In addition to trying to find fun games for my kids (ages 6 and 7), seeing their reactions to them has been the best part. I may have also participated in playing these games from time to time – to show them how they’re played, of course.
Let’s dive into some fun!
SNOOPY Puzzle Journey
My kids were excited to play a game with Snoopy! They love watching Snoopy walk along the path as they try to complete different puzzles. Plus, the music playing in the background reminds us all of those lovable characters from Charlie Brown.
This game requires players to match similarly colored blocks, much like Candy Crush Saga, and the more you smash them together, it presents the opportunity for special items to appear to destroy more blocks. One particular feature is when one of these special blocks release a group of Snoopy’s best friend Woodstock, and he clears more blocks in an instant.
Players earn coins and hearts as they complete puzzles, which both a heart and a specific number of coins are required to play each round. After you exhaust your hearts (a.k.a. player lives), you’ll have to wait for those to replenish. Within the game, it does mention that they replenish after 15 minutes. Parents also have the opportunity to buy coins, specialty items, and differently dressed Snoopy characters that can be swapped with other outfits.
Bonus Points: Capcom issues a message at the beginning of the game, and although it doesn’t stay on the screen for long, I appreciate their efforts to ensure user responsibility. It reads: “Please ask an adult to read this! -For minors: You need permission from a guardian to play this game. With their help, please decide on game playing rules (such as how long you are allowed to play). Be sure also to check with them before purchasing Coins!”
PJ Masks Racing Heroes
Publisher: Entertainment One
We were able to get this app for free through Amazon, which may be a result of our Prime Membership, but it costs $3.99 through Google Play and the Apple App Store. Our kids haven’t watched the TV show in quite some time, but as soon as they saw this game, they HAD to have it.
This game requires a little more dexterity as kids use their fingers to move the heroes from side to side, as well as pushing an icon to boost speed or use special powers. PJ Masks Racing Heroes provides different types of challenges, includes races, following other characters to snatch up jewels and sometimes chasing other characters around the track.
Through many of the races, they are very quick to race, making it easy for kids to take multiple turns as they practice maneuvering their characters. Plus, each character’s vehicle has different strengths, ranging from speed to maneuverability, while all those powers are boosted as the game goes along and you increase your score. This game definitely helps my kids understand taking turns. They each will take a set number of rounds before swapping back and forth.
Bonus Points: If this doesn’t pop up as a free choice for you, Entertainment One does have three other games that are currently free: PJ Masks Moonlight Heroes, Hero Academy, and Time to be a Hero. You can find these apps on the PJ Masks website, where you can choose where to download the app from.
Ninja Kid Run
Publisher: Fun Games For Free
This game lets your kids be a runner through a city, with the goal of trying to collect coins and mystery boxes along the way. There are obstacles to avoid and launching pads that catapult the runner over objects. Plus, the further along the endless road you go, the faster the runner goes making quick turns and jumps much more difficult.
As a parent, this specific game provided a significantly proud moment for me. Yes, there are in-app purchases to buy different ninja characters; however, there are a few available to get using the coins earned through their runs. After searching through available characters, Adelaide wanted Ninja Kid Girl, while Marshall wanted the Green Ninja. One cost 70,000 coins, while the other cost 30,000 coins. Adelaide surpassed the amount needed for Green Ninja and was tempted to buy it. I mentioned to her that if she does buy it, which will be her decision, she’ll have to start all over to buy the one she wants. After thinking about it, she decided to wait. She waited! She was so happy once she earned the coins needed to get her character.
The fun thing about this game is that a dog follows along, as well as a special character, such as a small dragon, bull, cat, penguin, and an assortment of other creatures. All of these special characters come with some kind of special ability, which may include or combine earning more coins, invincibility, and boosting one’s score. Now, these creatures initially come from mystery boxes in the form of an egg, which takes a certain amount of time before they’re ready to hatch. Players can choose to use their coins to hatch them early; however, this was one thing that wasn’t understood at first. Marshall used a significant amount of his coins to open these characters early, which meant he had to spend more time to get his Green Ninja.
Bonus Points: As a parent, this is a fun way to help your kids reach their goals. When Marshall accidentally spent coins to hatch his eggs early, for example, I played his game at night to try and catch him back up to where he was. Simple mistakes happen when playing a game, and honestly, I didn’t explain everything clearly. This is a simple gesture, but he was super excited the following day to learn all of his efforts weren’t for naught.
These three games have been great ways for our kids to earn “tablet time.” We generally allow them 20 to 30 minutes of tablet time, but there are days when it’s okay to go longer for sure. When they do their daily tasks or if it’s a rainy day, these are great, fun options.
Also, it’s a fun way to introduce fiction in their lives in a way that only video games can do. I grew up on Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and a handful of other games for the NES and Super NES, so seeing them take pleasure in any of these games resonate in a way that can’t be adequately described. Though these games don’t have extended depth to their stories, they are introductory to games like those I grew up playing.
Playing those games growing up were a significant reason to understand why #StoriesMatter. I loved going on a quest to save a character or find a weapon to defeat the enemy. It’s a very engaging way to dive into storytelling, while also being a great motivation for taking care of things around the house. If there was a chance to earn some allowance, although I probably did it more begrudgingly that I recall, I definitely spent a good deal of allowance on video games as a kid. That type of feeling, the nostalgia for playing those games has never really left me. If I can provide that type of feeling for my own kids, whether it’s with a deep story or quick and easy play like these three, I hope they’ll remember these days fondly.
What are some favorite quick and easy games your kids love to play? Let us know in the comments below what they are or share your thoughts over on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to see more content like this, don’t forget to like and share this page with all your geeky friends.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.