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Friday, October 31, 2014

It is THAT time of year – the commercials have begun and if your kids are anything like mine they already have their lists going for all the things they are hoping Santa will bring.  My son is ten and I have still been able to keep him AND my 6 year old daughter AWAY from violent computer games and sites.  Luckily there are MANY top choices for non violent computer games for kids that they will thoroughly enjoy. I have written Holiday recommendations in 2008 for PC Games/Sites and for Nintendo Wii and DS Products and those still stand true.  In this day and age there are many options for buying a game for the family or children – you can buy a console or hand-held game, buy a full version of a game online, get a gift card for IPhone or ITouch apps or get a subscription to an online site. Below are the newest games/sites I recommend — some link to reviews from the year and others are fresh new reviews.

Under $20

Preschool

jump start pet wiiJump Start Pet Rescue for the Wii – For Under $20 this game is an INCREDIBLE bargain for 3-6 year olds.  See my complete review here.

A Subscription to Jump Start.com where your preschooler – early grade schooler can learn while having fun. Full review here.

Pajama Sam and Other Humungous Games – Putt Putt and Fredi Fish are WONDERFUL adventure Games for the PC (and some for the Wii) to help children think logically. I have the full review here and these games are perfect for ages 3-7. You can see my full review here.

Grade School

tropixTropix & Tropix 2 — Available for the PC, Nintendo DS or through Shockwave online. This is a wonderful educational and fun game for ages 6-12.  See my full review here.

Pajama Sam and Other Humungous Titles – Pajama Sam and Spy Fox are adventure games that make you feel immersed in the story and help teach logic and problem solving.  These are for ages 5-10 and you can see my full review here.

Try a month on one of the top social educational networking sites for kids.

Many of these sites are $5-$6/month and the one way to get to know if it is worth the money and if your child will get their money’s worth is to pay for one month as a trial run.  Here are my picks for this year:

Moshi Monsters (Age 6 and up) – See full review here. Awesome, safe, educational and fun site for kids.

Secret Builders – (Ages 6 and up) – See full review here. Safe, educational site combining gaming and adventure.

Super Secret – (Ages 10-16) – See full review here.  Fun, safe and keeps the kids interested and learning.

Zula World – (Ages 5 and up) – See full review here. Safe, educational and fun.

Teens & Whole Family

Machinarium – My review for the free version is here and the full version is only $20

auditorium3AuditoriumMy review is here.  For $10.99 you get the full version of this INCREDIBLY beautiful and musical game.

IPhone/ITouch Gift Card — If your child has an ITouch or an IPhone — a gift card for $20 can go a long way.  Many games are just $.99. Click here for a list of my Top 5 ITouch/IPhone  Educational Apps.

Under $50

MOST games for the PC and Nintendo Wii an Nintendo DS Fall into this category.  I stand by my recommendations for last year.  You can find the ones for the PC here and the ones for Nintendo DS here.

In addition I recommend 6 month or yearly subscriptions to the above social networking learning sites for kids re-listed here:

A Subscription to Jump Start.com – Ages (3-6) where your preschooler – early grade schooler can learn while having fun. Full review here.

Moshi Monsters (Age 6 and up) – See full review here. Awesome, safe, educational and fun site for kids.

Secret Builders – (Ages 6 and up) – See full review here. Safe, educational site combining gaming and adventure.

Super Secret – (Ages 10-16) – See full review here.  Fun, safe and keeps the kids interested and learning.

Zula World – (Ages 5 and up) – See full review here. Safe, educational and fun.

Teens & Whole Family

supermariobrotherswiiSuper Mario Brothers Wii – My kids just got this “for my husband” for his birthday and it has become a new family favorite.  We are HUGE Mario Brothers Fans and this game does not disappoint.  There are many new features including the ability for 4 players to play simultaneously which is tons of fun. Check out the link in the picture or here to see all the amazing reviews on amazon.com.

Wii Sports Resort – This game continues to be fun for the whole family.  My whole review is here for this fantastic game.

Over $50

The Whole Family

ITouch — This is THE portable device for kids.  If you have a wireless connection at home or know some place in your area that does – your child has access to download games, music, movies, tv shows and more without even plugging in the ITouch.  Many apps (applications) are free.  You can use this as an IPOD, web browser, game player and even to text.  All the goodness of the IPhone without the cell phone monthly cost.  One of my favorite things is there is no more STUFF.  When my kids receive game; CD Roms, DS and Wii games can take up space…. With this you and people who want to give your children gifts can just keep adding money to the Apple Account with gift cards and everything fits right on that tiny ITouch.  This was my son’s request for his birthday so instead of clutter he got useful games, apps to help him with school and a few of his favorite TV shows and songs uploaded.There are many different versions of the ITouch and they are priced according to how much space is available on them but all of them have most the same wonderful capabilities.

Wii – The Nintendo Wii has JUST lowered it’s price to just under $200 which makes it an even more incredible deal. If you have followed my blog for a while you know I have enjoyed over 3 years of fun with the Wii and cannot say enough good things about it. It has us all playing together and up off the sofa doing so.  I reviewed my favorite Wii and DS Games last year here.

There have been SO many amazing non violent and educational sites and games released over the last few years.  It is my honor to review them and boy do my kids love that I do!  I wish you all a very happy holiday and if you ever have any games or sites you think I should look at — please email the link to me with a description.  Thanks so much for your support.

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One Response so far.

  1. Great list. I like it!

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    I taught kids through computer games for many years in NYC. There are many educational games that are FUN as well. There is no need for your child to play games with violence. I only recommend quality and safe games and sites here.

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