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The best educational video games for fourth graders

The battle between parents and screen time is an ongoing one. Fourth graders are obsessed with video games. With Play Station, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and the Wii, there are so many gaming systems to choose from, and then there are the games kids want to play on their other devices. When you do let your kids game, you want to ensure it’s at least time well spent, and the best way to do that is with video games designed for learning. Of course, educational video games need to be fun, otherwise, kids will lose interest quickly. Thankfully, there are high-quality educational video games 10-year-olds will have a blast playing. We’ve rounded up educational video games for fourth graders that entertain and challenge the brain by working on math, science, social studies, problem-solving and thinking skills.

Best educational video games

Professor Layton

Fourth graders will really get into this puzzle adventure series designed by Level-5. The games are compatible with Nintendo DS, 3DS and Switch. Professor Layton is an archeologist, and players get to join him on his mystery-solving excursions. The game series is a best seller for Nintendo. Kids are exposed to different historical settings while their problem-solving and memory skills are challenged.

Nancy Drew – Dare to Play Interactive Games

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For fourth-graders who love mysteries, it’s time to investigate the Nancy Drew series of interactive games. The games are downloads and are recommended for budding sleuths ages 10 and up. There is an array of mysteries to choose from. The video game can also be used as a springboard to interest kids in reading the series penned by Carolyn Keene, which is a pseudonym for the different authors creating the tales of intrigue.

National Geographic Challenge

Go global with this educational video game the whole family can get on board with. Available for XBox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3, kids can learn all sorts of geographic facts and information through quizzes and puzzle challenges. Kids can play in single mode or with up to four players. The game includes an explorer mode, too.

Minecraft

Okay, so it looks funky to parents, but Minecraft has been going strong with kids in fourth grade and up since the game made its debut in 2011. The building game has different modes where players use a wealth of educational skills including math, reading, problem-solving and more as they create their worlds. Different modes like adventure, survival and multiplayer allow kids to work as a team or individually. Minecraft is available to play on a range of devices such as Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, desktops, iPads and smartphones.

Oregon Trail

They’ve studied about it in the classroom, and now your fourth grader can get involved in a bit of interactive history by hitting the Oregon Trail on their computer. This game has been around for a while and has gone through many updates. In the latest version, players learn historical facts while honing their problem-solving and critical thinking skills as they navigate the Oregon Trail to try and get their wagon safely across.

Wordscapes

It’s a little early for the SATs, but not to expand your fourth grader’s vocabulary. If your kiddos enjoy popping on your Words with Friends, they can have some fun with Wordscapes puzzles. An added bonus is that Wordscapes is free to download to smartphones and desktops.

By fourth grade, video games begin to maximize your 10-year-old’s free time. The important thing for parents is to find a balance between virtual play and other outdoor activities. When your kids are playing video games, aim for educational games they will find fun and interesting. Each of these six video games offers educational value to your fourth grader. Mystery games like Professor Layton and Nancy Drew get kids thinking and using problem-solving skills while exposing them to other cultures. The National Geographic Challenge and Oregon Trail have historical and geographical bases. Minecraft combines a number of critical thinking skills, and Wordscapes is a creative way to expand vocabulary. When your fourth graders are playing educational games, you can feel better about their screen time.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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