Exciting family-friendly gaming: perfect for click-happy kiddies and competitive parents alike!
With kids getting more involved in gaming from an earlier age, we take a look at the best games consoles, software and accessories suitable for junior players
Gaming has been a mainstay in the home for decades, from Space Invaders and Pac Man on the Atari, to Sonic the Hedgehog on the Game Boy Advance and the ever-popular Italian plumbers who have spent 35 years saving Princess Peach on each and every Nintendo system.
According to a survey conducted by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board in December 2020, over 8 million households in the UK own at least one games console that is connected to a TV (not inclusive of handheld consoles such as the Switch Lite). This figure represents a growth of almost 11% compared to the year before.
The majority of kids in the UK have access to, and regular use of, phones, tablets and gaming consoles to browse online, stream video content and play games. As screen time increases, researchers are investigating the benefits of gaming in young players. A National Literacy Trust survey among 11 to 15-year olds found that video games can help to provide routes for improvement in reading, creativity and empathy, as well as offering support to mental wellbeing by providing an escape from stress and a space to communicate with friends.
Nintendo has long been a favourite amongst families due to its inherently cute content, as well as its broad range of games for older kids and adults. Widely considered the best console for families and kids among the top reviewers and tech-experts, the Nintendo Switch is designed to fit into family life. The Switch cleverly combines at-home and on-the-go gaming, swapping easily between TV display, tabletop mode and handheld play, all without having to pause the game!
Gaming can offer kids the opportunity to develop all their literacy, cognitive and emotional skills
The intuitive user interface means it’s easy for the little ones to pick up and navigate to their games, while the wide range of games available for Switch (and its handheld-only counterpart the Nintendo Switch Lite) makes it the perfect choice for families who wish to play together. Additionally, by utilising the free mobile app, parents can to limit screen time, prevent their little ones accessing any games too advanced or inappropriate, and customise online features for each member of the family individually.
The perfect escape for kids and grownups alike, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (rated Pegi 3), sees players enter the gentle world of anthropomorphic residents and business-savvy raccoons to craft furniture, catch fish and swim off the shores of their very own tropical island. An evolving game designed to keep the attention of players for the long-run, players can constantly add upgrades and develop their island paradise as the seasons, special events and activities change throughout the year.
Bringing classic Mario adventure to Switch, Super Mario 3D World sees players explore worlds, overcome obstacles and run, jump and climbing through numerous colourful stages in hope of beating Bowser and his minions. Complete with Nintendo’s iconic catalogue of Super Mario characters, including Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, players use a whole host of fun and useful power-ups to tackle the levels and defeat enemies. Families can play together on one device, or across multiple Switch consoles either locally or via online connectivity.
With 40 popular songs to dance along to, including options for kid-friendly tunes and choreography, Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2021 brings the dancefloor to the living room.
In December 2020, over 8 million households in the United Kingdom owned at least one games console
Great for getting the kids up and moving while still having fun, “Sweat Mode” helps to make exercising fun! “Co-op Mode” sees the whole family working together to get the highest score. For enthusiastic dancers, the Just Dance Unlimited subscription service unlocks over 600 additional songs.
Squishies for PSVR is a single player puzzle game, perfect for kids. Rated PEGI 3, the aim of the game is to safely push and pull the Squishies around mazes to guide them to the end gates while avoiding obstacles, gathering crystals and earning medals. Players can enjoy over 100 mazes across five worlds, and using the in-game tools, can build their own levels to challenge themselves and their friends, or to share with the Squishies community online.
Inspired by the offbeat mobile game and based on the popular kids movie, The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure lets up to 4 players (one with the PSVR headset and another three via the TV in “couch co-op mode”) join the birds and pigs to run, jump, grab and throw your way through 30 fun levels, exploring an underwater world and finding hidden treasure.
Designed with young gamers in mind, the JBuddies Play Gaming Wireless Kids Headset from JLAB Audio make gaming comfortable and audio clear, while remaining safe for developing ears. Limited to a max 85db and build for kids 6-and-up, the JBuddies Play offers 22+ hours of wireless connectivity and are specially tuned to suit both mobile and console. A handy retractable boom mic extends out for kids to chat to their team-mates, but neatly hides away for solo game-play or listening to music.
Any gaming enthusiast will tell you that the perfect gaming chair is critical to comfort and performance. While many are built with teens and adults in mind, X Rocker has expanded its range to include great chairs specifically for little gamers. The Official Super Mario X Rocker Video Rocker is built for kids, and comes in a range of designs, each with an iconic character from the Mario franchise. The X Rocker Video Rocker collection is compact and foldable for easy storage and quick setup when it’s time to play – perfect for integrating into family life. A wipe-clean faux leather exterior is safe from spills and crumbs from mid-game snacks.
With all the technical comforts of the full-size X Rocker Agility gaming chair, the Agility JR esports gaming chair is sized for younger players looking for comfort during serious game play. The removable neck and lumbar support cushions can be vertically adapted, and height adjustment makes sure the user is always in a game-ready (or homework-ready!) position. These customisable features are ideal for creating an ergonomic position, even as the user hits a growth spurt.
Gaming can help kids develop their literacy, cognitive and emotional skills, as well as enjoy a little time with their friends. Speak to your Exertis Account Manager today to learn more about our broad offering of consoles, software and peripherals for immersing little ones in the pixelated world.