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Video Games to Boost Your Child’s Education During COVID-19

Some of the earliest video games were intended to be educational tools. Titles like The Sumerian game taught kids about life in ancient Sumer as far back as 1966. Over 50 years later, games to help kids learn and have fun are readily accessible, but figuring out where to start can be difficult. Here are a few of our favorites that kids of all ages can enjoy.

History as a Game

Kids looking to learn more about American history have many games to choose from. When Rivers were Trails is a free game created by Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment program and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation with the support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. It depicts the journey to California of a member of the Anishinaabeg in the late 19th century after they were displaced from Minnesota.

The Oregon Trail gave generations of children a taste of how to manage resources and what life might have been like for the people traveling westward across the United States during the late 1800s. Several years ago, thousands of classic games were made available for free on The Internet Archive. One of those games was the 1990 version of The Oregon Trail. It might look dated, but the content and gameplay remain as gripping as ever.

For older children in their mid to late teens, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine focuses on life in the Depression-Era United States. Players must repay a debt by collecting the true tales of people trying to get by in harsh times. The game focuses on the experiences of working and marginalized folks from across the wide spectrum of the American experience. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine was created with a more mature audience in mind, so younger kids are better off sticking with the first two games.

Educational Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed

While base Minecraft can have educational benefits all its own, teachers have turned the game into an educational powerhouse. Minecraft: Education Edition comes with resources and lesson plans for kids to dive into and learn about an amazing variety of topics. Some of their most popular content teaches kids about coding, science, the environment, animals, and history. You can even check it out for free!

The Assassin’s Creed series has long prided itself on historical accuracy. Their worlds have meticulous attention to detail rooted in historical fact. Starting with Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ubisoft started releasing historical tours of its worlds that removed all violent elements and allowed players to explore and learn about the historical settings of the games. So far, Ubisoft has released two of these Discovery Tours, one for Classical Greece and another for Ancient Egypt. Each of these modes comes free with the game the maps were initially created for, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, or they can be purchased separately through Ubisoft’s Uplay service.

Typing and Vocabulary Games

If you are looking for something that could help your kid brush up on their typing skills, there are some surprisingly sophisticated and just plain fun games out there! If your child or teen needs to have a narrative hook to remain invested or engaged, Epistory and Nanotale scratch that itch with sweeping tales set in fantastical lands. In both games, players can shape the world around them by typing words corresponding with parts of the surrounding environment. Both games have been highly acclaimed and praised for their innovative approaches to blending storytelling and typing.

For people interested in a completely different take on the typing game, Type:Rider does not actually teach typing. Instead, it teaches about the evolution of typography, why our words look the way they do. Type:Rider plays as a puzzle-platformer where players must navigate surreal landscapes based on the distinctive fonts from ten different historical eras. The game first appeared on mobile devices, but has since made the leap to PC as well as the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
During this unprecedented national emergency, kids treated a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals can’t wait for a vaccine for COVID-19. To support the COVID-19 Impact Fund, check out