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Winding
Down
 

Children love to play exuberant and exciting video games with their friends. While these offer a wide range of benefits, it can be good to transition to something less energetic as the day draws to a close.

We have worked with Moshi Sleep on this list of games and apps that are a great way to help children wind down as they transition to nighttime. It creates mindfulness experiences for children to “enjoy calmer daytimes and quicker bedtimes”.

These are playful ways to calm the brain, ease anxiety and generally get little heads ready to rest. Some of them are ideal to play right before sleeping and even let you turn off the screen to listen along when you are finished interacting. Others, like Frost or Lifelike, offer gentle, tranquil interactions to still the mind and escape the world. Some, like Flower or Alto’s Adventure, create calm with a simple repetition of tasks and processes in a world where the sun slowly sets.

These games, together with some screen-free time in the lead-up to sleep are a great way for children to develop healthy bedtime habits.
 
This list includes 121 games from the last 23 years, with 1,538 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to share a relaxing story.

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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...

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Open World and Weather

Flower is a traversal collecting game where you control the breeze across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle...

Hoa

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

The Alto Collection

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

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

The Alto Collection is a series of games including Alto's Odyssey and Alto's Adventure. Both are action traversal games where you explore beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to...

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...

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,...

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...

Legend Of The Skyfish

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Legend Of The Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also...

Wordle

Release Date: 20/12/2021

Out Now: Web

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Text

Wordle is a daily puzzle game where you (and anyone else playing that day) try and guess the secret word. You get six guesses that must be real words. Each letter is then coloured to provide clues: green for the right letter in the right place, yellow...

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...

Tiny Glade

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Tiny Glade is a simulation game that gets you doodling picturesque castles. More of a toy than a game, you play by placing and moving different elements of your construction. As you do the game magically connects everything together to create beautiful...

Sail Forth

Release Date: 21/12/2022

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Weather

Sail Forth is a sailing simulation where you take charge of a ship in a vast ocean whose ancient depths have swallowed the key to the mysterious past. You play by working with the wind and sails to explore, take on tasks, fight pirates and slowly...

Under Leaves

Release Date: 27/04/2017

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Under Leaves is a puzzle game where you search for colour-filled hidden objects in scenes made of flora and fauna. Each one is a hand-drawn watercolour illustration and is accompanied by a soothing soundscape. It's a game about observation and attention...

Miska

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night

Miska is a relaxing narrative adventure game about the flora and fauna of Australia. Rekindle your connection to family and nature through acts of restoration.

Dragon Quest Treasures

Release Date: 09/12/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Dragon Quest Treasures is a lighthearted and more approachable version of the popular Dragon Quest role-play games. Along with the exploration, light battles and resource collection is a central monster-hunting hide-and-seek challenge where you get...

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Release Date: 08/11/2012, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a life simulation game where you design your dream village in a world filled with anthropomorphic animals. Like other Animal Crossing games, you design and decorate your home, collect and sell items, chat and play with...

Monument Valley

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Blocks

Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 are puzzle mazes made from optical illusions. You interact with each level to change the pathway and get your character to the exit. Its striking, calm visual theme is used to build atmosphere and slowly reveal a...

Gorogoa

Release Date: 14/12/2017, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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

Gorogoa is a puzzle game where you rearrange and resize tiles to make a singular picture. It appears to be simple, but to solve the puzzles you need to play close attention to how they interrelate. This Matryoshka Russian-Doll puzzle combines with...

Lumino City

Release Date: 02/11/2014

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Lumino City is a puzzle adventure game in a handmade world. This is not unusual for a video game, but this world was literally made by hand in a physical studio and then filmed. It creates a unique experience that feels like you are poking around a...

Bluey: The Videogame

Release Date: 17/11/2023

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

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Bluey: The Videogame is a super-simple treasure hunt adventure with characters and locations from the show. You play by exploring familiar places like Heeler House, Playgrounds, and the Creek to collect stickers, unlock outfits and find secrets. It...

