Not all children — especially nowadays — learn best through pencil-and-paper instruction. According to educational nonprofit EDUCAUSE, a growing body of research shows game-based learning platforms “can create an engaging dynamic that inspires students to develop competencies and skills as they focus on the activities of the game.”
Regardless of the subject, whether your child hates or loves it, educational games for kids can help you instill a love of learning in your own child!
Below, we’ve organized some of the best educational games for kids by subject! Interested in games for a certain subject? Click one below and jump right to it:
- Language arts
- Health and physical education
- Social studies
Embark on a journey into the world of art, creativity, and visual learning with your personal Art Guides: Tickles, Furnace, and Ruby!
Start with Art! will walk your child through four foundational art lessons:
- Art as language
- Message in art
It also has engaging “Creativity Builders” art projects designed to foster creativity, encourage problem solving, and enhance critical thinking skills.
Each lesson is aligned to Creativity Express, a multi-award winning visual arts curriculum that professional educators and former Disney animators created!
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore||Age: 7+||Cost: Free, in-app purchases|
Tate is a family of four art galleries in London, Liverpool, and Cornwall. Its children-focused project, Tate Kids, lets children play free art-related games and quizzes, get help on art homework, and share their creations!
In addition to completing fun quizzes, kids can help robots save famous art in “Art Parts,” create their own landscapes in “My Imaginary City,” and more!
No matter what area of art your child is into, they’ll find something engaging, educational, and creative!
|Available: Web||Age: 6+||Cost: Free|
No crayons? Run out of sketchbook pages? No worries!
Colorfy is a digital coloring book for kids of all ages, filled with high-quality images. With over 1000 pictures to paint, your child will have the choice of florals, animals, patterns, gardens, mandalas, famous paintings, and other creative images.
This coloring game also includes a new AR virtual gallery that lets your child see what their art would look like in the real world!
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play||Age: 4+||Cost: Free, in-app purchases|
This early learning program has two proven products: Reading and Stories.
HOMER Reading combines a child’s current reading level and their passions, in order to create a personalized learn-to-read plan. Using that child’s same interests, HOMER Stories curates stories they’ll love — from classic to contemporary.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Web||Age: 4 to 18||Cost: 30-day free trial, then $7.99 USD per month|
This program is a K-12 supplemental literacy tool designed to help children at every learning level learn spelling and hone grammar skills. Plus, it helps them build vocabulary retention and reading comprehension.
You can try out 40+ free online spelling games which come with pre-populated word lists. They also offer a premium membership that gives your child access to all of Vocabulary Spelling City’s games with customized lists, homework practice, and more.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Web||Age: 4 to 18||Cost: Free, $34.95 per year (family annual membership up to five students)|
Based on the children’s animated television series on Nickelodeon, Wallykazam! helps preschoolers learn early reading skills.
Kids will join Wally Trollman, his pet dragon Norville, the mischievous Bobgoblin, Gina Giant, and Libby Light Sprite in magical and hilarious adventures! They’ll play games and learn letter recognition, letter tracing, and phonics.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore||Age: 3+||Cost: $1.99|
Health and physical education
The purpose of GoNoodle is to help parents and teachers get kids moving, with the help of engaging video content. As their app description states: “make screen time active with 300+ videos that feature kids songs, dance, yoga, mindfulness, stretching, and more!”
Whether you want to throw your children a dance party to get them moving or make cleaning up around the house fun, GoNoodle has the perfect video.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore||Age: 5 to 12||Cost: Free, premium version available|
When it comes to health, it’s important that children learn about their bodies early to stay healthy. Although this website is outdated, there are 36 health-related games across four categories that will help children love to care about their health.
From allergies and body parts to dental hygiene and staying fit, playing these games can introduce them to new concepts and help reinforce what they learn in school.
|Available: Web||Age: 4 to 13||Cost: Free|
Developed by New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab, Eat & Move-O-Matic aims to encourage young people to learn about — and practice — healthy and active lifestyles.
Children scroll through a food list and match it with something from an activity list. Based on the food and activity combination you choose, it will tell you how long it takes to burn off that food’s calories. For example, eating a medium-sized banana with 27 calories will take you four minutes of playing high-impact active video games to burn off, at 7.2 calories per minute.
With 35 activities and 80 foods, children will make new discoveries about their favorite foods and get healthy “Pro Tips.”
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 4+||Cost: Free|
It’s curriculum-aligned, offering content from every major math topic from 1st to 8th grade. Above all, Prodigy Education’s mission is to help every student in the world to love learning.
