Most forms of screen time take us away from the present moment, and from our families. But video games are a fun, light-hearted way to share a screen and actually bring everyone closer together. These six picks are good for the whole family.
Your Own World
Build characters and act out your ideal life in this game. Amazon
Sandbox games like this one aren’t task-oriented—instead, they let you and your kids create and explore your own world. This one is a simulation of real life, only you’re the one in control of building everything around you and deciding how your characters interact. This is a great way for young kids to exert some control over their (virtual) surroundings.
Roam around in a universe of your creation. Amazon
This is another sandbox game that lets you and your kids customize a virtual world. Angela, a mother of three, says she’ll assign challenges to her kids in the game to get them to work together. “So I’ll say for instance, ‘All of you build me a movie theater in the next 30 minutes,’ then I judge them,” Angela says. “Because of the big age difference in my kids there isn’t a lot that they all do in common, but this game is one.”
An updated take on a ‘90s classic. Amazon
The updated version of this cult classic lets even the youngest kids participate. For example, one parent can play as the main character while your tot takes on the role of Mario’s hat. This lets your child explore every corner of the virtual world, and gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Great for Groups
You can be a superstar musician—but without the annoying touring. Amazon
Just because your kid ditched piano practice doesn’t mean your dream of raising a musical prodigy is shattered. Have each family member pick up an instrument and rock out together to over 50 songs.