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Winding Down

Children love to play exuberant and exciting video games with their friends. While these offer a wide range of benefits, it can be good to transition to something less energetic as the day draws to a close.

We have worked with Moshi Sleep on this list of games and apps that are a great way to help children wind down as they transition to night time. It creates mindfulness experiences for children to “enjoy calmer day times and quicker bedtimes”.

These are playful ways to calm the brain, ease anxiety and generally get little heads ready to rest. Some of them are ideal to play right before sleeping and even let you turn off the screen to listen along when you are finished interacting. Others, like Frost or Lifelike, offer gentle, tranquil interactions to still the mind and escape the world. Some, like Flower or Alto’s Adventure, create calm with simple repetition of tasks and process in a world where the sun slowly sets.

These games, together with some screen-free time in the lead up to sleep are a great way for children to develop healthy bedtime habits.

This list includes 101 games from the last 14 years, with 1,017 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to share a relaxing story.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 1,017
 

 

Paradise Marsh

Release Date: 03/02/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Paradise Marsh is an open-world collecting game where you explore a varied marsh to find insects to put their stars back in the night sky. You wander an endless wetland and collect creatures, skim stones and eat mushrooms as the weather and seasons...

Lil Gator Game

Release Date: 14/12/2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Lil Gator Game is an adventure set on an island playground where a young brother invents exciting fantasy adventures to try and get his older sister to play like they used to. You guide your waddling gator's unusual movement to help them explore the...

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Legend of Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also for...

Wordle

Release Date: 20/12/2021

Platforms: Web

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Wordle is a daily puzzle game where you (and anyone else playing that day) try and guess the secret word. You get six guesses that must be real words. Each letter is then coloured to provide clues: green for right letter in the right place, yellow for...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character that can (usually) suck enemies into their large mouth to gain new abilities. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming...

Alto's Odyssey (Series)

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Descend beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to worry about is tapping to jump to avoid chasms, rockfall and other hazards. It’s simple and moreish due to the stunning landscapes...

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

In Flower you control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon...

Hoa

Release Date: 24/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...

Lumino City

Release Date: 02/11/2014

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Lumino City is a puzzle adventure game in a hand made world. This is not unusual for a video game, but this world was literally made by hand in a physical studio and then filmed. It creates a unique experience that feels like you are poking around a...

Gorogoa

Release Date: 14/12/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Gorogoa is a puzzle game where you rearrange and resize tiles to make a singular picture. It appears to be simple, but to solve the puzzles you need to play close attention to how they interrelate. This Matryoshka Russian-Doll puzzle combines with...

Monument Valley (Series)

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 are puzzle mazes made from optical illusions. You interact with each level to change the pathway and get your character to the exit. Its striking, calm visual theme is used to build atmosphere and slowly reveal a...

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬

Release Date: 14/02/2020

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬ is a narrative experience designed to aid sleep. Children can select stories, sounds, meditation or music and calm colours to help them drift off to sleep quickly. Once started the original stories and sounds play with...

Haven Park

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...

My Friend Peppa Pig

Release Date: 22/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

My Friend Peppa Pig is a narrative role-play game. It recreates the TV show Peppa Pig and features a few of the voice actors from the programme. Unlike the show, you are in the cartoon, controlling a character you create. You play with Peppa and her...

Teacup

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Teacup is a narrative adventure about a shy young frog who loves drinking tea and reading. You explore the Wind In The Willows world and make choices that change the direction of the story. It's a gentle game about friendship, stepping out into the...

Eastshade

Release Date: 14/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...

Evergarden

Release Date: 31/07/2018

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Evergarden is a puzzle game where you grow gardens by combining plants into strange new forms. You use the tile-based layout to populate each area in flora in connect-four style.

The Last Campfire

Release Date: 27/08/2020

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Last Campfire, from the same developer as Lost Winds, is an adventure about Ember who is searching for meaning and a way home. As you travel you take a flame with you to the world, lighting torches, bringing life to...

Chuchel

Release Date: 07/03/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Chuchel is a comedy adventure game. You play hairy hero Chuchel and his rival Kekel to solve simple puzzles and challenges in their quest to retrieve the precious cherry. It looks like a children's storybook animation with strange, peculiar creatures.

Half Past Fate (Series)

Release Date: 12/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Half Past Fate is a romantic comedy adventure. You explore the lives of six different modern day characters and their romantic relationships over eight hours, eight days, and finally eight years later. It's a point-and-click adventure where you explore...

