It can be a tough job to juggle recreational time while promoting healthy learning. Your family can have the best of all worlds with one of these 5 kid (and adult) friendly video games we’ve picked out to enjoy on April 22nd and all year long. This is a form of gamified storytelling that speaks to students at their level and can be used as a tool to develop climate literacy skills. While there is no shortage of educational options, the Teachers on Call in-person and online tutoring team has selected 5 video games with an environmental science focus to get your family started.
Gamification is a tactic we highly recommend in keeping engagement in a subject high! We’re not alone in our thinking, as the educators at Harvard University have also written on this topic around how video games engage students in learning. The Teachers on Call in-person and online tutoring team has previously recommended on our blog gamification to help with STEM learning—and also even math specifically. So, these games we’ve curated lean towards the sciences: marine biology, ecology, zoology, botany, and even ornithology (which is the study of birds)!
Explore the vast, semi-open world modeled after Central Park, brimming with life, from the perspective of one tiny winged creature. Not only can you live the big adventure of a small bee in Bee Simulator, you can also play it with your friends and family in co-op and PvP mode on split screen if you want to! Take part in bee races, collect pollen from rare flowers, and defy dangerous wasps. Or simply fly around and explore rich nooks and crannies, encountering other creatures great and small.
Available on Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, and more.
Terra Nil is a casual and very calming environmental strategy game with no combat and gentle puzzles. The goal in Terra Nil is to terraform and reclaim barren wastelands by purifying soil and cleaning oceans. Once power and soil have been taken care of, the player gradually builds a thriving, balanced ecosystem by planting trees and other vegetation, restarting snow and rainfall, and reintroducing wildlife by creating the perfect homeland for it. After all the goals have been achieved, the player must recycle all of their equipment and leave without a trace.
Terra Nil can be played on iOS, Android, Steam and more. Currently, it’s available for free on phones and mobile devices for anyone with an active Netflix account.
We Are The Caretakers
We Are The Caretakers is an Afrofuturist sci-fi squad management RPG, featuring turn-based combat similar to games like XCOM. The goal is protecting endangered animals and the planet from extinction. You’ll be responsible for recruiting, training, managing and building squads of arcane protectors called The Caretakers after the massive energy barrier that separates you from a wider universe mysteriously falls.
We Are The Caretakers is available for Xbox, Steam, and more.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
Even the smallest person can make a big difference. Join Alba, as she sets out to save her beautiful island and its wildlife. And possibly start a revolution. Alba has been reviewed by critics as being a chill game with beautiful music, adorable art, saving wildlife, and plenty of feel-good actions. Common Sense Media says it's a breezy, carefree game that's both empowering and educational, perfect for kids and parents alike.
Alba is available on Nintendo, Steam, and more.
For families who love the ocean, don’t miss out on the single-player narrative adventure game Beyond Blue. Beyond Blue was inspired by the BBC's Blue Planet II nature documentary series, and is an educational underwater diving adventure game. Throughout eight different dives you'll explore the untouched world of our ocean to track sea creatures, unravel mysteries, and interact with the ocean like never before.
Available on Nintendo, iOS, Steam, and more.
We hope your family enjoys our fun take on celebrating, which will optimistically turn Earth Day into an earth year! If your little learners are looking for more educational activities and ways to nurture an appreciation of environmental science, our in-person and online tutors are here to help!