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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 21 games from the last 12 years, with 56 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.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 7+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB EVERYONE 10+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Simulation and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 56
 

 

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬

Rating:

Release Date: 14/02/2020

Price: Free-to-start

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Teacup

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Smarto_Club

Players: This is a single player game

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

Everything

Rating:

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

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @DavidOreilly

Players: This is a single player game

This 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 between.

Flower

Rating:

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and iOS

Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: @ThatGameCompany

Players: This is a single player game

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 turns into a...

Playne

Rating:

Release Date: 22/06/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Physically Active and Simulation

Developer: @playne

Players: This is a single player game

Playne is a narrative-driven meditation game that helps you build daily meditation habits. With each meditation session, Playne's story begins to unfold and the life on your island begins to grow providing you with more environments to meditate in.

Luna The Shadow Dust

Rating:

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

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @LanternStudio_

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Under Leaves

Rating:

Release Date: 27/04/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @CircusAtos

Players: This is a single player game

Under Leaves is a puzzle game where you search of colour-filled hidden objects in scenes made of flora and fauna. Each one is a hand-drawn watercolour illustrations and accompanied with a soothing soundscape. It's a game about observation and attention...

Alto’s Adventure (Series)

Rating:

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Racing

Developer: @BuiltBySnowman

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Monument Valley (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @UstwoGames

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Wind Peaks

Rating:

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

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @ActoonStudio

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Rating:

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, iOS and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @MGaiaStudio

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Knight's Retreat

Rating:

Release Date: 11/02/2021

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @QubyteGames

Players: This is a single player game

Knight's Rereat is a chess-themed puzzle game. It's not played on a chess board, but the pieces do move as they usually do. Rather than check-mate, your aim is to get your Knights back to their home squares in each level.

Frog Detective (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 22/11/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @GraceBruxner

Players: This is a single player game

This is a comedy adventure game where you play a detective frog, named (unsurprisingly) "Frog Detective".

MoonLite

Rating:

Release Date: 01/01/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Physically Active

Developer: @MoonliteWorld

Players: This is a single player game

Moonlite is a narrative experience for small children. It combines traditional storybooks with your smartphone light to create projected pictures with sounds and interactions.

Nour: Play With Your Food

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and PlayStation 5

Genres: Puzzle, Rhythm and Simulation

Developer: @_Teejay5

Players: This is a single player game

Nour: Play With Your Food is an experimental music game where you create different dishes and plates of food. Unusually, the focus is on sound rather than just visuals. As you add ingredients and food elements they each add sounds.

Inner Tao

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 12/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @LeSloDev

Players: This is a single player game

Inner Tao is a puzzle game where you move two circles, manoeuvring objects to their destinations, marked by small squares. This starts simply but soon has you manipulating multiple elements and moving between the white and black halves of each puzzle....

Lifelike

Rating:

Release Date: 25/10/2019

Platforms: Mac and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Simulation

Developer: @KunabiB

Players: This is a single player game

Lifelike: Chapter One is a light-touch simulation game where you interact with flocking particles to create a soothing and meditative experience. It's an exercise in attending to something playful and the pleasure and escape that come from this.

Frost

Rating:

Release Date: 25/03/2017

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @KunabiB

Players: This is a single player game

Frost is a puzzle game where you control living particles with gestures to guide them home. Using flocking mechanics the game lets you direct thousands of elements with super simple controls. Each level presents a different scene in which to direct the...

Words For A Bird

Rating:

Release Date: 04/06/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @BartBonte

Players: This is a single player game

Words For A Bird is a short adventure you play by completing sentences. You follow the story of a purple bird. Each sentence is completed with letters from the tree in which the bird sits, along with a clue tile in the middle of the screen.

Inbento

Rating:

Release Date: 12/03/2020

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: @AfterburnGames

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Little Orpheus

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 12/06/2020

Platforms: Mac and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @ChineseRoom

Players: This is a single player game

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...


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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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