Skip to main content

The Best Video Games for Preschoolers that are Fun, Safe and Educational

Should preschoolers play video games? The benefits of video games for young kids and the best video games for 3-year-olds and up!
Video Games for Preschoolers
Updated: January 26, 2023
Table of contents

Does your preschooler enjoy playing video games?

Have they already heard all the hype around games like “Roblox”? Did they see a new commercial for a Marvel superhero game and beg to try it?

If your preschooler already loves video games, you’re not alone. Studies show that children ages 2-4 spend 5 minutes per day playing computer or console games, and 10 minutes playing mobile games.

While that may not seem like a lot of daily screen time, parents need to be aware of what games their children are playing and the consequences that can come from it.

We’re going to take a look at the things parents should consider before their preschooler plays video games as well as some of the benefits that may surprise you.

Related: 9 Kid-Friendly Video Games Like Elden Ring

Plus, we’ll discover the best games for young children to play on a game console or mobile device.

Should Preschoolers Play Video Games?

Are you worried about how video games will influence your children? Research shows that 91 percent of kids between ages 2 and 17 play video games.

With so many kids playing games, parents are left wondering if they should be allowing their children to play, and if so, for how long.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under age 6 should get less than one hour of screen time daily. Keeping this in mind, here are some things to consider before allowing your child to play video games.

Set Boundaries

As the experts suggest, setting limits on how much time your child spends in front of a screen is a good idea.

Agree on a certain amount of time for them to play games and give them other ideas of what they can do with their time when they’re not playing video games.

Keep Game Consoles Out of Bedrooms

Console-Free Bedroom

When game consoles are in a child’s bedroom it’s harder to keep tabs on what they’re doing. It’s also more difficult to keep track of time limits. By having games in a common area, you can better monitor what they’re playing and for how long.

Also, video game consoles like the Nintendo Switch or PlayStation often cost hundreds of dollars! It isn’t wise to leave a two or three-year-old alone with an expensive electronic device that they can break easily.

No Gaming Before Bed

Even a little gamer needs their sleep! Just as important as keeping game consoles out of bedrooms is not allowing video gaming before bed. This can contribute to poor sleep and not getting enough sleep.

Homework Before Gaming

Homework Before

Knowing the content of the games your child is playing is huge. Be aware of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of the games you buy to know what’s appropriate for your little ones.

Read reviews and know what the game is about before allowing your child to play.

Stay Away from Online Community Gaming

Many online games offer a community for people to play together. Multiplayer games connect players through the internet, often letting them voice chat or type to each other. Multiplayer games are not intended for preschoolers.

Little children should not be allowed to interact with strangers online in a multiplayer gaming environment. Beware of any games that allow online chats or any other types of interaction.

Popular video games for kids like “Minecraft” and “Fortnite” have both single player and multiplayer options, so make sure to monitor the games your kids are playing!

Encourage Activity and Exercise

Encourage Activity

Many researchers have looked into the problem of childhood obesity and playing video games. There is research to indicate that playing some games can promote unhealthy eating habits and lead to kids gaining weight.

If your child is playing video games, you’ll want to avoid them spending too much time being sedentary, which can lead to weight gain. Encourage them to get outside and exercise, and not to munch too many chips while they play!

Benefits of Preschoolers Playing Video Games

If you decide to allow your preschooler to play video games, there are several benefits that may surprise you. From helping with reading schools to boosting their creativity, video games have been shown to be positive if played appropriately.

1. Video Games Improve Visual-Spatial Skills

Many games are set in 3-D virtual worlds that they have to navigate themselves. When kids play these games, they have to work on their visual-spatial skills. This can help them improve their visual-spatial skills.

2. Video Games Boost Reading Skills

Video Games Boost Reading Skills

Studies have shown that children who play video games can get a small boost to their reading skills. One 2013 study found that dyslexic children who played action video games showed an increased ability to read faster and more clearly.

