2020 has brought various unprecedented challenges. The ongoing pandemic has restricted us all within the walls of our homes. While the restrictions have considerably eased in some parts of the world, according to Statista, one-third of the world still remains in some form of lockdown.
According to UNICEF, children are among the most affected individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1.5 billion kids are now facing school closures or a shift to online classes. At such times, it can be quite challenging to keep the little ones entertained and active.
One industry that has immensely benefited from the lockdown is the gaming sector. According to CNET, 91 percent of children in the US alone are gamers. And the increased free time has skyrocketed the revenues and popularity of video games and esports.
If you choose the right games for your little ones, this can actually be a good thing. You can easily keep your child’s mind active and keep boredom at bay, all at the same time.
Here are the best games that will get this job done.
1. Moles in Holes
Moles in Holes is an online strategy game that is bound to keep your child hooked. Here, you have to connect every mole to its food. Sounds simple enough, right? However, the catch is that the paths of the different moles should not collide.
Hence, you must think ahead and decide the best route for each of your moles. The difficulty of the game rises with each level, thereby making it mind-boggling for children.
This game is available on Unlimited Gamez Mo, which is an online platform that gives access to a plethora of games, for a minimal subscription fee. Here, you can find games belonging to various genres. This includes adventure, shooting, language, strategy, etc.
Sudoku is yet another fun educational game that requires children to use quite a few of their brain cells.
It doesn’t matter what age your kids are of, Sudoku is a game worth playing for all. In fact, various adults also find the game highly challenging and fun. Why? This is because you can change the difficulty level of the game according to the player’s mental capacity.
What does the game involve?
Here, you have to place all numbers in such a way that the same sum is reached from all rows and columns. For instance, let’s say your task is to get the number 12. Now, you must place the different numbers at your disposal in such a pattern that the sum of 12 is attained horizontally, vertically and laterally.
Before placing any number, you must think ahead to see how it will fit in the bigger picture. Therefore, Sudoku helps in building problem-solving and decision-making skills.
You can choose to play this game physically or online.
3. Blue Block
Generally, today’s games teach children that violence and force are the only way to emerge as the winner in video games.
This is why many oppose gaming among children. While this is a whole another debate on which various researches have been published, the fact remains that violence and force have depicted a tad too much in video games.
In this regard, Blue Block takes an unconventional route. This mobile game for children features exciting gameplay. Here, the objective is to free a blue dragon from its cage. But, rather than using force, you must rearrange the blocks that are present in their way.
Again, children must use logic to win, thereby keeping their brains active throughout the process.
Let’s face it. The chances are you already know about Minecraft. In fact, you might have played it as well! Minecraft is hands down one of the most popular games of 2020. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that, apart from being fun, it is an educational game for children.
Ever since its launch in 2011, the game has managed to get over 100 million users. The gameplay is quite simple. It is a sandbox video game where the players are provided with infinite terrain. They must use the resources provided by the earth to build structures or weapons.
For children, one of the biggest benefits of Minecraft is that it encourages creativity. It allows them to showcase their imagination and self-expression. They are free to create anything in the game.
Also, you can team up with other online players, thereby teaching the importance of communication and honing kids’ social skills.
5. National Geographic Challenge
With schools closing down, one of the greatest difficulties for parents and teachers alike has been to keep children interested in academics. The best part about being young is that this is the only time you cultivate an interest in nature and science.
National Geographic Challenge leverages this interest by offering an exciting quiz game that truly challenges your knowledge. The quiz seems to have a seemingly unending inventory of questions. The questions are divided according to the regions of the world.
You can either choose to play alone or with up to four players. The quiz can be as short as 40 questions or as long as 80. It is also time to further amp up the difficulty level. To keep things interested, the game features educational video and mesmerizing photographs pertaining to the questions, that is bound to be loved by the nature-loving enthusiasts.
This game is readily available on PS 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii.
Yes, lockdown and quarantine have been very tough. It has taken a toll on the mental health of children and adults alike. As we try to adjust to the unique obstacles, it is imperative to ensure that your little ones don’t suffer.
Keep their minds active during lockdown via the five games. Each of them will keep them entertained and ensure that they learn skills integral for their cognitive and social development.
Let us all know how it fares for you. If there are any other games that you think are worth mentioning, do share it with us!
Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell