Having started out as a toy and game manufacturer in the late 1800s, Nintendo knows a thing or two about entertaining youngsters. With family fun remaining one of their core values, you'll be spoiled for choice picking from the list of awe-inspiring Nintendo Switch games for kids!
Whether you're looking for a beginner title for nursery children and toddlers, or a more challenging one for older children, between Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Mario Kart 8, there's something for everyone! Finding a game for a 4-year-old can be hard if you are not well versed in the world of video games. But fret not, we've ranked 10 of the best kid-friendly picks all available to order to your door from Amazon, eBay, Argos, and Asda.
Games that appeal to adults aren't always particularly interesting or appropriate for kids. But what exactly should you look for? In this buying guide, we've got some handy hints and tips to help you out!
While it may be too simple of a tip, the very first way you can start to identify video games for your child is by analysing the front or back of each one. Stated in colours ranging from green to red are the age ratings. All videogames in the UK are released with a PEGI rating corresponding to the ages 3, 7, 12, 16 or 18.
Bear in mind that just because the game is suitable for 3-year-olds, does not mean you cannot buy it for your child. In fact, think of the age ratings as 3 and up. That way you won't cross off any excellent video game titles! Some of the best video games are made for everyone.
The best games for youngsters contain gameplay elements that keep them engaged and entertained. Video games for children need not just be for recreational purposes, but often help to teach them about life, the world and more. Here are some of the top options for young gamers!
Adventure games take kids on a journey of exploration through exciting game worlds. These tend to be some of the best games in terms of captivating stories and engaging gameplay and usually incorporate many of the other gameplay elements, which we'll touch on later.
When choosing an adventure game for children, look for ones that take place in colourful fantasy settings. Gritty realism is best avoided as these games are often too dark or mature for younger audiences.
Building is a fundamental aspect of play, whether that's the enduring popularity of Lego bricks or constructing dens in the garden. These days, there are plenty of video games that use these same principles to spark imagination and creativity.
These games provide a virtual framework that allows for fabrication on a grander scale than what's possible in real life, giving kids almost limitless potential! More often than not these types of games are great for all ages, so can be a fantastic way to bond with siblings or parents.
Cast your mind back to the playground crazes of your youth. If you too have vivid memories of hoarding football stickers, Tazos, Beanie Babies or whatever other pocket money novelty was in vogue at the time, you'll know kids love collecting things!
When it comes to games, collecting items adds an extra objective. Trying to max out your Pokédex or uncover every species of insect will certainly make the game last longer without running the risk of becoming boring.
What's even better is if your collection can be displayed or traded with other players to fill missing gaps and obtain rare finds, so keep an eye out for this.
Video games sometimes get a bad reputation for violence, and we by no means suggest choosing a graphic beat 'em up for your 6-year-old. However, combat elements like monster battling and cartoon brawls are great, harmless fun and can even induce some friendly competition.
Try to choose games that use fantasy weapons or magic rather than real-life armaments. You may even prefer to look for other challenging competition-based games that don't involve fighting, such as racing, dance or non-combative sports.
Nintendo sure has a knack for launching unforgettable franchises, and picking a game with recognisable characters is a great way to pique kids' interest right from the get-go!
Choosing a game from an already established franchise usually gives you an idea of the tone and style of gameplay to expect. Additionally, kids will enjoy playing as their favourite characters and we're sure some re-imaginings of beloved classic series' will make a few parents feel nostalgic too!
Be aware that the aforementioned PEGI ratings only refer to content, not difficulty. Just because a game doesn't contain anything inappropriate for younger audiences, it may still be a bit too complex in terms of game mechanics and controls.
Each game requires a different level of coordination and skill to grapple with, which is one reason why many kid-friendly games appeal to audiences of all ages. Ideally, it should be challenging enough without being overly hard.
While we've provided a rough guideline to help you out, it's difficult to know prior to playing how difficult a game will be. So, you may want to look for reviews, promotional videos and playthroughs online to get a better idea.
Games with multiplayer options are ideal for families, parties, and visiting friends, and provides you with an enjoyable way to monitor playtime. According to Nintendo, ‘sharing fun with family and friends’ is a key focus of the Switch. Therefore, there are plenty of different multiplayer games to choose from.