Papetura

Release Date: 07/05/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Papetura is a point-and-click puzzle game where you traverse a vibrant paper world of strange organic structures and whimsical fairy houses. You interact with these things to complete puzzles and little challenges like lighting up a room or creating a...

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...

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬

Release Date: 14/02/2020

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬ is a narrative experience designed to aid sleep. Children can select stories, sounds, meditation or music and calm colours to help them drift off to sleep quickly. Once started the original stories and sounds play with...

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.

Haven Park

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...

Teacup

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Teacup is a narrative adventure about a shy young frog who loves drinking tea and reading. You explore the Wind In The Willows world and make choices that change the direction of the story. It's a gentle game about friendship, stepping out into the...

The Last Campfire

Release Date: 27/08/2020

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

The Last Campfire, from the same developer as Lost Winds, is an adventure about Ember who is searching for meaning and a way home. As you travel you take a flame with you to the world, lighting torches, bringing life to...

Moncage

Release Date: 16/11/2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Moncage is an adventure puzzle game, where you find a mysterious cube. Each face displays a different scene and by rotating and interacting you can change your view and how they overlap with each other. You navigate through the island and the factory by...

Wind Peaks

Release Date: 29/07/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Wind Peaks is a puzzle game where you find hidden objects by clicking on objects. It's similar to the Where’s Wally books, but offers an ongoing narrative about children searching for treasure in a forest and campsite.

Eastshade

Release Date: 14/08/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...

Ensamey (Dreams)

Release Date: 28/10/2021

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Ensamey is a narrative game where you run and jump to explore a story told by a 4 year-old and their father. As the child tells the story, what they say and draw appears in the game for you to interact and play with.

Evergarden

Release Date: 31/07/2018

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made

Evergarden is a puzzle game where you grow gardens by combining plants into strange new forms. You use the tile-based layout to populate each area in flora in connect-four style.

Half Past Fate

Release Date: 12/03/2020

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Half Past Fate is a romantic comedy adventure. You explore the lives of six different modern day characters and their romantic relationships over eight hours, eight days, and finally eight years later. It's a point-and-click adventure where you explore...

Dreams Party! (Dreams)

Release Date: 17/03/2020, updated in 2020

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Dice and Grid

Dreams Party! is a turn-based family board game for up to 4 players. There are two boards to choose from, Welcome Garden and Halloween. Like Mario Party, it creates the fun of a real board game but combines it with mini-games when players land on the...

Wylde Flowers

Release Date: 18/02/2022

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid and Weather

Wylde Flowers is a cozy life and farming strategy game with a witchy twist. It's a charming world of diverse characters, magical spells and player choices. You play Tara, who has moved in to help her grandma and the family farm. By day you work the farm...

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

Release Date: 26/10/2021

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf is an exploration running, jumping and shooting game. You battle the wizard Gargamel to free imprisoned Smurfs and return the sarsaparilla fields to health. to do this you must track down the ingredients for the antidote.

Voyage

Release Date: 19/02/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Voyage is a cinematic adventure puzzle game, where you play alone or cooperatively to guide two survivors on their journey to unravel a mystery from the past and find their way home. You move through the world without guidance and must experiment to...

Ever Seen A Cat?

Release Date: 18/01/2022

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Ever Seen A Cat? is a hidden object puzzle game where you are trying to spot monochrome cats in different scenes. It's simple enough for players of any age to enjoy it but has some randomisation of the levels so you need to play multiple times to get...

Catlateral Damage: Remeowstered

Release Date: 13/01/2014, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Catlateral Damage: Remeowstered is a running, jumping and knocking-things-over game where you play a mischievous cat who wants to knock its owner's belongings onto the floor. "Bother that cat," as one children's book puts it.

Lil’ Guardsman

Release Date: 23/01/2024

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Lil’ Guardsman is a puzzle adventure where you play a 12-year-old covering her dad's shift at the guardhouse. Play involves questioning each person who wants to pass to determine who to admit or deny. It combines Papers Please border-control decisions...

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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