Best video games for preschool children

Video games for kids

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

There's no denying how popular video games are with people from PS5 games to Switch games, and you might be wondering whether to invest in some video games for preschool children.

Despite some of the negativity they receive, video games for pre-schoolers can help with social skills, problem solving and concentration. With a huge array of video games for kids on the market, including ones that have educational elements, a lot of them feature children's favourite characters, including Peppa Pig, the PAW Patrol team and even Bluey.

Best video games for preschool children at a glance:

Best Xbox video games for preschoolers: PJ Masks: Heroes of The Night - buy here on Amazon.
Best PlayStation video games for preschoolers: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Sage - buy here on Amazon.
Best Switch video games for preschoolers: Bluey: The Video Game: buy here on Very.

As much as you might not want your child having too much screen time, it can be good for keeping them entertained for a little bit and great for encouraging teamwork if you have two children and play on multiplayer.

Best games for Xbox for young children

Best Xbox video games for preschoolers

PJ Masks: Heroes of The Night
Price: $22.27

Any child who loves PJ Masks will love this adventure-based game. Your little one can use their superpowers – like Catboy’s speed, Owlette’s flying, and Gekko’s muscles – to stop the night-time baddies. In this PJ Masks: Heroes of The Night, your little superhero will visit eight PJ Mask locations from Mystery Mountain all the way up to the moon. This game is great for promoting your child's cognitive skills as they will have to find hidden gems throughout it.

One review said: "Great game it very fun a must for any PJ Masks fan, my son love it."**
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Pros

  • Play as Catboy, Owlette and Gekko
  • Visit 8 familiar PJ Masks locations
  • Search for collectibles

Cons

  • Some parents mentioned the tasks felt repetitive
Device:Xbox One
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game card

Best dinosaur video games for preschoolers

Explore and race across the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. In this Gigantosaurus The Game, your little one can solve puzzles and race around the world with up to three of their dinosaur friends.

One parent review said: "This is an excellent platform game for 3+."**
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Pros

  • Race to the next adventure zones
  • Team up with up to three friends

Cons

  • Some mentioned that the game isn't well explained
Device:Xbox One
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game card

Best Sonic video games for preschoolers

The iconic blue hedgehog was first introduced to our screens in the early 90s. Since then, he has been hailed by gamers worldwide. This Sonic Mania Xbox One Game is a multiple-playable character game that gives your little one the ability to go explosively fast as Sonic, soar as Tails or power through tough obstacles with Knuckles' brute strength.

One review said: "Fantastic mix of old with new, keeps true to the original games of the 90’s bringing a mildly more modern feel to it and a couple of new characters. Great for first time players (my four-year-old) or those who played the original (me)!"

Pros

  • Nostalgic for parents
  • Different play modes

Cons

  • It's a digital download only
Device:Xbox One
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Digital download

Best PS5 games for kids

Best Play Station video games for preschoolers

Fun for single player and multiplayer mode, you can go on so many adventures and travel to different planets with the LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Play as Jedi's or as Darth Maul, Kylo Wren, or even Vader.

One review said: "This is great Lego game. It’s absolutely fantastic for the younger players. It’s also support two players."

Pros

  • Can play in multiplayer mode
  • Lots of adventures
  • Follows the trilogies

Cons

  • Parents might need to support children when playing
Device:PS5
Suitable for ages:7+ years
Mode:Disc

Best Hot Wheels video games for preschoolers

If your child is car obsessed, this is probably the game for you. Your little one will be able to collect the world's coolest Hot Wheels cars, build tracks and compete in amazing races in the Hot Wheels Unleashed PS5 Game. The more they win, the more cars they will be able to unlock.

One review said: "I brought this last month. Really good game! Can play multiplayer and race against each other. Also solo races online! Amazing quality and great race tracks. Must have buy!"

Pros

  • Unlock different cars
  • Compete in races

Cons

  • Some of it is online
Device:PS5
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Disc

PS4 games that preschoolers will love

Best farming video games for preschoolers

Farming Simulator 22

Rrp: $49.23

Price: $39.00

Your child can enjoy and virtually experience that world of farming. The Farming Simulator 22 agricultural adventure allows children to free play and tend to the animals and the land. With more than 400 machines and a host of animals, your child will understand what goes into being a real-life farmer.

Mum reviewer, Hannah James said," My four-year-old first saw this game when watching the popular Youtube channel, Hudson's Playground. After watching the videos he became obsessed with this game and begged me to purchase it. When it arrived he was over the moon. He loves mowing the lawn and tending to the animals. The game is a little challenging and does take a lot of practice. I have had to research how to do things in the game. However, it has really furthered his understanding of the farming world and I was impressed to see him using the vocabulary in everyday life. It has taken some patience - on both of our parts. All in all, it's a really good game for us to play, learn and explore together."

Pros

  • Allows free play
  • Simulates real life farming

Cons

  • Might be a bit complex for some children
Device:PS4
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Disc

Best racing video games for preschoolers

Race with Ryan

Rrp: $23.21

Price: $18.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$21.27View offer

Ryan's World has become one of the most popular YouTube channels for preschoolers. Ryan often reviews toys and games. Race with Ryan is Ryan's very own racing video game - we love that it can be played by multiple players. There are simple controls that young players can understand.