You can play locally via one system using the Joy-Con controllers, or by linking together multiple consoles in the same room. Some games also feature online multiplayer options which vary from game to game. However, we advise discretion and adult supervision when allowing kids to play online.
It was a tough decision to make with all the quality titles out there, but here in ranking order are the top 10 best Nintendo Switch games for kids to buy online in the UK!
|Difficulty||Easy to learn|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 8 players locally and online, 4 players on one system|
|Difficulty||Easy to learn, moderate|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 8 players locally, 10 players online|
|Franchise||The Legend of Zelda|
|Difficulty||Moderate to advanced|
|Difficulty||Easy to learn, beginner to moderate|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 4 players locally, online multiplayer options|
|Franchise||Super Smash Bros.|
|Difficulty||Moderate to advanced|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 2 players on one system, 8 players locally, online multiplayer options|
|Difficulty||Multiple difficulty levels from beginner to advanced|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 6 players on one system|
|Difficulty||Moderate to advanced|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 4 players on one system, 4 players locally|
|Franchise||Super Mario Bros.|
|Difficulty||Easy to learn, multiple levels from beginner to moderate|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 4 players on one system, 8 players locally, 12 players online|
|Franchise||Two Point Hospital|
|Difficulty||Easy to play, hard to master|
|Multiplayer Options||Co-operative, competitive multiplayer|
|Gameplay||Adventure, collecting, combat and competition|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 3 players locally, online multiplayer options.|
Pokémon Shield + Expansion Pass
Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: the Black Order
Just Dance 2021
Super Smash Bros - Ultimate
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Collect and Train Monsters in the Timelessly Popular Series
Modern Day Theme Hospital
Best Multiplayer Game for Kids
An Action RPG for Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
An Upbeat Dancing Game for the Whole Family
A Fast-Paced Cartoon Brawl Featuring a Host of Familiar Faces
Befriend Cute Animals in a Customisable Island Paradise
The Perfect Adventure Game for Older Children
An Ink-Slinging 4-On-4 Turf War
The Best Building Game for Kids
|Gameplay||Adventure, collecting, combat and competition||Simulation, tactical||Competition||Adventure, combat||Competition||Combat, competition||Collecting, building||Adventure||Competition, combat||Building, collecting|
|Franchise||Pokémon||Two Point Hospital||Super Mario Bros.||Marvel||Just Dance||Super Smash Bros.||Animal Crossing||The Legend of Zelda||Splatoon||Minecraft|
|Difficulty||Moderate||Easy to play, hard to master||Easy to learn, multiple levels from beginner to moderate||Moderate to advanced||Multiple difficulty levels from beginner to advanced||Moderate to advanced||Easy to learn, beginner to moderate||Moderate to advanced||Easy to learn, moderate||Easy to learn|
|Multiplayer Options||Up to 3 players locally, online multiplayer options.||Co-operative, competitive multiplayer||Up to 4 players on one system, 8 players locally, 12 players online||Up to 4 players on one system, 4 players locally||Up to 6 players on one system||Up to 2 players on one system, 8 players locally, online multiplayer options||Up to 4 players locally, online multiplayer options||-||Up to 8 players locally, 10 players online||Up to 8 players locally and online, 4 players on one system|
Games can be addictive, and as hard as it can be to tear them away, it’s important to establish safe behaviours early on. Try to limit playtime and encourage them to take regular breaks from the screen. A good way to do this is by setting clear guidelines ahead of time as to when they can game, and how long each session will last.
Always supervise online play! Many games allow for social features so make sure they know the potential dangers of talking to strangers online and giving out personal information. Empower them to block anyone who bullies or harasses them and let them know it's OK to alert a trusted adult if something makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Remember, kids are tech-savvy these days so don't be afraid to utilise parental controls. The Nintendo Switch has some great parental controls that let you customise and set restrictions remotely via an app to save you having to constantly peek over your shoulder.
With us, the kids, and everyone else in the household stuck indoors at the moment, we're all having to get a bit creative with the entertainment. Video games (and screens in general) are a guaranteed pleaser, but if you fancy something different we've got a few more tricks up our sleeves. Find the links below!
Whether you consider yourself a gamer or not, once you've decided on which Nintendo Switch game is right for your child, find some time to play it with them. Joining in on Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. provides a good opportunity to get to know the things they like and share in a fun activity together!
Author: Wren Mann
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