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Nurture Child-Like
Imagination
 

These games are for children under seven years old, who will, with some help, discover activities they want to try that will expand their imaginations while establishing the role of your guidance and engagement as part of the gaming world as they grow up. The more open imagination of young children lends itself to games that offer an open world. Rather than forcing the player in a particular direction open world games let players explore wherever they want. The games here offer unusual and age-appropriate experiences that are often educational but keep the emphasis on the sheer joy of interactive play rather than hard learning.
 
This list includes 163 games from the last 19 years, with 3,658 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to nurture imagination in primary school children.

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A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Pixels and Weather

A Short Hike is an adventure traversal game where you play the penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to...

Sneaky Sasquatch

Release Date: 30/07/2019, updated in 2022

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World

Sneaky Sasquatch is an adventure game where you sneak around in campsites and try to find food from coolers and picnic baskets without getting caught. From this simple premise grows a game with endless ways to play and explore its open world: race, play...

Toca Life: World

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Open World

Toca Life: World is part of a series of games that comprise what are essentially toys in electronic form. They build on the Sago Mini games for 6-10-year-old children. Recreating interactive everyday settings like shopping,...

New Super Lucky's Tale

Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

New Super Lucky's Tale is a running and jumping game where you play a fox on a quest to recover pages from a magical book that will save his world. Play is action-oriented but the islands and characters are full of quirky characters and treasures. It...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...

Go Vacation

Release Date: 01/10/2011, updated in 2018

Out Now: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Go Vacation is a resort exploration adventure where 50 mini-games can be discovered and played. The mini-golf, skating, surfing, volleyball, car racing, tennis and other games use the Wii and Switch motion-sensitive controllers and are simple fun for...

Wood and Weather

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Hand-Made, Open World and Weather

Wood and Weather is a simulation game where you play god in a wooden toy city. You interact with the world using your floating blue hand to change switches and control the weather. It's an intriguing game that offers all manner of ways to play but...

Nintendo Land

Release Date: 30/11/2012

Out Now: Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person

Nintendo Land is a collection of Nintendo games that was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character who can absorb enemies to gain their abilities and powers. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming skills to collect...

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up...

Lil Gator Game

Release Date: 14/12/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Lil Gator Game is an action-adventure set on an island playground where a young brother invents exciting games to try and get his older sister to play like they used to. You guide your waddling gator to explore the world as you bop cardboard baddies,...

LocoRoco

Release Date: 23/06/2006

Out Now: PS Vita, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made

LocoRoco is a traversal puzzle game in a world of plants and creatures to investigate. The novelty, besides the character’s singing and cute aesthetic, is that you control the game with just two buttons, tilting and bumping your characters through...

Wilderless

Release Date: 02/04/2020, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Wilderless is a traversal and exploration game where you are left to discover a fantasy world at your own pace without the usual hindrances. You run, jumping and glide your way around the landscape that unfolds beautifully before you. It stands out not...

Spyder

Release Date: 21/03/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Spyder is a puzzle adventure where you play as Agent 8, a small 6-legged spider-robot that was designed by a British spy agency for attempting to stop an evil organization. You explore the world and can use your sticky legs to walk over any surface or...

Wobbledogs

Release Date: 11/03/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Wobbledogs is a pet simulation where your dogs not only need care but are rapidly mutating different behaviour and appetites. You breed new dogs (from eggs), create and decorate a home for them, feed them and see how they evolve.

Flock

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather

Flock is a cooperative traversal and collecting game where you take on the role of a flying shepherd. To play you move around the world tending to your unique herd of flying creatures. It sounds complicated but really it's just a big wild place on the...

Paradise Marsh

Release Date: 03/02/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Hand-Made, Open World and Weather

Paradise Marsh is an open-world collecting game where you explore a varied marsh to find insects to put their stars back in the night sky. You wander an endless wetland and collect creatures, skim stones and eat mushrooms as the weather and seasons...

Henry Halfhead

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Henry Halfhead is a traversal game where you move around by possessing and controlling any object within your reach. You move around the world freely, but to get where you need to go you need to become the objects around you to use their abilities. It...

JellyCar Worlds

Release Date: 10/12/2022

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

JellyCar Worlds is a puzzle game about a car made of jelly traversing a squishy world. You use the physics properties of the car and the objects in the world to get from A to B. It's an action puzzle game that stands out for the joyous novelty of a...

A Highland Song

Release Date: 05/12/2023

Out Now: PC and Switch

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

A Highland Song is a narrative adventure where you explore a maze of crisscrossing routes through the hills of the Highlands. You are 15-year-old Moira who lives with her mum on the edge of the hills and receives a letter inviting her to come to the...