A parent review said: "I personally think this is a great game for the target audience. My daughter (three) loves watching Ryan's World and she really likes this game. She enjoys seeing the familiar characters popping up and she loves being able to play on the console with Daddy. I feel that this is a great game for her and for any younger kids/parents that want to do something on their level. I absolutely LOVE that you can turn on a steering assist option as well as an acceleration assist depending on your child's abilities. It has definitely made the game more enjoyable for my child."

Pros

  • Created by Kid-YouTube Ryan's World
  • Easy to follow

Cons

  • Might be a bit basic for older children
Device:PS4
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Disc

Best PAW Patrol video games for preschoolers

Paw Patrol The Movie Adventure City Calls
Price: $19.79

Your child will be thrilled to learn they are needed to help on a awesome adventure. Your child will become the pups to complete rescue missions on the Paw Patrol The Movie Adventure City Calls. It's child friendly, and there's plenty of helpful tips to support the gameplay along the way.

Mum reviewer, Hannah James said, "This was the first video game my four-year-old ever played and I was blown away by the child-friendly usability. Throughout the game, Ryder gives very helpful tips on what your child needs to do. If they become stuck there are visual aids that come onto the screen. This meant that within a few practises my son had memorised the controls, which has subsequently helped with his real-life navigation and memory skills. It's a brilliant game for young children."

Pros

  • Child-friendly game
  • Play as their favourite TV characters

Cons

  • Some mentioned that they wish the game was longer
Device:PS4
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Disc

Best Nintendo Switch games for kids

Best Switch video games for preschoolers

Bluey: The Videogame is set across four interactive episodes, where children can explore iconic locations such as the Heeler house, playgrounds , creek and more! You can even play games from the show such as keepy uppy. There's also a multiplayer mode so you can play along with your little one.

One review said: "Brilliant game, my grandson loves it would highly recommend buying it."

Pros

  • Play iconic games from the TV show
  • Play as the Heeler family

Cons

  • It's a new game so there are some minor glitches
Device:Nintendo Switch
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game cartridge

Best Peppa video games for prescholers

My Friend Peppa Pig (Nintendo Switch)
Price: $33.94
Alternative retailers
Walmart$34.77View offer

Your tot can enjoy creating and dressing their character, and then they can meet Peppa and begin a story that’s all up to them in My Friend Peppa Pig. Peppa will suggest activities such as helping Daddy Pig find his glasses, following the animal tracks in the Forest, splashing in muddy puddles, and more.

Review: "My niece is a huge Peppa Pig fan so when I seen this I had to get it for her. She loves the character creation and interacting with Peppa and friends. Very easy for her to pick up."

Pros

  • Create your own character
  • Explore Peppa's world

Cons

  • It's a very basic game
Device:Nintendo Swith
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game cartridge

Best world creation video games for preschoolers

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Price: $51.98
Alternative retailers
Walmart$49.99View offer

Your little one can create their very own paradise with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. They can customise their character, home and landscape. Throughout the game, little one's will collect material to construct with. They can also enjoy a whole host of fun activities.

Review: "My entire family love playing this game ranging from 4 years old to adults. Everyone is having fun during Lockdown with a bit of island escape everyday."

Pros

  • Encourages creativity
  • Never ending game play

Cons

  • There's reading involved
Device:Nintendo Switch
Suitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game cartridge

Best puppy video games for preschoolers

Little Friends: Dogs & Cats (Nintendo Switch)

Rrp: $37.64

Price: $30.68
Alternative retailers
Walmart$39.64View offer

If your child is desperate to have their very own pet, Little Friends: Dogs &Cats is a great introduction to the world of pet ownership. Your little animal lover will get to know their pets, care for them, play with them and take them out for walks. They can even dress them up.

Review: "My five year old grandson loves this game a great alternative to all the usual games."

Pros

  • Name and care for their own pets
  • Teaches responsibility

Cons

  • Can only have 3 pets in the home at once
Devices:Nintendo Switch
Sitable for ages:3+ years
Mode:Game cartridge

FAQS

What are the benefits of video games for preschool children?

Historically, video games have got a bit of a bad wrap. It could be because of its addictive qualities. With the rise of e-sports and more research, we now know there are also advantages to video games. These include:

Skills development - If you have ever played a video game, you will know that many require strategy, planning, concentration and visualisation. These are all fantastic skills which will help your child throughout their lives.

Social skills - When your little one is playing, they should always have adult supervision. It's a chance for you and your little one to communicate. You will be able to talk through tasks with your child and help guide their decision making; although, be prepared for your child to firmly tell you that they can do it on their own.

Competitiveness - Competitiveness, like video games, can be seen as a bad thing. But this isn't always the case. Being competitive not only teaches children to work harder towards their goals. It also teaches them how to deal with failure and promotes a 'try again' attitude.

Relaxation - Video games can help to promote a better state of wellbeing for your little one. If they are playing a video game, it may improve their mood. Another aspect of gaming is that it allows them to relax, which reduces anxiety.

How long should my child play video games for?

There are no official guidelines on screen time, so it is at your discretion as a parent. However, reducing screen time to a maximum of two hours a day allows for more time for reading, playing with toys and exploring outside.

Hannah Carroll is a Senior Parenting, Lifestyle and Home Product Writer. As a mother of three, Hannah draws upon her comprehensive understanding of all facets of family life to bring true insight into all the products that make running a home easier.

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