Voyage

Release Date: 19/02/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Voyage is a cinematic adventure puzzle game, where you play alone or cooperatively to guide two survivors on their journey to unravel a mystery from the past and find their way home. You move through the world without guidance and must experiment to...

Ensamey (Dreams)

Release Date: 28/10/2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Ensamey is a narrative game where you run and jump to explore a story told by a 4 year-old and their father. As the child tells the story, what they say and draw appears in the game for you to interact and play with.

Moncage

Release Date: 16/11/2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Moncage is an adventure puzzle game, where you find a mysterious cube. Each face displays a different scene and by rotating and interacting you can change your view and how they overlap with each other. You navigate through the island and the factory by...

Wind Peaks

Release Date: 29/07/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Wind Peaks is a puzzle game where you find hidden objects by clicking on objects. It's similar to the Where’s Wally books, but offers an ongoing narrative about children searching for treasure in a forest and campsite.

Wylde Flowers

Release Date: 18/02/2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Wylde Flowers is a cozy life and farming strategy game with a witchy twist. It's a charming world of diverse characters, magical spells and player choices. You play Tara, who has moved in to help her grandma and the family farm. By day you work the farm...

Dreams Party! (Dreams)

Release Date: 17/03/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Pieces: Dice

Dreams Party is a turn based family board game for up to 4 players. There are two boards to choose from, Welcome Garden and Halloween. Like Mario Party, it creates the fun of a real board game but combines it with mini-games when players land on the...

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

Release Date: 26/10/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf is an exploration running, jumping and shooting game. You battle the wizard Gargamel to free imprisoned Smurfs and return the sarsaparilla fields to health. to do this you must track down the ingredients for the antidote.

Little Orpheus

Release Date: 12/06/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Little Orpheus is a running and jumping game set in 1962 where you play Ivan Ivanovich as he explores lost civilisations, undersea kingdoms and prehistoric jungles. The game is played in retrospect as you explain your adventures to a general suspicious...

Luna The Shadow Dust

Release Date: 13/10/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Luna The Shadow Dust is an adventure game where you play two companions drawn together in a hand-animated world. Each part of the game is beautifully realised and presents a puzzle to solve.

Ploppy Pairs

Release Date: 06/03/2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Pieces: Cards

Ploppy Pairs is a card matching puzzle game. Along with the sanitary humour, it's a simple and approachable game for very young players. The SharePlay via FaceTime means you can play and connect with family members online or in the same room.

Shine – Journey of Light

Release Date: 17/11/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Shine – Journey of Light is an adventure puzzle game where you guide a ball of light through a world of light and shadow. As you delve deep into the world you discover a lost civilisation and piece together the stories of the past.

Dog's Run (Dreams)

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Dog's Run and the sequel Dog's Run Generations are simple running, jump and digging games where you play a dog searching for their lost bones. It's novel because of the focus on simple exploration, jumping and collecting gems. This do get a little more...

Inbento

Release Date: 12/03/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Inbento is a food-themed puzzle game where you solve puzzles to prepare lunch boxes. As you complete each "bento" lunch box a story unfolds about the highs and lows of parenthood. There are over 100 fun puzzles, aesthetically served with traditional...

Staxel

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Staxel is a strategy farming game. It looks like Minecraft and has block building tools that are similar. However, this is a farming game more like Stardew Valley rather than open-world adventure. There are no monsters or dangers you find in other...

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition (Series)

Release Date: 10/12/2014, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS and Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition is an open world full of Disney characters and locations. It is a huge universe, full of mini-games to play, characters to meet and things to craft, which gives any Disney fan can enjoy for hours.

Frog's Princess

Release Date: 09/12/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Frog's Princess is a narrative game about a kingdom surrounded by evil. You play a young princess who must save her kingdom. Along the way, you encounter a frog prince on a quest to rescue his bodyguard and find your plans overturned.

Llama Villa (Sokpop)

Release Date: 01/08/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Llama Villa is a simulation game about managing a llama farm. You buy a llama, sell the wool and build him a mansion to live in with lots of llama friends. It's a super simple point-and-place building game where you can make the villa of your Dreams but...

SpellTower

Release Date: 25/06/2012

Platforms: iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Spelltower+ is a word-spotting game a little like Boggle mixed with Tetris. As you play, more tiles rise from the bottom of the screen so you need to pick good words to clear down the letters and avoid any letters make it to the top row.

Stonefly

Release Date: 02/06/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Stonefly is a tranquil adventure game where you play the pilot of insect-like mechanical craft. Tiny and living in an outsized world, you use your vehicle to harness the wind and explore the wilderness. As you meet inhabitants, collect resources and...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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