After creating their own personalized math wizard, your child will compete in math duels against in-game characters, similar to how role-playing games such as Pokémon do. To win, they must answer sets of questions. The game also adapts in difficulty to suit your child’s learning style and grade level.
By creating a Parent Account, you’ll join more than 3 million parents who set Goals, give Rewards, monitor progress and receive Report Cards to support their kids as they learn math.
Create or sign in to your free parent account here!
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Web||Age: 6 to 14||Cost: Free, Premium Membership available|
This is a middle school math game aligned with the common core and TEKS curricula. Your child will be tasked with helping Alfred, an inventor, save Mathlantis — a chaotic and disordered world — by restoring the population’s math knowledge.
On this adventure, they’ll time-travel and meet famous mathematicians, help them regain their lost knowledge, and transform Mathlantis back to its original state.
|Available: Web||Age: 8 to 14||Cost: $20 per month, $40 per quarter, $60 per year|
Developed by Touch Press Games, this educational math game helps children understand the beginning thought process of algebra and explore longer, more complex algebraic equations.
In Twelve a Dozen, your child will join the numeric hero, Twelve, on a journey through a universe of numbers. She’s on a mission to rescue her family and the crumbling world of Dozenopolis from the destructive Ultimate Prime. And they’ll use their skills and understanding of core math concepts to solve puzzles.
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 8 to 14||Cost: Free, in-app purchases|
Click here to see our list of the 13 best math apps for kids in elementary school!
Tinybop can be summed up in three words: play, create, and learn.
Using educational apps and digital games created for curious and creative minds, children can explore the awesome and invisible wonders of the world!
Children will develop foundational science literacy while engaging with educational games about the human body, plants, homes, weather, space, animals, states of matter, and other exciting topics.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Microsoft||Age: 4+||Cost: $2.99 per app, discounted bundles available|
Flowing from a belief that the power of play jumpstarts imagination, its games are open-ended, so children are encouraged to experiment and make new connections.The educational game developer Toca Boca creates digital toys from the kid perspective.
Among Toca Boca’s products, science-related ones include Toca Lab: Elements and Toca Lab: Plants. In Elements, children will explore the exciting world of science and meet all 118 elements from the periodic table, as they experiment with lab equipment! And in Plants, they’ll have the opportunity to see how plants evolve, while collecting up to 35 different plant characters!
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore||Age: 4+||Cost: $3.99 per app|
One of the most popular educational sites today, Wonderopolis was created by the National Center for Families in 2010.
Camp Wonderopolis started as a free way to keep children and their families learning outside of school and help avoid summer learning loss — the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of long school holidays.
There are five Wonderopolis camps:
- Flex Your Wonder
- Mission to Wonder
- Symphony of Wonders
- Connect with Your Wonders
- Build Your Own Wonderocity
Each one aims to keep children engaged with fun, interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments!
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 4+||Cost: Free|
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, said: “In fifteen years, we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing… and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.”
Recognizing its importance, Tynker has created award-winning coding courses that are fun and offer self-paced learning for all experience levels.
With over 3,700 fun modules, Tynker designed its lessons to motivate children to further advance their skills, while earning cool new badges! They’ll also have help along the way thanks to interactive explanations, how-to videos, mini-game previews, and more.
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 4+||Cost: Individual and Family Plans available, starting at $10 per month|
Help! R-obbie the Robot crashed his spaceship in a galaxy far away and doesn’t have enough energy to get back to his planet all by himself.
That’s where your child comes in. Using drag-and-drop programming instructions, they’ll help R-obbie reach the fuel levels he needs to get back home.
This is a programming game that helps people learn how to code in a child-friendly way. Your child will learn procedures, loops, and conditional instructions all while learning how fun — and accessible — programming can be!
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 7+||Cost: Free (in-app purchases), paid versions ($4.99)|
In partnership with E-Line Media and the Institute of Play, Gamestar Mechanic is an online game and community with the sole aim of helping children learn the guiding principles of game design in a highly engaging environment. There are three components to Gamestar Mechanic: Play, Design, and Share.
Here’s a quick overview of how it works:
- Your child will start by going on an exciting single-player quest to learn about the principles of game design, while earning “sprites.”
- After exhibiting a certain level of mastery, they can use their sprites to design their own original games!
- Then, if your child wishes, they may publish their game in Game Alley as well as review and collaborate on other players’ games.
|Available: Web||Age: 10+ (See PBS Kids’ Gamestar Mechanic Jr made especially for young designers!)||Cost: Free|
Starring some of children’s favorite television characters, the social studies games on PBS Kids explore culture, different environments, identity, governance, science, and more.
