings in the challenge. Move objects and levers, lull characters to sleep, or rid the space of ghosts — do whatever it takes to clear your path to the key and the door. If you like puzzle games yourself, you and your child can each play by creating separate game profiles. Speaking from experience, this puzzler is awesome for both kids and adults!
7. Dr. Panda Candy Factory
Who doesn’t love candy? Join Dr. Panda in his very own factory creating delicious treats for his friends. In Dr. Panda Candy Factory, children learn about combining colors and using shapes to make tasty candies.
What’s great about this game is that more than one person can share the screen. So, you can play with your child or let your kids play together for a great teamwork experience. Dr. Panda Candy Factory is available for free with the gummy factory. If you want to open more factories with different candy types, just check out the in-app purchase options.
8. My Little Pony Rainbow Runners
If you’re looking for an arcade-style, endless running game your child will enjoy, My Little Pony Rainbow Runners is a terrific choice. Head over to Ponyville and begin your quest with exciting missions, simple controls, and surprises galore.
My Little Pony Rainbow Runners gives you control of your darling pony as she runs, jumps, flies, and slides to collect items. You can earn Pony Power, upgrade the Rainbow Powers, and enjoy a sparkly adventure. The game offers in-app purchases for additional ponies.
For Big Kids (Ages 9 and Older)
While most children ages 9 and above already know which games they love, you may want to oversee those choices. These options are safe, challenging, and gender-neutral (plus entertaining for adults too).
9. Disney Crossy Road
Get ready for Crossy Road with a colorful twist in Disney Crossy Road. This exciting challenge offers the same gameplay as the original but with your favorite Disney characters. From Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to Buzz Lightyear and Mufasa, the fun never ends with this version.
Both adults and children can enjoy collecting figurines and playing through neat themed worlds. Watch out for barrels, time your moves, and collect cherries for cool powerups. Why did Mickey cross the road? To give your child an entertaining adventure in Disney Crossy Road, that’s why! The game includes in-app purchases for various items like ticket packs and figurines.
10. Sky Whale
Straight from Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers to your device comes Sky Whale. Let your child guide the whale through clouds collecting donuts and other fantastic items. You can create combos and collect boosts to keep bouncing through the sky.
The better you do, the more fun environments you can play through in Sky Whale. Strap on scuba gear for an underwater adventure or grab your helmet for an outer space journey. Just remember to keep that whale bouncing and flying along to earn coins and unlock neat game items. Sky Whale is a good arcade challenge without in-app purchases.
11. Box Island
For an awesome adventure game that introduces your child to the fundamentals of coding, Box Island is a real winner. Just direct your box to the stars and move onto the next level. To do this, you simply drag commands and rearrange them to make the box move forward, backward, left, or right.
Your boy or girl can play the adventure, head to the Hour of Code section for tutorials, or both. The basic concepts of coding include building blocks like sequencing, loops, conditionals, and debugging. To learn these fundamentals while playing a game is wonderful. The first 10 levels are free and you can unlock others via in-app purchases if your child enjoys Box Island.
12. LEGO Racing Games
LEGO DC Mighty Micros (Android) and LEGO DC Super Heroes Chase (iOS) are basically the same, just with different names for the platforms. What they both provide is challenging, fast-moving yet fun racing with your favorite LEGO super heroes.
Be a hero, be a villain, and build your own missions in the control center. Then, take to the streets to collect coins and chase down your enemies. You can unlock characters, stories, and environments, upgrade your items for more power, and enjoy a story-based racer all in one package. For LEGO fans who want a little racing action, these games are on target.
Which Games Keep Your Child Engaged?
Some games are easy to pick up, play for a minute, and then put back down again. But when you want a game that keeps your child entertained for longer than that, it can be tough to know which one to try. These are all terrific games with their own special theme, topic, or genre and sure to keep your boy or girl engaged when they are bored.
Which types of games does your child enjoy? Is it puzzles, arcade, or racing games that they can’t seem to put down? Let us know what their favorites are in the comments below!
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