Many families like to play games together – and mine is no exception. While we enjoy board games, we’ve played computer games together since our family started! I’ll share with you a few online games that we enjoy playing together, along with a few safety tips, after the break.
When my husband and I were just married, we used to play games with friends – using the PC – like “You Don’t Know Jack.” Since then, we’ve used the PC as part of many family activities – including learning with some of the early CD-ROM educational programs (that was before they were all on the Internet!).
We have always had a family PC in a common area of the house, and we use it as a central location for homework and activities. Now, there are fewer family games that you physically buy in the store (although you can find some great games at good prices at places like Target).
My girls enjoy getting on two PCs – like a laptop and the home PC – right next to each other and playing adventures side by side in Club Penguin. They can do activities, decorate their virtual Penguin homes, and play with virtual pets. Since it’s now owned by Disney, it’s particularly family friendly, and it’s free to play the basic game.
My girls – especially my fashion-conscious one – also like Stardoll, where they can use their virtual doll to create, acquire and model new outfits and fashions
And if you’re like us, your kids are often in many directions, so we love games we can play together online whether we’re together or around the world. We have had a lot of laughs playing “Draw My Thing,” which is like Draw Something. We’ve also even played Words with Friends and other word games online!
It’s important to talk with your kids about online game safety, no matter how safe the virtual environment seems to be. Make sure they never give out their real name (it’s a good idea if they don’t use their real name as their online alias), and that they never give out any personal information at all – like age, city, address, phone number or any of that. You can talk to them about how not everyone online is who they pretend to be, so it’s better to be safe and not disclose any information. Many schools and local cities have online safety programs, so try to take advantage of those as well if you can.