This blog is part of our Christmas Screen Time series. Between shiny new games to play with and classic films on the telly, screen time is an inevitable part of the Christmas holidays. Instead of worrying about the amount of time our children spend on screens, we want to help you and your children make sure that screen time is active and productive.
The Christmas holidays are a time for fun and games for all the family - but we know some children would much rather stare at their screens than play another round of Monopoly or charades.
Luckily, we have a solution! These video games are the perfect way to spend time as a family, as well as teaching your child valuable skills like teamwork, sportsmanship and empathy. Even better, all of them have a PEGI rating of 7+ or less, so you can be sure that the content is appropriate for primary-aged children.
If you’re looking for a game to test your family’s communication skills, we highly recommend Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Players are split into two teams. One team is given a virtual bomb with modules that need to be defused; the other is given a series of instructions, but they aren’t allowed to look at the screen. The instructions are easy to read, but putting them into practice might take a little patience!
There’s a good chance your children will already be familiar with Among Us - a murder mystery game where players have to perform tasks on a spaceship while an ‘impostor’ picks them off one-by-one. Games are fast and tense, and a great way to teach children logic and deductive reasoning skills. While there is the option to join public games with strangers, you can also set up a private match to invite family and friends.
Natterhub is all about raising the profile of kindness online, and Kind Words is a game that does just that. Set in a cosy room with soft furnishings and relaxing music, the game encourages you to send letters to real users, who send replies in return. While we don’t recommend letting a child play on their own, this can be a great tool to help children practice empathy when interacting with other people online.
Inspired by Overcooked and other cooperative games, Moving Out is a fast-paced, very silly way to spend an afternoon. Up to four players need to work together to move furniture out of houses and into the back of a van, which will require a lot of talking and teamwork. This is wholesome slapstick fun for all the family, and the ‘assist mode’ means that younger or less-experienced gamers can get involved.
Looking for a fun way to work off all those cheeky Christmas chocolates? Give Just Dance Now a try! Load the Just Dance Now page on your computer or TV, then connect the smartphone app to dance along. You can even find playlists to suit your tastes - everything from Disney classics to the greatest hits of Abba.
Untitled Goose Game (PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
If your children have a mischievous streak, they’ll love Untitled Goose Game
’s new multiplayer mode. You play as a pair of naughty geese, pulling gentle pranks on the inhabitants of a sleepy town. You’ll steal vegetables from a farmer, pull a picnic basket into a river and lock somebody in a phone box. There’s even a dedicated ‘honk’ button.
In Heave Ho!, your aim is to reach the end of the level by linking arms with other players and swinging each other through the air like trapeze artists - while avoiding the deadly drops and sharp spikes! It’s a puzzle game that requires lateral thinking, cooperation, and just a tiny bit of shouting. If you fancy a real challenge, there are also competitive modes that pit teams against each other in a race to the finish.
Snipperclips is a great way to test out your crafting skills without making a mess. Players need to work together by helping each other adjust their paper characters to the right shape, so they can complete a series of tasks - everything from filling an awkward shape to catching a ball.
Natterhub is an educational social media platform created to prepare primary school children to thrive online.
Our interactive lessons give children all the skills that they need to stay safe in a digital landscape, and our Badges of Honour help teachers to keep track of their progress.
With a cleverly designed interface that looks and feels like social media, children learn in an environment that feels like the real deal whilst teachers can make use of the extensive Natterhub content library to keep pupils engaged and inspired.
Natterhub is powered by TwinklHive, and is used in over 40 countries around the world. Twinkl, a global educational publishing house, offers primary and secondary resources to 8.5 million members, across 197 countries.