For those children who seek additional academic enrichment outside of school,
one easy way to provide hours of positive intellectual stimulation is by
playing some of the games listed on this page.
Lower Elementary (and up)
Rote memorization isn't the most fun or interesting thing to do, but
sometimes it's necessary. Early elementary often requires memorizing math
facts. Paper worksheets and flash cards can help with this task, but it's
usually a lot more fun to play a game. There are lots of "memorize math
facts" games; Pop Math is one of them, but there are many others.
(Best on iPad, but also available on computers.) A relaxing "zen" game.
First few levels are just a fun game. But then it branches into a bunch of
different variants. One of them (one of the hardest) is "Solar", with
planets orbiting around a sun. Figuring out how to avoid certain asteroids,
and ram others, by doing acceleration ... is basically an intuitive version
of college level orbital mechanics! But, again, accessible to elementary
A no-time-pressure, first-person, logical puzzle investigation.
The Room Two & Three
Sequels to The Room.
A first-person puzzle, recipe, crafting, & shooter game. Including
multiplayer (both competitive, and cooperative). Kind of like legos, but in
a virtual world. One of the most popular kid's games in the world, so
they're probably already playing it. Most complex on the PC, but a solid
"pocket" version is available on iPads.
Upper Elementary (and up)
Hour of Code
Does an incredible job teaching (real!) beginning computer programming, to
elementary age kids. Start with "Hour of Code", then if that works, move on
to the more advanced tutorials on code.org. (For example, Code
A "game", which hides the fact that it is secretly teaching you the
(intuitive) rules of middle school algebra. (The latest version is rated
12+, but the original version was rated 5+. I believe the "advanced" one
just has more difficult levels added to the end.)
This does for 10th grade Geometry, what the original Dragon Box did for
8th/9th grade Algebra. It's an incredible way of using graphical, visual,
representations in a game, to teach logical math proofs.
(A PC-only game.) If Minecraft is a cross between logical puzzles and
First-Person-Shooters (FPS), then Factorio is sort of a cross between logical
puzzles and Real Time Strategy (RTS). And instead of (mostly) building
static structures, you generally build active factories. It's a little bit
like programming, except much more fun and visual, and with much less