Screen Time Minus the Guilt
- What: Educational electronic entertainment for kids
- When: Two years and up
- Why: Kids love it, you feel good about it
- Where: Amazon
Looking for some electronic entertainment for your kids that won’t make you cringe? Stuck inside with kids home from school and need to keep them busy but already used up all your art supplies and lengthy books? Try entertaining kids with one of these electronic games and resources and avoid the guilt.
Nintendo Switch Labo: I am not one to recommend any sort of video game. But I still including Nintendo Switch Labo on this list. Unlike most video games, it has a physical component beyond the controller itself. Kids (or adults) have to construct the cardboard apparatus to play the games. My kids have made a cardboard house with various gears and gadgets to insert and remove to unlock new features in the electronic game. The construction phase keeps them occupied and gives them practice following directions and going beyond the gaming box. Labo works best for school age kids, though it doesn’t require reading skills. With a little assistance, younger students can get a lot out of it, too. My four year has made two of the constructions that come in the variety kit, but you can also get the robot assortment or vehicle pack.
Osmo: Osmo makes a great educational gaming system. While it requires an iPad, iPhone, or other tablet to work, they offer a variety of games and programs for almost any age and learning level. My kids love the coding game in particular, and so do I. But we’ve also played their spelling and tangram games and I feel good about all of those.
Coding for Kids: This website from Code.org rocks because you don’t need to buy any additional gadgets. You can access it on any screen and kids can jump in and start learning the basics of coding. Even if they don’t grow up to make hundreds of thousands of dollars coding software, the math and logic skills they learn help in other areas, too. Best of all, they have no idea they learn. They just enjoy, and that means they stay out of your hair. Kids can create an account and the site will automatically load their progress from different machines, making this resource a great option both at home and away.