5 (ok 6) Non Violent and/or Educational Video Games for Kids

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I am not a fan of violent video games.  My husband does play some, but he does so when our children are in bed for the night and he just wants to chill for a while.  Me, I’ll take a cute  game any time, or a word game.  But never violence. I’m especially not a fan of games with violence for children, especially for young children. We have violence everywhere in our lives, and there are just SO many great non violent options to find! An added bonus I keep finding?  These games are almost always priced LESS than their more violent counterparts.  Makes no sense to me. Here are some of OUR family favorites for non-violent video games- for Nintendo DS, LeapFrog Explorer/LeapPad, Nintendo Wii, XBOX. Scholastic is a brand known for quality, fun educational content, so I don’t think anyone will be surprised that I will highly recommend anything they put out.  The I Spy Games for DS and Leapfrog are fabulous- my kids adore the I Spy series, and while we do always prefer books, at least mama does, at least when the kids are playing these games, I know that they are engaged and learning and not just pressing buttons. scholastic ds games

  • I SPY® TWO GAME PACK for NINTENDO DSTM  & Nintendo WII includes two of the popular franchise’s award-winning titles – I SPY Fun House and I SPY Universe. Together, the games feature more than 50 riddles and over 200 levels of play for seek-and-find fans of all ages. To escape the topsy-turvy world in I SPY Fun House, players must earn tickets by completing games, riddles, and the ultimate Prize Popper challenge. I SPY Universe takes players on a different kind of puzzle-solving adventure – a trip through the cosmos. Players unlock new planets and explore the universe while searching for over 400 objects in 36 I SPY riddles, and playing six brain-teasing games.
  • For children 5-8, SMART GAMES FOR KIDS TWO GAME PACK for NINTENDO DSTM  – inclusive of two popular Nintendo DSTM titles – My Amusement ParkTM and Digging for Dinosaurs®. In My Amusement ParkTM, kids build and run their own entertainment venue. Players can choose from four different themes to create rides, food venues, and special attractions in their own personal park. Digging for Dinosaurs® challenges players with a variety of distinctive mini-games that range from simulated paleontological digs to dinosaur battles, all while teaching interesting facts about more than 20 prehistoric species.

I have to tell you that this Digging for Dinosaurs is a hot game with the Kindergarten and First Grade crowd.  My son saw it at Kohl’s months ago and still asks me about it weekly. “Mom, did you get that dinosaur game for my DS yet?”  Well, yes I have but it’s a secret, tucked away for Christmas.  Dinosaurs are cool, and kids can learn, play the “big kid” DS system, and still have fun- without violence. LeapFrog is another very well known, high quality brand that devotes a great deal of research and investment in producing games and toys that both educate and engage- in very fun, interactive ways. leapfrog explorer magic school bus game

The Magic School Bus: Oceans is now available for LeapFrog®’s award-winning Leapster Explorer™ and LeapPad™. Designed for children ages 5-8, The Magic School Bus: Oceans teaches young gamers hundreds of interesting facts about ocean life through fun trivia challenges and seven highly replayable games. Players can earn special badges by performing well in games or trivia challenges, and can redeem these badges for additional features – like decorations for the bus or a customized Magic School Bus driver’s license – through the LeapFrog® Connect Application.

We are kind of new to the Magic School Bus scene.  We have this game on DS and LeapPad, and in my house, it’s preferred on the LeapPad. It may simply be this way because all three kids can see the screen of the pad better than the DS- but they all like the game, even my 3 year old, though she obviously needs a lot of help with it. tangled wii

Tangled- There’s a little bit of the frying pan action, so I hesitated to put this in, but really, this is a CUTE game, easier to control so the littler ones can enjoy it, and when you whip Rapunzel’s hair around, flowers grow.  My girls adore this game, we have it for the Wii.

kinect nat geo tv xbox

Nat Geo TV for Kinect is FABULOUS!  National Geographic, but interactive.  Gorgeous photos and superb graphics.  Great for all ages.  It’s fun to even watch the kids play. funky barn 3ds Funky Barn for DS- this game is just hilarious.  Its cute, it’s fun, whether you are in 2D or 3D mode (I can’t stand 3D anything lately, I think I’m getting old).   Kids (and adults) can learn about working on a farm- in an oddball way, but they are still learning!