Adore

Release Date: 18/02/2020, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Adore is an action-adventure game where you play Lukha, who can summon and control creatures to fight by his side to offer simple yet satisfying combat. Each round you set out from the hub world, clearing out a region with the creatures you've chosen to...

Disney Illusion Island

Release Date: 28/07/2023

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Disney Illusion Island is a running and jumping game where you play Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald in an original adventure. As you explore, you use their unique abilities to traverse water, land and air. It's Cuphead meets Rayman but with the charm,...

Loddlenaut

Release Date: 16/11/2023

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Loddlenaut is an ecological adventure where you are sent to clean up a polluted ocean planet. You explore the sea, cleaning up waste products and repurposing marine debris while taking care of friendly alien creatures. It stands out for its laid-back...

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

Release Date: 07/03/2024

Coming Soon: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Hand-Made and Open World

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a musical adventure game where you restore the harmony of Moomin Valley from grotesque parks. It's the variety of play and the beloved characters that make this game a great experience for small (and not-so-small) kids.

Shipped

Release Date: 28/03/2019

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Shipped is a multiplayer boat fighting game where you steer, bash and shoot your way through simple seas of islands. You play by steering your ship and turning to aim cannons. It stands out for the simple approachable fun and range of modes you can...

Donut County

Release Date: 15/08/2018, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Donut County offers a simple style of play. You drag a hole around the screen; the more things you can make fall in, the bigger the hole gets. You start with bricks, road cones and bushes, but eventually you’re swallowing whole houses.

Pile Up

Release Date: 18/03/2021

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Pile Up is a running and jumping game where up to four of your play as boxes. You run (slide) and jump around the level and need to jump gaps, open doors and solve puzzles to progress. You need to coordinate with each other to progress through the...

Metamorphabet

Release Date: 12/02/2015

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Metamorphabet is a puzzle game where you explore the alphabet by pushing and pulling the letters around to create different things beginning with that letter. It’s simply presented with sound effects and voiced words for each object. It excels at...

Kids

Release Date: 31/05/2019

Out Now: iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Kids is an unusual game where you tap to interact with groups of monochrome cartoon children. Seeing the little kids run around and respond to each other creates a playful and intriguing game that only lasts half an hour but will be played many times.

Wattam

Release Date: 11/06/2019

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Wattam is an absurd adventure where characters are everyday objects with problems to solve and fun interactions to enjoy. You play as The Mayor and start on your own. As you complete simple tasks you populate the world with other strange characters.

Dragon Box

Release Date: 09/05/2012

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Dragon Box is an educational series of games that teaches young children maths, such as algebra using pattern matching with symbols. Unlike other educational games, the fun is in the doing in DragonBox, rather than incentivising learning with separate...

Tracks The Train Set Game

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Tracks The Train Set Game is a digital version of wooden toy train sets, without the costs of buying more and more track pieces. You build your toy train set and towns and then jump into the driver's seat and drive the train, seeing your toy world to...

Lego (Series)

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Open World

Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has been developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a world made of...

Sago Mini (Series)

Release Date: 09/06/2017

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Open World

Sago Mini games are designed for 3-5-year-old preschool children. Like Toca Boca games for younger kids, they offer interactive storybook characters with light narratives and open-ended play. Superheroes, space explorers, boat...

Lego Worlds

Release Date: 26/10/2016, updated in 2017

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Lego Worlds takes virtual building back to the classic bricks with familiar figures, buildings and challenges from other Lego video games in an open world where your imagination can go wild in a bottomless bucket of bricks.

My Friend Peppa Pig

Release Date: 22/10/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Day and Night

My Friend Peppa Pig is a narrative role-play game. It recreates the TV show Peppa Pig and features a few of the voice actors from the programme. Unlike the show, you are in the cartoon, controlling a character you create. You play with Peppa and her...

Race with Ryan

Release Date: 09/11/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Race with Ryan is a kart racing game starring Ryan from the Ryan’s World YouTube channel. Along with the racing you need to collect the Mystery Eggs scattered across each track. Each one then gives you a power-up to help you win.

Empty

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

Chuchel

Release Date: 07/03/2018

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Chuchel is a comedy adventure game. You play hairy hero Chuchel and his rival Kekel to solve simple puzzles and challenges in their quest to retrieve the precious cherry. It looks like a children's storybook animation with strange, peculiar creatures.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza

Release Date: 05/06/2018, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Good Pizza, Great Pizza is a simulation game where you run your own Pizza shop, fulfilling orders from customers while making enough money to keep your shop open. You can upgrade your shop with new toppings and equipment to compete against your...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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