Researchers believe that gameplay that involves storytelling where kids need to figure out text instructions can help improve their reading skills. While most preschoolers don’t know how to read just yet, playing can boost their reading as they get older.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that playing video games should replace reading books!

4. Video Games Encourage Imaginative Play and Creativity

Imaginative Play

While preschoolers may have plenty of opportunities for creative play with other toys such as LEGOS and blocks, video games can also help because they give kids the chance to continue their imaginative play.

Some kids may even try to draw some of the characters they see in their games or try to recreate the game during role-playing activities.

5. Video Games Provide Teaching Opportunities

If you’ve ever played a video game with your preschooler, chances are they’ve taught you how to play instead of vice versa. It’s no secret that children are little sponges and pick up technology quickly.

As they learn how to play games themselves, they’ll gain the confidence to teach their peers and adults how to play too. This can also help to increase communication skills and even teach them teamwork as they teach others how to play.

25 Best Video Games for Preschoolers

When it comes to video games for young kids, some are educational, some are adventurous, and some are just plain fun. Here are 25 of the best video games for preschoolers.

Educational Video Games

1. Crayola Scoot

Crayola Scoot

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Available from Amazon and PlayStation

Let your child explore different colors and see how many they can make with this came. They have to create a scoot character and perform tricks to splash different colors and make it to the finish line.

2. Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster

Once Upon a Monster

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox 360
  • Available from Amazon

This is a great game to teach children kindness. Each little game has a moral to it. Kids are having fun while learning the importance of kindness. It’s a win-win all around.

3. Endless Alphabet

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows App, Android
  • Available to download on various devices

“Endless Alphabet” is a mobile game for kids learning the alphabet and trying to build their vocabulary. There are simple words and colorful characters to help along the way.

4. Scribblenauts Unlimited


  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PC, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One
  • Available from Amazon and to download on devices

This is the fourth of the “Scribblenauts” franchise which is based on solving puzzles and is age appropriate for little ones. Puzzles will help to improve cognitive skills.


5. PJ Masks Heroes of the Night

PJ Masks

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox one
  • Available from Amazon

If your child loves the show “PJ Masks”, they’ll love this game. It’s adventure-based while being educational at the same time. This is a great game to promote cognitive skills as they find hidden gems throughout the game.


6. Team Umizoomi


  • Best for ages 4+
  • Can be played on Nintendo DS
  • Available from Amazon

This action-adventure game is fun for little ones who love the show. It also incorporates some math skills as kids go on exciting missions through the game.

7. Zoo Tycoon

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox One
  • Available from Amazon

Kids can learn some real facts about animals as they play this zoo game. They can create, manage and maintain their dream zoo and invite others to join them.

8. ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse

  • Best for ages 2+
  • Download through an app or PC

ABC Mouse is known for its educational content to teach children how everything from reading to math and science. Lessons are age appropriate, so kids learn at their level without getting frustrated.



Video Games to Help with Motor Skills

9. Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover!

Ready, Set, Grover

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

This Sesame Street game allows kids to move and stretch, helping with coordination throughout the various activities in the game. This is also a great choice if you want to get your child to move while playing video games.




Video Games for the Whole Family

10. Disneyland Adventures

Disneyland Adventures

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox
  • Available from Amazon

If you’re a Disney family, this game is for your little ones. Kids can choose a character and walk around the Disneyland resort. It allows them to walk around the park and get to know the Disney characters better.

11. Hasbro Family Fun Pack

Family Fun Pack

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 4
  • Available from Amazon and PlayStation

This is a fun pack that includes games for people of all ages. It includes video-game versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and more. While some of the games may be a little tough for preschoolers, they’re bound to love some Monopoly family fun!



12. Hot Wheels Unleashed

Hot Wheels

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 5
  • Available from Amazon

If your child loves cars and your family does too, this can be the game for all of you. Your little one can collect some of the coolest Hot Wheels cars and build tracks. They can then compete in races and unlock more cool cars to play with.




