For a more creative learning experience Nintendo also has you covered thanks to the DS’ stylus effortlessly becoming a pen or pencil. In this game a tutor will walk players through several stages of drawing, moving from line work to shading and colouring. These skills are translatable into actual artwork and work as a great foundation for anyone wanting to brush up on their illustrations. As you progress through the game at a pace governed much by your own satisfaction, you will unlock the abilities to use different tools and be able to ‘free paint’. Using an artificial pen on a screen may seem odd to those who work in the traditional world but working on a DS very easily simulates the use of drawing tablets used by many of today’s professional artists.
Developed lovingly by 5th Cell, this wonderfully imaginative game is a fantastic method of teaching children to think outside of the box. In scribblenauts players assist the protagonist Maxwell as he deals with hundreds of tasks. In order to help him players must use the stylus to write on the screen and conjures up whichever object they have chosen. Immediately the game tackles several areas at once, engaging the creative minds of those playing while polishing their spelling and handwriting all at the same time. Scribblenauts was well received by reviewers and was successful enough to spawn several sequels. This though is exactly the breed of learning game that young ones lean towards without feeling the pressure or boredom that comes with a blackboard and chalk.
The Magic School Bus: Oceans
From one great educational medium to another, the Magic School Bus is well known for its animated TV series, where a bus full of school kids embark on weird and wonderful journeys that teach them about the world. Here the message is no different except now they are interactive and ready to keep kids playing until they know more about the ocean. Just like in an episode of the show, the regular yellow school bus transforms into something entirely different, this time a submarine. Here players will play fun games with sea life and learn a slurry of facts along the way. Progression is granted by seeing how much the players have learned, meaning that its not just a passive learning experience. Expect plenty of new information about corals, crabs and squids if you put this game in front of your kids.
Learn With Pokemon: Typing Adventure
This one has a slight advantage in the fact that it comes with an accessory, but its still a fantastic learning tool. Bundled with a great Bluetooth keyboard this game does exactly what it says on the box. Thanks to the cute and dynamic Pokemon characters this entry level touch typing game gives a colourful gloss to what is often a monotonous experience. Though its not one of the most action packed offerings it offers a fantastic skill for kids in a world where computer keyboards are omnipresent, a skill that today is more transferable than many others.