Looking for a gaming website to entertain the kids? Look no further – we’ve got you covered on the five best ones to check out.
Between schoolwork and chores, we can all remember how stressful being a kid can be. For many of us, games allowed us to express our emotions and get back in touch with our sense of fun – which was especially important after a long day of school!
Psychological research has proven that play is vital for children’s development as it helps them to exercise their creativity, dexterity and cognitive abilities; it also allows them to engage with the world around them in a meaningful way.
What are the best online games websites for kids?
Here are the top website with games for children:
- Two Player Games – www.twoplayergames.org
- G2K – www.g2k.co
- Miniclip – www.miniclip.com
- Newgrounds – www.newgrounds.com
- Kongregate – www.kongregate.com
Top 5 gaming websites:
Without further ado, here are the top five free gaming websites to consider letting your children play once they’ve finished their homework.
1. Two Player Games
As the name suggests, Two Player Games offers a range of online multiplayer games (although they range from 1-4 players). This website is a favourite of children everywhere, who often play their games with their friends on their lunch break or in their free time.
The platform focuses on offering free, child-friendly content that encourages socialisation with other kids. Some of the biggest games on the website are G-Switch 3, Super Fighters and Tug the Table.
2. Games 2 Kids – G2K
Games 2 Kids – G2K is a free online gaming platform for children offering a diverse range of titles across genres such as adventure, racing, sports, action, and dress up. It also allows for one player or multiplayer modes, and features a number of famous cartoon characters from shows like Ben 10 and Spongebob Squarepants, as well as Marvel superheroes.
One of the first online gaming websites to hit the internet, Miniclip was launched back in 2001 and became a huge success thanks to its large range of titles. It is believed to be the biggest privately owned online gaming website in the world. In 2006 Miniclip hit the 1 billion download mark on mobile devices alone.
They have a wide collection of games available on smartphones, and some available on Xbox and PS4, too. Some of their most popular games are Agar.io, Gravity Guy, Berry Rush and 8 Ball Pool.
Founded in 1995, Newgrounds is the oldest on the list, and is a particularly unique online gaming website as it features user-generated content – similar to how YouTube features user-generated videos. It is an American company, showcasing not only games, but audio, films and art. It was ranked 39th in Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2010. It allows submissions to be ranked based on user’s votes.
The company published its first mobile iOS game in 2012, named GroundCats. Perhaps its most successful child-friendly games are Castle Crashers and Pico Pico. All in all, this is an excellent gaming website for kids.
Another massive American online gaming platform, Kongregate offers mid-core games across a range of genres. It boasts a library of more than 110,000 games, as well as over 30 games on mobile devices, and some on consoles and PC, too. It began in 2006 but was bought out by GameStop in 2010, followed by the Modern Times Group in 2017.
This site is known for a range of idle (aka “incremental”) games, such as Crusaders of the Lost Idols and Adventure Capitalist. It also allows users to upload their achievements and high scores.
Benefits of video games for children
Contrary to popular opinion, research has shown that video games can provide kids with a range of cognitive benefits, including:
While it might look like your child is simply staring blankly at a screen, engaging in video games actually requires a large degree of both mental and physical stimulation, as the child needs to coordinate their audial, visual and physical senses in order to play. So playing video games can help to improve their coordination in the long run.
Improved problem-solving ability
Video games adhere to certain rules and require children to problem solve in order to progress. This requires a child to make a number of cognitive judgments and split-second decisions, which is an excellent skill for a child to develop.
They also require a child to use their short and long-term memory (both audial and visual). They need to listen or read the instructions in order to know which buttons to press, and memorise them over the course of the game. They also need to remember the storyline, if there is one.
Improved attention span
These days, children seem to have shorter attention spans. This is normal given how much content there is out there to distract them. However, playing video games requires children to focus their attention on an objective for potentially long periods of time. This allows them to exercise their concentration, which can improve their ability to focus in other areas of life, too.
Faster processing speeds
While it might be starting to sound like we’re talking about computers instead of children, the reality is that playing video games can help improve your child’s ability to process information quickly. This is because they often have to switch their attention to different elements quickly, such as their health bar status, whether they are being attacked, and how much ammunition they have left, for example. Video games can also help to improve multitasking abilities, allowing children to quickly switch between two or more events – crucial for learning to drive a car!
Better social skills
Believe it or not, video gaming can even help boost your child’s social skills! This is true for games in which constant communication between real life players is required in order to succeed in the game. Not only do they require them to cooperate in order to succeed (in many cases), but they also allow for friendships to be forged, and conflicts to be dealt with.
Video games are increasingly being used as a teaching tool in schools and universities due to better understanding the benefits they offer students. So don’t be surprised if you find out that your kids are playing video games at school for academic purposes!
Of course, they should be played in moderation. While they can be beneficial, it is also important that your child gets enough exercise and one-on-one interaction in real life. And some games are better than others for a child’s development.
Tips for monitoring media use
Worried your kids might be spending a little too much time playing computer games, or might be viewing content you don’t approve of? Here are our helpful tips for ensuring they play responsibly:
Assign time limits
Setting a time limit for how long your kids can play games for is one of the easiest ways to keep their hobby under control. A good general rule is that 1 hour a day is long enough, but feel free to decide for yourself. Setting a time limit in advance can also be a good way to get your child off the screen at a reasonable time – and giving them a five minute warning can help them prepare to get off, too (you wouldn’t want to be yanked off the computer just as you’re about to end a final boss, so why should they?). You might even want to set a kitchen timer for the younger kids.
Be aware of ratings
We don’t just mean whether or not it got a 10/10 on Metacritic – you’ll want to check a game’s ESRB rating to decide whether or not it is age appropriate for your child. Look out for inappropriate content, such as swearing, violence, sexual references, and negative attitudes towards females.
Use parental controls
Parental controls are there for a reason – so use them! This is especially important with smartphones, as you don’t want your kids to be able to download whatever content they want (if it’s not appropriate for them). This also avoids having them spend money on apps or in-game currency (or limits the amount they can spend, if you’re okay with them buying things occasionally). Of course, keep your password a secret!
Some of the best kid-friendly games (some of which are even being used in schools as educational tools!) include Minecraft, Super Mario Maker, LittleBigPlanet and Lego Worlds. These games are all great as they encourage your child’s use of imagination and creativity. They are great for kids aged 8 and up.
Keep the kids entertained with an endless suite of child-friendly, multiplayer online games. The best part? They’re free to play! And remember that games aren’t bad for your kids as long as they are played in moderation. Use our media usage tips and your own good judgment to make the right decisions for your family. You might even want to consider playing some of the games yourself.