Parent-approved picks: Best Nintendo Switch games for kids

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Explore the top Nintendo Switch games that have received a stamp of approval from parents and are ideal for children. Uncover a variety of genres that cater to creative play, problem-solving and safe multiplayer experiences.

A girl sitting on a wooden deck enjoying a Nintendo Switch tablet while playing games perfect for kids.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

The Nintendo Switch has established itself as a favorite for gamers of all ages. The console’s expansive library includes titles ranging from educational to purely entertaining, ensuring that there’s a game to match kids’ interests and skill levels.

Family-friendly games on the Nintendo Switch are abundant, allowing for play involving the whole family. These games provide fun experiences designed with kids in mind, boasting content appropriate for younger gamers. Whether it’s imaginative play, interactive storytelling or competitive racing, the Nintendo Switch has games that can cater to children’s diverse preferences.

With so many options, finding the best Nintendo Switch games for kids can be a challenge. However, some titles stand out for their popularity, ease of play and positive reception from critics and the gaming community. These games are celebrated for their colorful graphics, engaging gameplay and the ability to bring people together, making them top picks for any family’s gaming library.

“At 7 years old my son was obsessed with Super Mario Bros U Deluxe. This was a great first Nintendo Switch game for him. After he had gone through all worlds, beat Bowser several times, he then went on to play Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Now that he is eight, his new obsession is Minecraft. While he plays the Java edition on his laptop with his friends, we also have the Bedrock Edition for him on his Nintendo Switch for individual play.”

— Tamara, Thriving In Parenting
Four Nintendo Switch controllers on a table, perfect for playing multiplayer Nintendo Switch games.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Selecting the right games for children

When choosing Nintendo Switch games for kids, it’s crucial to consider age appropriateness and the features available to manage gameplay. Look for titles with educational value that align with your child’s interests, ensuring a balance between learning and fun.

Understanding age appropriateness and ESRB ratings

ESRB ratings: The Entertainment Software Rating Board, also known as ESRB, provides structured, age-appropriate guidance. Ratings vary, starting from Early Childhood, commonly abbreviated as EC, for children three and older, to Adults Only, known as AO, for games suitable for ages 18 and up. Games rated Everyone, or E, are ideal for all ages but may contain content such as minimal cartoon violence that might not be appropriate for the youngest players.

Age specifics:

  • Under 10 years: There is simple gameplay with minimal reading required, featuring bright colors and encouraging creativity and problem-solving. Coordination and fine motor skills are often developed through these games.
  • Ages 10 and up: Games may include more complex strategies and reading, which can benefit cognitive development. Creativity is still a focus, but games may also introduce teamwork and critical thinking elements.

Setting up parental controls and time management

Parental controls: Nintendo Switch offers parental controls to help manage which games children can play according to their ESRB ratings. Parents can also set time limits, ensuring that gaming is balanced with other activities.

Time management: Instill a habit of taking regular breaks to reduce eye strain and maintain a healthy balance between screen time and physical activity. Incorporate activities like stretching or short walks in these intervals to promote blood circulation and overall well-being.

When selecting Nintendo Switch games for kids, implementing these elements ensures that the choices align with their needs and developmental levels. Additionally, it promotes a healthier, more engaging gaming experience tailored to their growth and learning.

“Mario Kart is a great Nintendo Switch game for kids because it’s family-friendly and you can choose to be competitive or not. Kids of all ages can play alone or with others and still have fun.”

— Heidi Bruaw, Real Life of Lulu
A nintendo switch, perfect for kids, is sitting on a table.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Top kid-friendly Nintendo Switch games

The Nintendo Switch offers a variety of cozy games perfect for younger players, providing fun experiences that are often great for family game nights or individual play. Many of these titles feature multiplayer or co-op modes, ensuring that everyone can enjoy them, regardless of age.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players can create their island paradise. It’s a social simulation game that allows for creativity in home and island decoration, fostering a relaxing environment for children to engage in.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the quintessential multiplayer racing game on the Switch. Its family-friendly gameplay offers competitive racing experiences and a two-player co-op mode in local multiplayer, ensuring endless fun for kids and the whole family.

A Highland Song

A Highland Song tells a heartfelt story through rhythm-based gameplay. The game is suitable for children who enjoy music and adventures set in enchanting landscapes.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This open-world adventure game lets players explore the vast kingdom of Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda encourages problem-solving and imagination while maintaining an accessible experience for younger players.

Mario Party Superstars

Mario Party Superstars is a compilation of the best mini-games from the franchise’s history, perfect for local multiplayer fun. It provides a family-friendly gaming experience that can accommodate multiple players on the same console.

Overcooked 2

In Overcooked 2, players work together in a chaotic cooking simulation that requires cooperation and quick thinking. This game is ideal for kids to learn about teamwork enjoyably.

My Friend Peppa Pig

With a relatively simple gameplay designed for preschoolers, My Friend Peppa Pig lets young players interact with characters and settings from the popular TV show. This creates a rather fun and interactive storybook experience.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land game follows the iconic pink character, Kirby, in a charming platforming adventure. It’s especially suitable for young players with its inviting art style and lighthearted tone.

CoComelon: Play with JJ

This is a game that brings the popular children’s show CoComelon into an interactive format. It allows young fans to play and learn with JJ and friends on the Nintendo Switch, offering educational entertainment.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 combines puzzle-solving and adventure as Luigi bravely navigates a haunted hotel. It strikes a balance between mild spookiness and fun, perfect for kids who enjoy a bit of thrill.

Minecraft

Spanning across various age groups, Minecraft is the ultimate sandbox game for the Nintendo Switch. It promotes creativity and problem-solving with its blocky, open-world gameplay.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

This platformer is set in a world made entirely of household items, giving it a distinct visual appeal. Geared towards younger players, it offers a gentle difficulty curve and co-op play.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Set in the new region of Galar, these games introduce new Pokemon and dynamic battles. They’re great for kids exploring and enjoying turn-based combat systems.

As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to age-appropriate Nintendo Switch games for kids. Plus, with new titles constantly being released, there’s always something fresh and exciting for young gamers to discover.

Kristen Wood is a writer, photographer, avid cozy gamer and creator of The Cozy Gaming Nook, your source for everything cozy games. Her work has been featured in various online and print publications, including Elle, Martha Stewart, Well + Good, MSN and more.

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