With her face furrowed in concentration and her fingers flying over the keyboard, your daughter peers at the computer screen. She’s not doing a school project — rather, she’s immersed in her favorite adventure games.
With technology becoming a bigger part of our lives, it’s inevitable that your child will be drawn to immersive online games. Dora Breckinridge, who runs the online gaming site Jay Is Games, says that parents should encourage their kids to play online games. “It opens them up to a world of incredibly diverse content,” she says. “There are games that teach you what life is like in other countries, games where you have to draw the levels yourself, games that deal with friendship and family and much, much more.”
These nine online adventures games will have your child excited to learn more about computing, and you’ll be happy to provide age-appropriate, educational fun.
- Fantastic Contraption
Your budding engineer can test the laws of physics by combining different materials to create a moving object. Best of all, no one has to clean up after she’s done building! Breckinridge says, “The casual design makes it easily accessible to just about anyone, and great for kids of all ages interested in learning how to problem-solve and make things work.”
- Wizard 101
Tom Perdue, the communications manager for Kings Isle Entertainment, recommends this game for any child who loves fantasy and magic. He explains, “[It’s] a game about being a student at Ravenwood Academy in Wizard City, where you defeat enemies in magical card duels, make friends, decorate a house, start a magical garden, adopt a pet and embark on an epic adventure that takes you through several far-off worlds.”
- Pirate 101
Similar in structure to its companion game, “Wizard 101,” “Pirate 101” lets your child indulge his inner buccaneer. In this game, Perdue says, “Players sail colorful and powerful ships across the skyways of The Spiral while constantly under the threat of Skull Island natives, nefarious outlaws and even the sinister Armada clockwork army.” Like “Wizard 101,” this game helps your child with ordering, repetition and responsibility.
- On the Trail of Captain John Smith
Discover how John Smith felt as he created a colony in Virginia in the early 1600s. Build a fort, match wits with Pocahontas and search for treasure. Created by National Geographic, this game marries historical facts with fun.
- Chibi Knight
Created by a father for his 5-year-old daughter, “Chibi Knight” is a colorful, cute adventure story that follows one small knight (voiced by the daughter) on a quest to save her kingdom. “It’s an action role-playing game (RPG), so you’ll learn basic hand-eye coordination and reflexes,” says Breckinridge.
- Papa’s Games
Help Papa out as he learns how to become an entrepreneur at a variety of shops — a pizzeria, an ice cream shop and a hot dog stand are the most popular. Breckinridge says, “The game teaches proper time management skills as well as attention to detail when you have to assemble food in the correct order with the right ingredients.”
- Typing Adventure
Learning to use the keyboard properly doesn’t have to be boring. With this fun, interactive game, you play the part of an explorer who must leap from letter to letter to find treasure. Type the correct letter and go forward. Hit the wrong key, and get zapped by lightning!
When his friend’s hat is lost, the narrator must pilot his airship to bring the beloved object home. Along the way, the player helps the pilot untangle each environment into which he flies so he can move to the next. This visually beautiful game helps your child develop logical ordering skills through the challenges.
- Teddy’s Excellent Adventure
Oh no! Teddy’s been lost on a family trip. In this game, you’ll help Teddy find his way home using simple keystrokes and hand-eye coordination.
While your child will love these adventure games, it’s still likely that you’ll worry about the time she spends on them. Don’t, says Perdue: “If your kids really like online games, consider using online time as a reward.” If she does her homework or chores, she gets to play — that way, everyone is happy!
For more online learning, head on over to these 12 Fun Kids’ Websites.
Natalie Vereen-Davis is a freelance writer and travel blogger. She’s also the parent to a toddler who loves punching every button she can find.