I hope this list helps you. I know so many little ones really want to have a gaming system and maybe like me, you are not really wanting to get them into violent games to start.  Let me know if you have other suggestions or ideas- I’d love to add them!   Some of these games were received to include in the gift guide- some are simply games my family loves.  Opinions are my own.

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

9 comments… add one

  • it’s very easy for me to overlook this aspect of parenting (not being a parent) but I do think ‘violent vidoe games’ is a rather big category. When you say that non-violent games are cheaper there’s occasionally a reason for that like they don’t work as well, or required much less to develop. Based on the selection you choose it sounds like you’re interests for your children trend towards non-conflict games. I think conflict if part of life. I think there is a role for it. We all need to learn conflict, the winning, and the losing and how to deal with both sides graciously and appropriately. Hence why when I play games with my nephews I don’t shy from choosing a winner but I do try to emphasize that once the game is over we’re still family and I still love them.

    That said I don’t play entirely violent games myself. I do enjoy low violence and low conflict games. Here are some of my favorites
    - Singstar: The ultimate in a karaoke game. At this point you don’t even need to buy the discs (which are mostly 30 songs for $20 but can be found for $30). The song selection is filled with family appropriate hits. You can buy songs for $1.50 which includes the music video. It differs from the Xbox Karaoke Channel in that the Xbox version has a larger song selection (but not the original vocals), doesn’t actually score you (optional on SingStar).
    Hon Mention: Disney SingIt Hits

    - Kirby *insert anything here* : the Kirby franchise is practically built around accommodating the younger generation. It’s always been a mystery why it’s been so appealing so long

    - Pinball FX – video pinball is everything that was fun about pinball without having to pay quarters. PLUS it’s a video games so it does things pinball machines don’t do. Hit the rally mode and engage in a real video game for a few seconds to bump your score.
    Hon Mention: Metroid Prime Pinball (if you can find this game.. get it. it’s insanely fun that said one of the mini games is shoot the slugs so consider that)

    - Burnout Paradise: One of the best driving games I’ve ever played. Visually impressive, game design impressive. It might be a bit complex for the younger ones though
    Hon Mention: the more obvious Mario Kart and Sonic Sega All Stars Rally

    - Buzz Quiz World: A fantastic quiz PS3 game. It’s fun, you can make your own custom quizzes. Great game but again heavy on the reading so may not be child approved
    Hon: You Don’t Know Jack (way more fun, no customization but everything is vocally announced, jokes can be ‘adult’ but so adult they go over the head of small children)

    - 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand: just kidding. good game but no.. just no.

    - Lego Batman: and Lego Batman 2, while this is a conflict game the violence is extremely minimal. It’s literally lego pieces and defeating a bad guy breaks him into a shower of Lego pegs. If that sounds friendly enough they’re both fantastic game.

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  • 5 off the top of my head that aren’t violent and fun and not these
    1.) Peggle
    2.) Plants vs Zombies
    3.) Portal 2
    4.) Guitar Hero (well if you want old games)
    5.) Little Big Planet series

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  • These are great suggestions. I teach first and second graders. I hear them talking about games their dads or older siblings have that they’re not allowed to play. It’s like the forbidden fruit. It becomes something they’re curious about because they see it on the shelf and know they’re not allowed to play it. Scholastic makes some great games that give kids the opportunity for creative, non-violent play.

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  • My daughter is into video games just like we are (hubby and I). I like to see her playing something educational rather than something negative. Great ideas for games!

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  • I love playing these video games.

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  • Thanks for the suggestions! My fiancee plays all the violent games, but same thing, not in front of the kiddo. I am always looking for great games for Shane so thank you for the ideas!

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  • I used to play some of those when I was little – fun games. I recommend Animal Crossing – it’s not violent and fun!

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  • We’ve always loved the I Spy video games. Oh and I didn’t know there was a Tangled video game. My Gracie would love that one!

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  • This is great, I love how you covered so many gaming systems (we have a few here!) thanks for the info all in one place!

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