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.
Looking for the perfect game to give your children this Christmas? Natterhub has put together a selection of some of our favourites. All of them have a PEGI rating of 7+ or less, so you can be confident that the content is appropriate for primary-aged children. Even though these are all single-player games, we recommend sitting down with your child as they play: listening to them talk about games that interest them is the perfect way to start bonding.
Fans of Animal Crossing and Pokemon will find this game absolutely delightful. You play a journalist sent to a mysterious island inhabited by the titular ‘bugsnax’ - strange creatures that are part animal, part food. The main aim of the game is to catch every single one, which involves solving some fiendishly clever puzzles.
With its adorable, craft-inspired art style and simple mechanics, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is the perfect way to introduce younger players to the world of video games. Each level is filled with colourful characters, and you can collect a huge array of costumes to customise your hero. Best of all, the game can also be played with up to four players, making it ideal for bonding as a family.
Astro’s Playroom (PS5)
If you’ve got a PlayStation 5, then you’ll definitely want to play Astro’s Playroom
. It comes pre-installed on the console, free of charge, as a way of showing off all the PS5’s new bells and whistles. It’s a very simple game - you play an adorable robot who runs and jumps through various levels - with collectible items that tell the history of PlayStation consoles.
You’ve probably already heard of Animal Crossing
- it was released at the start of the pandemic this year, and proved a welcome distraction for audiences young and old. What you might not know is that the game changes according to the time of year. The winter update
(which is out now) blankets your island home in snow and puts flashing Christmas lights on all the trees, as well as giving you new festive items to purchase with the in-game currency.
Remember the wooden train sets you used to play with when you were little? Tracks
is the train set you always dreamed of having, with unlimited pieces and an unlimited space to play in. Create your own world by altering the terrain, laying down tracks and adding buildings, and then jump into the trains to ride the rails for yourself!
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (PS4, PC)
has taken the gaming world by storm this summer, and it’s not hard to see why. Where other ‘Battle Royale’ games like Fortnite
rely on killing off your competition, these challenges take inspiration from classic TV shows like Total Wipeout
. Up to 60 adorable jellybean characters compete in races and team games, until the final winner takes the crown!
Monument Valley is a gorgeous mobile game with an art style based on optical illusions. The aim of each level is simple - push, pull and twist the world to guide your character to the exit. But while the puzzles can get complicated towards the end, the lovely visuals and soft music make it a very soothing experience. It’s the perfect game for spending an hour cuddled on the sofa with your children.
There’s a reason Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time. The simple presentation and iconic blocky visuals hide a creation tool with surprising depth. It starts with chopping down wood and mining stone, but it’s not long before you can create complex structures and even electronic circuits with the help of a material called ‘red stone’. Minecraft is a superb tool for allowing children to explore their creativity, and with up to four players in the same room or up to 16 players online it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends.
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.