Our Favourite Educational Video Games for Primary School Students
With video games becoming more and more popular with kids, it’s inevitable that your child is at some point going to want to get involved too. Even though playing video games doesn’t have the best reputation, they can actually be a fantastic learning opportunity. In fact, a new study by G2A.COM found nearly half of the teachers in the UK have been using video games during lockdown as a vital tool for teaching. Of those teachers, 88% said it helped them better engage with students - with games now being used across a wide range of subjects, from maths and physics to English literature. Many video games also help improve attention and concentration, encourage reading, problem solving, hand-eye coordination, enhance memory and improve leadership skills. Here’s a few of our favourite educational video games for primary school students, so they can play and learn at the same time.
Since its creation in 2009, Minecraft has captured the minds and imaginations of many children and adults too! Put simply, it’s an open world game that allows players to interact in a non-linear way with the environment, while allowing players to manipulate every piece of the landscape. The point of Minecraft is to survive, which includes building, exploring, combatting, resource gathering and crafting. These activities are supplemented by many creative aspects, making the game fun to play and educational too. In fact, it enhances and encourages creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, collaboration, and other life skills. In the classroom, Minecraft even complements reading, writing, maths, STEM knowledge, as well as how to work as a team.
LittleBigPlanet 3 is a platform puzzle adventure game that comes with a powerful set of game-design tools. In the game, kids will play as the Sackboy character as they pass different tests to help save Craftworld. They can also build their own worlds and manipulate everything in them, helping to develop logic, problem solving and spatial orientation skills in the process.
MathLand is a brilliant educational video game for kids based on exploration and learning maths. It contains many components that are sure to keep your child interested with its fun exploration, collecting gems and basic problem solving elements. Along the way it will help kids learn basic maths, mental arithmetic as well as hand-eye coordination. It’s a great example of how educational gaming for young children can be made fun yet functional.
Scribblenauts is a unique word-based video game where kids are encouraged to use a mix of problem-solving, logic, and language-based skills to complete its fascinating and varied levels. Each level is an open-ended puzzle, where tasks can be as simple as collecting a Starite from a tree, or as challenging as traversing crocodile-infested waters and slipping past werewolves. Using their imagination, kids can use almost any means to complete these tasks, such as magically spawning a trampoline, ladder, or even plane onto the screen- all they need to do is spell the word correctly. Over time, the levels become increasingly more difficult, making this game incredibly engaging and naturally helps children with their reading and writing skills.
Animal Crossing- New Horizons
Animal Crossing is a life simulation game that allows children to create their own island and live there, in real-time. Players can visit characters on the island, search for and collect items for the museum, and earn and spend in-game currency. Not only is it a game that enhances kids' creativity, it also helps them develop their problem solving, inventory management, money management (paying off debt, investing, etc.) and teamwork skills. It also utilises plenty of written on-screen instructions, prompting your child to practice their reading and comprehension skills as well as sequencing and direction-following. With the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game specifically, there is a focus on fishing, catching bugs and digging for fossils, which really helps children learn plenty of facts about weird and wonderful bugs and fish, as well as about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.