Top 20 educational video games

Video games aren’t just for play anymore. More and more games are being marketed to help students hone cognitive skills — and not just that hand-eye coordination that many of us claimed when we were younger. These games actually teach lessons and promote creativity. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites:

1) Brain Age and Brain Age 2 (Nintendo DS)

Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! This game will teach you math problems, concentration word puzzles and even Sudoku. Just don’t get caught during class!

2) PLATO Achieve (Playstation portable)

Designed for curricula in K-7 classrooms, the 28 language and 29 math games will absolutely reinforce lessons that students are learning in school. The content is aligned with IRA, NCTE, and NCTM guidelines.

3) Hot Brain (Playstation portable)

As a package of mini-games, Hot Brain requires the player/student to solve visual puzzles, math problems and even combine pictograms with wordplay. This particular game also has a multiplayer (“pass’n’play”) function for collaborative learning.

4) Big Brain Academy (Nintendo DS/Wii)

This party game helps you learn in a group setting — great for a classroom or your living room couch. Big Brain Academy is an interactive set of group challenges set for fun and learning. You can choose challenges from five categories: think, memorize, analyze, compute, and identify. The game can also be tailored to the individual by assessing strengths and weaknesses when you begin and then tracking progress over time.

5) Drawn to Life (Nintendo Wii/DS)

What better way to get children to interact with lessons than to make them come up with the solutions themselves? Drawn to life is an adventure story where the player creates logical elements of the story, for the hero to use!

6) Story Hour: Adventures (Nintendo Wii)

Children love having stories read to them, and when parents or teachers aren’t available, this video game can come to the rescue! Teaching children to read and understand storytelling through interactivity, Story
Hour invites children into their favorite tales!

7) Smarty Pants (Nintendo Wii)

Instead of focusing children on specific classroom lessons, Smarty Pants tests on more general knowledge. Family members and friends can challenge each other on a wide range of topics, with game play tailored according to the age level of each of the players. Additional challenge modes include tug of war and dance offs.

8) The Typing of the Dead (Dreamcast and PC)

Are you prepared for the zombie invasion? Turns out, your defense may need to be more academic than tactical. In this game, zombies lurch towards you slowly, and your only defense is to type out preset words to defeat them. Type faster! (and while you’re doing it, hone your typing skills and learn new vocabulary…)

9) Academic Skill Builders

Here you’ll find an array of educational games for kids to teach them math and language arts skills. Penguin Jump Multiplication, Drag Race Division, Integer Warp, and Spelling Bees are just a few of the cute games available. You can choose games according to the lesson that you want to learn.

10) Quest Atlantis

Students ages 9 to 16 engage in quests and missions that promote academic learning. The gaming environment also promotes socializing with other students and teachers, including blogs, polls, and bulletin boards.

11) The Incredibles (LeapFrog)

Kids can help everyone’s favorite superhero family save the day — all while learning math facts, problem solving, spelling and parts of speech!

12) Finding Nemo (LeapFrog)

Help Dory, Nemo and Marlin by learning letters, science facts, and reading and phonics skills! Kids can also connect online for more game fun and special rewards. Parents can also check in to see what their children are playing.

13) Mr. Pencil’s Learn to Draw and Write (LeapFrog)

Mr. Pencil has over 100 lessons to help teach children to draw and write. Mr. Pencil combines tools and games to help promote creativity and skill.

14) Little Big Planet (PS3)

Creating entire scenarios and worlds may seem daunting, but the imagination of students is given room to grow in Little Big Planet. Players have completely recreated other video games within Little Big Planet! The game will challenge students and hone their skills in telling a story and using their creativity.

15) Deadliest Warrior (Xbox 360)

Many a debate has raged over who would win: Pirates or Ninjas? Vikings or Knights? This game helps settle the debate with a heaping dose of historical realism. The game — based on the television show — includes detailed information about historical warriors, lending to an understanding of history and historical “technology.” Clearly, this fighting game may be more suited for supportive learning material than as a first-hand primary learning source. But it makes history fun and brings it to life for students!

16) Wii Fit (Wii)

This game is about far more than showing parents that video games aren’t necessarily turning their children into couch potatoes. Besides helping kids (of all ages) get their heart rates up and their blood pumping, the game also teaches valuable lessons about nutrition and physical fitness. Besides that, maintaining our bodies to be in physically fit shape is a fantastic lesson that anyone can, and should, learn.

17) Portal (Xbox 360)

This game develops students’ ability to think spatially. To move from challenge to challenge, students will have to overcome typical puzzle solving that involves a basic understanding of physics — including concepts such as momentum and velocity.

18) Sim City

What does it really take to run an entire city? From the smallest details of parks and recreation to balancing the budget with water, electricity, and road maintenance, students will learn about the big picture of city planning. The game is available in multiple versions for multiple platforms.

19) Sid Meier’s Civilization

Civilizations had to develop new technology to advance and grow their empires. Gathering together historical figures and civilizations, Civilization helps students to see how that evolution took place and society was shaped. There are multiple versions of the game, according to time period or genre, such as colonization or revolution, so students can choose which angle of history they want to bring to life. The game is available on multiple platforms, including Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS and the PC.

20)Dora the Explorer – Dora Saves the Snow Princess (Wii)

Hola! While students adventure through the game, parents can join in to help solve puzzles and give clues.

Posted on 08/10/10 | by maria magher | in Education, Technology | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Top 20 educational video games”

  1. elka sanchez Says:

    I would like Dora the Explorer game to be used in Language Arts curriculum with bilingual students.

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