Not sure there’s something for your child? PBS Kids offers a variety of styles of games — from Jet’s Planet Pinball to learn about our solar system to Fidgits to the Rescue! where they build structures to help victims of environmental disasters. There’s something for every type of learner.
|Available: Web, iTunes App Store, Google Play||Age: 2 to 11||Cost: Free|
In 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reimagine civic education. Since its inception, her vision has been “to cultivate a new generation of students for thoughtful and active citizenship. Civic knowledge is a prerequisite for civic participation. Yet for decades, civic education had largely disappeared from school curricula and the repercussions are undeniable.”
Taking a game-based approach, iCivics transforms abstract concepts into problems that every child will face in real life.
If it’s used in your child’s class, they’ll have a class code to sign in. If it isn’t, they can still make their own account to play engaging and educational games that will help make them better citizens!
|Available: Web, iTunes App Store, Google Play||Age: 8+||Cost: Free|
This social studies game allows children to “meet” other kids around the world through photo- and audio-based stories called “A Day in My Life.”
Choose from places like Haiti, New York City, the Netherlands, or Indonesia to hear each storyteller’s language as well as learn geographic, cultural, and political facts about each country.
Depending how your child would like to explore each friend’s story, they can choose from three different approaches: Adventure, Start to Finish, and Conversations.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Web||Age: 6+||Cost: Free, in-app purchases|
If your child loves history, mystery and a great story, keep reading.
Created by a parent, educator and anthropologist, this educational game brings fun historical facts, archaeology, and world cultures together.
You’re summoned to an old manor, full of ancient relics and mysterious people. But why? Unravel the secrets of a lost clan and claim your right to travel through time!
Your child will embark on a point-and-click journey that encourages exploration, self-expression, and self-directed learning — all while learning real history.
|Available: Web, iTunes App Store||Age: 10+||Cost: Free, Silver ($7.99) or Gold (24.99) Memberships|
With this engaging app, Civilisations AR puts puts history in your hand with the BBC’s first ever Augmented Reality app. You and your child will discover things like ancient Egyptian secrets and reveal hidden layers beneath Renaissance masterpieces.
Whether at home or on a walk in the park, you can use Civilisations AR to bring realistic, to-scale artifacts to life. Become the explorer as you move, scale, and rotate the collection. And, if interested, use features like the “Spotlight” to reveal audio guides and special features, or the “X-Ray” to discover some of history’s greatest secrets.
|Available: iTunes App Store, Google Play||Age: All ages (However, children under 16 are advised to have an adult present.)||Cost: Free|
Children will have fun discovering the ancient world and exploring through games and adventures. With vibrant colors and high-quality images, they’ll find themselves engaged with the history of 14 different civilizations.
Kids also get to create their own avatar! And when they do, playing the game will allow them to level it up so they can unlock some awesome prizes.
|Available: iTunes App Store||Age: 7+||Cost: Free, in-app purchases ($2.79 to $13.99)|
Parents may remember the National Geographic Kids magazine. Now, children can engage with the same fun aspects of the magazine online.
To learn more about geography, head over to their website for some fact-filled, fast-paced fun! There are many educational quizzes, funny fill-ins, and action-adventure games to play.
|Available: Web||Age: 6+||Cost: Free|
Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Your child will just have to hop on the internet to find out. In collaboration with education publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Google Earth created a series of Carmen Sandiego games: The Crown Jewels Caper, Tutankhamun’s Mask Caper, and The Keys to the Kremlin Caper.
Your child will help Carmen Sandiego track down burglars working for a global criminal organization called VILE. Flying from continent to continent, players interview characters to gain clues that help track down the burglars while testing their geography knowledge.
Simply go to Google Earth → Voyager → Games → Scroll down!
|Available: Web||Age: 6+||Cost: Free|
Created by education publishing company Houghton Mifflin, GeoNet is a geography game led by Chester the beaver. Children first choose where in the world they’d like to go, then answer questions broken down into six categories: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and the uses of geography.
Chester will ask different types of multiple choice questions. But don’t worry — if they get it wrong the first time, they can keep trying until they get it right. Then, Chester will give a short explanation as to why that answer was correct! And if your child doesn’t find Level 1 challenging enough, try Level 2!
|Available: Web||Age: 6+||Cost: Free|
Ready to see the impact educational games for kids can have on yours?
Gamification in education need not be limited to the classroom.
Encouraging your child to spend their screen time playing educational games will not only strengthen their skills in various subjects, it will help transform them into lifelong learners.
Related: Is your child struggling with math? Click the image below to learn how you can spot the signs and help your child. 👇