Gaming For Little Kids


Oh, yeah! We played through Duck Tales Remastered together. That was fun!


My older daughter just turning 4 now needs a new game, I’m thinking of trying to get her going with Minecraft. Others had success at that age?


Mine picked it up pretty fast on the iPad but it was a struggle at the very beginning. Especially with activating flight mode in creative, using light sources, etc. As always I found the best way was to let him get frustrated, show him once, then let him figure it out. Which is super, super hard for me - I want to help/do it for him. It also never seems like he is listening, but apparently he is.

To echo @wumpus all of the Toca Boca games were gold at this age. My guy still yanks out the their chef/kitchen app to try and gross us all out with a broccoli, chicken, yogurt milk shake.

World of Goo sounds like an interesting idea. Probably too much solo but I wouldn’t mind playing through it again. Now if we could only play spacechem on the ipad, so he could learn just how stupid his daddy is.


Yeah, my five-year-old son loves Minecraft and has been playing it for a long time, maybe since he was three? I forget. Anyway, he plays on his kindle and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all flora and fauna and locations. Plays in creative mode almost exclusively. It’s a good choice for kids.


Ok thanks, sounds like both you and @Gendal have them on iPad / tablet instead of PC with a mouse.


Yes. My son doesn’t really use the PC since he prefers the touch interface on kindle and iOS. Same with my three year old daughter actually. In fact they’re both a bit confused that the TV and computer monitor don’t react to their touch.


My kids play on PS4 and have played on PC with Xbox 360 controllers. I’m tempted to pick up Minecraft on the Switch. They don’t play anything with Keyboard and Mouse.


This thread reminded me that I have a Wii that I haven’t hooked up in years. I think Mario Kart should be amazing with my boy. We’ll see how it goes this weekend.


Have 4 year old, can confirm.

He had trouble remembering to hold the accelerator at the same time as steer, but enjoyed it still.


I’m old, so I’m going to recommend bicycle + dirt mound with no supervision or safety equipment.


Good timing, I was just thinking about making this thread.

I’m trying to think about how to introduce my daughter (4) to gaming. She hasn’t shown all that much interest, but she also didn’t show much interest in TV until fairly recently. She’s hates sitting still and would much rather be interacting with us on the couch than watching TV, even if it’s on. It’s only really in the last year or so that she’s even wanted to watch TV. So, while I know that there are kids that can handle a controller at that age, I think she’s going to just be a little slower to engage with video games.

She’s also extremely conflict-averse. I’ve played a little bit of Zelda with her, and she wanted me to cut grass and catch bugs, but really didn’t like it when I got into fights. She watched me play Mario Odyssey for a bit, mostly long enough for me to run around as a T-rex, but sort of wandered away shortly after that.

The Toca Boca games look great! I was just starting to look for some games for our Xmas travels (she has a kids Kindle Fire that she mostly just watches Disney movies on). She loves dress-up stickers and colorforms and things like that, so I imagine she’ll like digital versions of the same.

Bit trip runner, mentioned above, sounds interesting, because it’s basically just a one-button experience, and I think that might be a nice gentle intro. She loves music as well.

Some of the switch e-shop kiddie stuff looks adorable (e.g. Yono And The Celestial Elephants), but those seem mechanically complex for her.


Anyone have any good game recommendations for a 10 year old with a Kindle Fire? He doesn’t really like Minecraft. He has enjoyed some restaurant type games. He also likes Rayman Jungle Run. I think he also likes Snail Bob which is pretty easy. It doesn’t need to be a free app or anything - just something worth while.


There is really zero reason to expose any 4 year old to any other gaming platform than an iPad IMO. It’s so damn good at that, pretty much the platonic ideal of a small kid game device.

(Also I recommend the big grips case, should fit the standard 2017 iPad fine, I’d think, but not the pro. Obviously don’t get your 4 year old a pro. I made that mistake one and never again.)

As an older kid, sure, begin to widen the exposure…


I sort of feel the exact opposite. Keep the phones and tablets away from them as long as you can and try to get them to think of technology as being more social than most touch-screen devices allow.

To each his own, I guess.


I meant digital gaming platforms. Sorry if my language wasn’t precise enough. If we’re in luddite mode, sure, no exposure to any electricity. Boardgames and cards are fine.


Ultimately, everybody has to deal with their kids’ behavior in context of their own family, etc. I used to let my kids play with the iPad(s) we have. They frequently fought about it, were cranky, etc… So we completely cut out the iPads. They play a lot of card and board games, but also play a lot of PS4 and Switch game, primary co-op ones. I guess the forced turn-taking with the single player games (Mario Odyssey, for example) and the co-op in Minecraft, Rayman, etc… got them used to gaming as an experience they share with each other and with their parents. We try to play as many 4-player co-op games together as we can. Anyhow, for my kids, it’s dramatically improved their behavior around gaming and electronic devices.

I’m not trying to suggest, in any way, that it’s the right approach for everybody. Cutting iPads out of the routine really improved the mood around my house, though.


Hmm, true, most iPad games aren’t super social in terms of in-person sharing. One exception is Toca Store, where you flip the iPad and one person becomes the buyer and the other person the seller. Toca Tea Party is also fun for more than one person because you serve the tea, cakes, and let everyone drink and eat them. Even clean up spills!

errrmm I might know too much about this


Anyone have suggestions for the Switch that aren’t fighting/shooting/death games? My wife has strong opinions about such things but I want to play games with my kids, so co-op, non-violent games are pretty much our only options to preserve a happy home.

On the Wii, we all enjoyed the ‘build a zoo’ type of games, but not sure what’s out there for switch that’s got that same vibe. Certainly can’t play xenoblade or zelda, but maybe the latest mario. Snipperclips should work. Probably not mariocart. You can see why I’m asking for help…


The Switch has Minecraft, if that’s not too far down the violence slope. You could set up a creative world without monster spawns to be completely violence-free. If Mario passes muster, that’d be a good choice as well – the second player can take control of the cap. There’s a Picross game. Maybe Puyo Puyo Tetris? World of Goo?

It’s true that the Switch’s library isn’t very well-developed in this specific area. Also, I don’t have kids yet, so I might be way off!


Stardew Valley!