Can video games encourage creativity in children? Just a decade ago, conventional wisdom dictated that video games reduced creativity and produced more imitative play. But recent research suggests that kids who have grown up in the age of video games and other screen-based technologies are more creative than kids who grew up without them. Sandra Russ, a psychologist at Case Western University, has found that kids who play video games are actually more creative than kids from the 1970’ s who did not have access to these technologies. So if you’re looking for Christmas gifts that spark the imagination and inspire kids to create, the team at LearningWorks for Kids has come up with this list of video games that promote creativity.
BADLAND BADLAND is an iOS game that was released last June, but its merits as a beautiful and immersive gaming experience haven’t diminished in a year and a half. If anything, they’ve been improved, particularly with the release of the BADLAND: Game of the Year Edition for Mac. On top of its inspiring graphics and atmosphere, BADLANDS will challenge your child’s flexibility and persistence–two key thinking skills for creativity. Players can interact with nearly everything in the game as they fly through the air, escape traps, and solve puzzles, making it a clear choice as one of the top video games that promote creativity.
The Sandbox Your kids will play God, literally, in The Sandbox, as they design and create their own worlds of pixel art from scratch. Aptly named, The Sandbox epitomizes the sandbox game, with its pure digital free play approach.
Minecraft Undoubtedly the most popular sandbox game (maybe most popular game, period) Minecraft is the game that your kids either play or haven’t played yet. If you ever doubted whether video games like Minecraft could encourage creativity, just do a Google Image or Flickr search and see the vast variety of user-created buildings and landscapes in every imaginable formation — from football fields to double helixes.
Eden – World Builder A Minecraft clone, Eden – World Builder nonetheless stands on its own as a touchscreen builder that was published long before Minecraft went mobile. Experimentation is the name of the game in Eden, as there are no in-game tutorials and guides. The only thing required of players is the willingness to try new things.
Paper Paper is not a game, but this dual-purpose productivity and creativity app is super cool, and the creative (or aspiring creator) kid in your life will love the ability to take notes and draw pictures all within the same app. With paints, markers, pens, and pencils at their disposal, they can jot or draw anything that comes to mind — whenever, wherever.[cjphs_content_placeholder id=”73538″ random=”no” ]
For more video games that promote creativity and other executive functions and real world skills, see our vast archive of Playbooks and App+ reviews.