Gaming For Kids
Need help choosing the right console or games for your family? We're here to point you in the direction of the best games for kids and provide all you need to know about age ratings and parental controls.
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Gaming for kids
- Both the PS4 and Xbox One have a wide selection of games that are perfect for kids, such as the Minecraft and Lego games. They can also play DVDs, making them great all-round entertainment systems.
- The Nintendo DS is a handheld gaming system that offers a wide range of popular kid's games, including the Pokémon series.
- The versatile Nintendo Switch is a combination of home console and handheld. It can be played through a TV and on-the-move, and has loads of games they're sure to love, like Mario Kart or Splatoon.
What does PEGI mean?
PEGI stands for Pan European Gaming Information. Every game receives a PEGI rating which defines what age group it is suitable for.
- 3 – Suitable for children 3 and older. General audiences.
- 7 – Recommended for persons 7 and older. No parental guidance needed.
- 12 – Suitable for persons 12 and older. Medium parental guidance.
- 16 – Suitable for persons 16 and older. Strong parental guidance.
Benefits of gaming for children
- Games like Minecraft can encourage creativity and imagination, letting them build whatever their mind conjures up.
- Playing together with a family member or friend can also help to improve their team working and social skills.
- Puzzle games can help them with their problem-solving skills, as they have to think to find the right solution to progress through the game.
Gaming for tweens and teens
- Choosing a console for an older child depends on the types of games that they enjoy.
- Casual gamers may be suited to the Xbox One S or PS4 Slim, whereas if they enjoy getting up and about, or playing on-the-move, then the Nintendo Switch might be a better option.
- Got a passionate gamer on your hands? Then they're sure to love a more powerful console like the PS4 Pro or Xbox One.
- The best games for families are the ones you can play together. Luckily, all the consoles offer a number of games that are great for the whole family.
- Race to be the fastest with Mario Kart, break out the microphones with Let's Sing, dance your heart out with Just Dance, and more!
- As the PS4 and Xbox One also act as entertainment systems, you can gather round for a film or TV show when you've finished playing.
Parental controls are a feature of all games consoles that let you restrict content, usage and permissions.
How to set parental controls on a PS4
- From the PS4 home screen press up on the d-pad to get to the functions area.
- Go to the settings tab, then click on parental controls, and then on restrict use of PS4 features.
- You'll then need to set-up a parental control passcode and from here you can set the level of control.
How to set parental controls on an Xbox One
- Once you've created a user account for your child, you can add them to your Xbox family in the setting section.
- Then click on your child's account and accept the privacy setting agreement.
- You can then set restrictions for access to content and apps, web filtering and descriptions in One Guide.
How to set parental controls on a Nintendo Switch
- Open up the systems settings section from the Nintendo Switch's home page.
- Go to parental controls, then select this console and then restriction level. You'll be given a choice of pre-set restrictions for child, pre-teen, teen and or custom settings that you can set yourself.
- If you choose custom settings, you can restrict certain game ages, social media posts, online features and playing time.
How to set parental controls on a Nintendo DS
- Open the system settings tab from the home screen.
- Press the parental controls section and set up a PIN code so that your child cannot change your chosen settings.
- You can then set up restrictions on game age rating, online interaction, the DS shop and more.
Experts agree that it's important to set limits on screen time. An hour a day is a good starting point for younger children.
It's really important to choose games that are suitable for your kid's age. PEGI ratings can help with this, but you should also consider other factors like if a game will be too difficult or too scary for your child.
Game time should always be balanced with staying active. Although some consoles have games you can play on your feet, it's still recommended to take regular breaks and stay active away from the screen.
Most consoles have access to the internet and social media. You can limit your child's access to these sites and apps by setting parental controls.
Advice to keep your children safe online
Get free expert advice from Internet Matters on how to make your children's online life fulfilling, fun and above all safe. An organisation dedicated to helping keep children safe online, they offer simple advice on the main issues children may be exposed to when browsing the internet, alongside safeguarding tips for setting up appropriate controls and filters across your devices.