If your kids have been home all summer, they’ve probably complained about being bored at least a few times (and probably more). Like most children, they’re probably spending a lot of time watching TV and playing video games. Those activities can be encouraged to a point.
Why it’s OK for tour kids to play video games
Before you tell your kids to shut down that video game, consider the fact that there are a lot of benefits from gaming which are finally being supported by research.
Video games can improve social skills, decision making, and motor skills, and build confidence in players of all ages. Gaming can also improve moods and increase happiness while decreasing depression. Video games of all kinds have their benefits and can offer a lot more than just a way to kill some time.
While there are benefits to playing all kinds of games, some games are more beneficial for younger players. Plenty of online educational games for various ages cover a broad range of skills and interests. Word games are great for kids who are working to expand their vocabulary and strengthen their spelling skills; puzzle games can help with problem solving and decision-making skills.
Here are five puzzle games that kids can play online for free that are a great introduction to online games in general.
1. Angry Birds
If you’re been paying attention to pop culture at all, you’ve surely heard of this one. Since this smartphone game was released, Angry Birds has built an empire of games, toys, and even books and board games.
The original version is a great place to start, of course, but the other versions might be more appealing, especially the Star Wars edition.
Here’s a classic game that you probably remember playing when you were a kid. It still holds up and there are lots of new versions you and your kids can try for free online. Playing Tetris can help with motor skills and reaction time as well as pass the time in an engaging manner.
3. I Spy Games
The I Spy books are classics; there are almost certainly worn copies in every elementary school library across the US. If your kids love the I Spy books, or even Where’s Waldo, the online versions of I Spy are a great way to stay busy this summer.
This is a game beloved of kids and adults alike. The simple game play makes it easy for anyone to play, but the puzzle aspect can keep you engaged for hours.
5. Mystery Case Files
Perfect for any kids who love detective stories, the Mystery Case Files games let players solve mysteries through a series of puzzles and hidden clues. It’s a great storytelling game that keeps children challenged and engaged from beginning to end.
How to monitor your kids so that they play safe
Playing games online can be a fun and free way to encounter new games — even educational ones — but you probably don’t want to just set your child loose on the internet.
Make sure your son or daughter is playing games on a trusted free game website and talk to them about your expectations. Whether you want to set a limit on which sites they visit or how long they spend on the computer, make sure those rules are clear from the start, and explain to them that the rules are in place to keep them safe online.