13. Nickelodeon Kart Racers

Kart Racers

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox One
  • Available from Amazon

This is a great game for some healthy competition. Choose from 12 iconic Nickelodeon characters. There are 24 different tracks to play on as kids race to the finish line.



Adventure Games for Little Kids

14. Untitled Goose Game

Goose Game

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PCs
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

This is a popular game that makes the player a goose on the loose in an unsuspecting village. Kids make their way around town causing all types of mischief. This is probably why younger children love to play this game!


15. Disney Dreamlight Valley


  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S/One, Mac, PC
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

“Disney Dreamlight Valley” allows kids to cook meals, expand their towns and build friendships with a host of Disney characters. The further kids go, the more they’ll uncover the adventure in the game.

16. Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure

Dora's Birthday

  • Best for ages 4+
  • Can be played on Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

This game is a video game version of the Dora TV show’s 10th-anniversary special. It follows the same plot as the show but has many interactive aspects and mini games.



17. Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure


  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Xbox One
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

This is a super fun game for little Pixar fans. Kids can solve puzzles and engage with their favorite Pixar characters as they dive into the Pixar world.



Fun Video Games for Kids

18. Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo WII
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

You can’t mention fun video games without throwing in Super Mario. It’s a classic! This game is full of obstacles and plenty of puzzles to solve.

This can also be a great game for families to play since four people can play at once.


19. PAW Patrol: On a Roll

Paw Patrol

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and PC
  • Available from Amazon

Based on the TV series “PAW Patrol”, this game includes 16 adventures featuring all 8 rescue pups and Ryder. It’s an interactive version of the cartoon that’s pure fun!

20. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

Here’s another Super Mario game that’s pure fun. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” has treasure troves, great visuals, and fun driving technology. Your kids will love it and there’s a good chance you will too!

21. The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

Smurfs Mission Vileaf

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 5
  • Available from Amazon

“The Smurfs Mission Vileaf” is a fun game that allows your child to find their way through vertical levels and explore the Smurf village to uncover all types of secrets. Kids have to go on an adventure to find the ingredients and free Smurfs to save the village.

22. Race with Ryan

Race with Ryan

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on PlayStation 4
  • Available from Amazon

If your child loves Ryan’s World Toy Reviews on YouTube, this game is for them. This is Ryan’s very own racing video game that kids can play alone or with a friend or parent. It’s just pure fun, and it’s Ryan!


23. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is one of the most popular games for Nintendo Switch. Kids can create their very own paradise and make their own characters, home, and landscape. It’s a great game to get their creative juices flowing.



24. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The Legend of Zelda

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

While you may have grown up playing “The Legend of Zelda,” think of this as a simpler version for your little one. “Link’s Awakening” is approachable for kids and has some great visuals that will draw kids in.

25. My Friend Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig

  • Best for ages 3+
  • Can be played on Nintendo Switch
  • Available from Amazon and Nintendo

Based on the popular Nickelodeon show, this game is perfect for kids who are big Peppa fans. Let your child create and dress a character, ring Peppa’s doorbell, and begin a story that lets them explore their imaginations.

The Bottom Line on Video Games for Preschoolers

When it comes to video games for preschoolers, parents need to do their homework and find games that are age appropriate. Limiting screen time and taking an active role by playing with them is also important.

Keeping video games out of the bedroom and not allowing playing at bedtime can also avoid sleeping problems. Video games can bring benefits such as improving motor skills, boosting creativity and teaching kids to be better problem solvers.

If you’re comfortable with your preschooler playing video games, find the right combination of games and screen time to let them have fun and give you peace of mind.

For more video game ideas for older kids (and parents!) check out our list of The 25 New Video Games Kids Want This Christmas.

Kristina Cappetta

About Kristina

Having previously worked as a news producer, Kristina left the world of television when her… Read more

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.