I have played video games since they came on floppy disks, but I still can’t always keep straight the best games that help kids build emotional regulation. When I take a look at a new game, I am a dad first and a gamer second. Here are some of my favorite tech-related toys to consider for your kids (and you, too!)
Scratch helps kids ages 8-16 learn to program. They can build simple computer programs and animations, and share them with other kids. It gives kids a medium to be creative, to collaborate, and to reason. It runs in a web browser and on a tablet. And it’s a lot of fun!
VTech has a diverse selection of electronic learning games to choose from for kids who are newborns up to age nine. The only downside is that I hate tripping on them in the middle of the night and causing them to make noise. And while they do have a lot of games to choose from, their website has helpful search tools to narrow down results by category, age, etc.
Osmo is a clever tech solution for parents and your kids that uses an iPhone and iPad for physical play. It’s designed for kids ages 4-9. But don’t be surprised if you enjoy playing with it as a parent, too. Osmo encourages learning in areas such as creative problem solving, art, STEM and common core.
Melissa & Doug make some of my favorite analog toys. Their puzzles are designed for infants and toddlers. One of my favorites is the workbench full of wooden bolts and boards to screw together. It’s a favorite of our local 2 year old (as well as another guy in the house a few decades older).
Trevor Stricker has spent 20 years making games, from franchises like NBA 2K to indie games like Jungle Rumble. He is also a father, and worries his son will grow up dismissing games as some lame thing dads do. As Co-founder and Vice President of Technology at Mightier, Trevor is inspired to use his decades spent getting kids to play and grow into healthy people.