Games, Sites & Apps
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The franchise’s first title for Nintendo Switch heads to a vacation setting. Players get to customize a deserted island, build a dream home, and meet all kinds of new friends. Rewards for completing milestones come in the form of Nook Miles. Rated E for Everyone.
Be Calm on Ahway Island
These calm, kid-friendly stories teach emotional regulation and self-soothing. Weekly episodes, which strive to be inclusive, are ideal for bedtime. Some may balk at the mention of meditation, but the fun exercises (such as taking “dragon breaths”) build helpful life skills.
Biba Playground Games
Outdoor play equipment becomes the site for children’s real-life “missions,” thanks to this free mobile app. By scanning augmented-reality tags in one of 5,000+ parks, players can blend digital and physical play. Reviewers say this app is a great way to get kids moving.
The 10- to 20-minute episodes of this podcast feature kid-friendly folktales from around the world. They address values such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. Suggested activities encourage family discussions afterward. The podcast is geared toward story-lovers ages 4 to 10.
The Little Line
With this iPhone and iPad app, children can draw illustrations for an adventure story about a little boy. They also can erase anything they don’t like, such as scary monsters. The app, based on Serge Bloch’s children’s book The Big Adventure of a Little Line, is best for kids ages 4 and up.
This colorful, bouncy “goof around” game for PlayStation4 is filled with silly, childlike wonder—but also is a bit simplistic, according to reviewers. The player is a green-cubed mayor, making friends and spreading joy. Rated E10+, this game has mild crude humor such as “poop” shapes.