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With schools remaining closed, many parents are looking for creative ways to keep homeschooling fresh and interesting. For some parents, that means doing the unthinkable – turning to video games!
These days, video games offer so much more than a way to pass the time. Some video games are perfect for keeping young minds ticking over, and can be used to provide outlets for a variety of unexpected interests – including subjects like palaeontology, and coding!
So for parents who are struggling to keep their kids both educated and entertained, the team at Uswitch have compiled a list of the top 10 Educational Nintendo Switch Games.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Your child will learn – paleontology, entomology, ichthyology
If your child is into sea creatures, bugs and dinosaurs – and let’s face it, what child isn’t? – then you need to get them playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game tasks players with completing a museum by collecting various insects, fish and fossils found all over the island. When you donate one of these items, museum curator Blathers is more than happy to provide real-world facts about your find. It’s a great way for kids to learn as they play!
Your child will learn – construction play
One of the absolute best options for educational learning on the Switch, Nintendo LABO comes with all kinds of cardboard accessories depending on which kit you purchase, which your child will be encouraged to shape together during a step-by-step playable guide. The fun tone makes the whole experience feel like a game, but the whole time you’ll be teaching your child the basics of construction play – creativity, problem-solving, and improving hand-eye coordination.
Your child will learn – coding
Coding is a vital skill for children to learn, and you can give them a head start by letting them play FUZE4. The game is basically a fully-featured development experience, in which players can build their own mini video games. Playing provides a fun way for children to get to grips with the basics of coding as they learn how changes impact style, form and design. All useful skills for future developers!
Your child will learn – cooperative critical thinking skills
Snipperclips is great if you’re looking to help your child with their cooperative critical thinking skills. The objective of the game is to make your character fit the shapes that are presented on-screen, and you achieve this by using other characters – and other players – to chip pieces off each other until you’re both the right shape. The game encourages teamwork and pushes children to come up with creative solutions to puzzle solving. Plus, it’s really fun too!
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu
Your child will learn – strategy
Pokémon has always been a great game when it comes to teaching strategy, and the Let’s Go Pikachu is no different. More accessible to younger audiences than the more recent Sword and Shield, Let’s Go Pikachu is an RPG that teaches kids how to plan ahead, and use the best tool for the job. Pokémon break down into types – water, fire – and different types affect others in different ways. The game teaches complex systems in an easy, digestible way, and is perfect for kids who like to think ahead.
Your child will learn – maths
Numbala is a bit different to some of the games on this list, as it’s entirely focused on teaching maths. But don’t let that put your child off! The game utilises a unique shooting gameplay mechanic – which makes use of maths – so that the entire experience feels more like an action-adventure than a dry seminar. Numbala was purposefully designed to improve arithmetic skills and might make for a good choice if your child is struggling through their textbooks.
Super Mario Maker 2
Your child will learn – game design, level design
Another game which is great for would-be-coders, Super Mario Maker 2 uses the framework of the classic Mario titles but adds an imaginative twist – this time, you create the levels! If your child has ever shown an interest in game design, this is a great way to get them going. Your child will be tasked with creating challenging – but fair – levels, picking up the basics of game design as they do so. The colourful characters and jaunty Mario music provide a great backdrop as your child learns with technology.
Your child will learn – creative writing
Scribblenauts is the perfect game if you want your child to hone their creative writing skills. You play as a boy with the power to bring things to life by writing them into reality. You’ll meet people with specific problems and use your writing skills to come up with solutions. It’s great for kids as there’s multiple ways to solve each puzzle, so they won’t be expected to guess a correct answer – they’re encouraged to come with their own. It’s a great way to encourage creative writing skills!
Letter Quest Remastered
Your child will learn – linguistics
A game that pushes players to use their linguistic skills to survive. Letter Quest Remastered combines beautiful artwork, and a catchy soundtrack with wordplay to send players on an excellent RPG adventure. Landing somewhere between a traditional dungeon-crawling RPG and a spelling bee, this is a great way to improve your child’s linguistic skills as they use letters to vanquish enemies and progress.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Your child will learn – puzzle solving skills
The most recent game in The Legend of Zelda series, and a remake of a Gameboy classic, this game skews a little younger than the giant Breath of the Wild, so it’s a great way to introduce your child to the Zelda formula. And you know what makes up the Zelda formula? Puzzles! As your child progresses through the game’s dungeons, they’ll come across increasingly complex logic puzzles. Your child will feel an immense sense of achievement and self-satisfaction as they work their way through.