The 8 Best Children's PC Games to Buy in 2018

We have all the top picks when it comes to computer gaming

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PC games are an easy (and fun) way for children to expand their hobbies and skill set, whether they’re aspiring to be an artist, mathematician, writer or even a rollercoaster designer. And the best children's PC games are ones that can stimulate the mind, educate and create curiosity. But deciding which PC kids' game to spring for can be tricky, so we took the guesswork out of the process and rounded up our all-time favorite titles to buy right now. Some offer detailed progress reports for parents to see how their children are doing on their math or typing skills (don’t worry, these games aren’t boring either!), while others let kids express themselves on a digital canvas with drawings and animations, but one this is for sure — they're all sure to provide lots of enjoyment. So keep reading to find out which PC kids' games to pick up today.

Best for Digital Art Creation: Crayola Creative Studio

Crayola Creative Studio for the PC is the ideal game for the child artist or parent who wants a junior version of Adobe Photoshop. Perfect for children ages 4 to 10, the multi-purpose program allows kids to draw, paint, animate, photo-edit and utilize special effects.

Crayola Creative Studio empowers kids with digital art techniques using 12 lifelike art brushes, including Crayola pencils, paints, markers and crayons. Children will get the opportunity to learn photo editing, digital art and animation techniques with the game’s included activity guide. With hundreds of editable images, color palettes, templates, and backgrounds, kids can go so far with software and even make their own greeting cards, animated stories or Web pages. 

Create, visual and fun, Spore allows children to make any type of animal creature they can imagine. The simulation game allows kids to design their own species and guide their evolution through five phases, starting from a single-celled organism to an advanced space civilization.

For kids with endless creative imaginations, Spore gives an outlet with a sense of personalization in a sandbox style game that features action, strategy, and role-playing. Full creative control means kids get to alter specific details for their creature: Are they herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? Do they have multiple legs? Are they social or aggressive? Spore becomes more complex as kids go through multiple stages, progressing their creature to a civilization where they conquer the world and then blast off into space to form galactic empires.

Best for Math: Cluefinders Math Adventures

Cluefinders Math Adventures is an interactive cartoon woven with math problems that have children guiding a group of young adventurers in the Himalayas. Intended for ages 9 to 12, the game offers everything from number computation, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as early geometry.

The nice thing about Cluefinders Math Adventures is that it adjusts to your child’s skill level in math by first testing their mathematic abilities, but doesn’t put too much pressure on them by providing help when needed. The game comes with over 50,000 problems covering 25 different math skills, including word problems, figures and shapes, and fractions. Parents will be able to access printable progress reports along with personalized workbooks and rewards for their kids.

Best for Typing: Typing Instructor For Kids

Typing Instructor For Kids is the ideal PC game to pick up if you want to teach them how to type accurately and fast. The comprehensive typing game can be learned in English or Spanish and trains young typists with step-by-step lessons, challenges, tests and mini-games with rewards.

With over 30+ arcade style game challenges, children will get to learn how to type in a variety of ways, including guiding a motorcycle in a desert by typing quickly and accurately. The 10 customized lesson plans teach kids from ages 7 to 10 the different rows of the keyboard and there's even a suggested typing plan with games. Typing Instructor For Kids meets national NETS/ISTE and Common Core Standards and will give parents full progress charts, graphs, printable results and certificates of achievement based on their kid's typing triumphs.

Best Fun Factor: Planet Coaster

For children who have big imaginations and love building things, Planet Coaster for the PC gives them full control of their very own theme park. Kids will get to customize and design their very own rollercoasters through piece-by-piece construction using over a thousand parts.

Planet Coaster gives kids an introductory lesson in both building and managing; aside from shaping landscapes, forming paths and adding details to terrain, they’ll build rollercoasters that their virtual guests will react to, experience and give feedback on. Kids can even jump into their own custom coaster with a first-person experience. The learning curve can take a little time, so it’s recommended that kids six or older take a try and see what works best with them; a no pressure sandbox mode allows for coaster creation of any type with no expectation but to learn.

Best for Barbie Fans: Barbie: Island Princess

For Barbie fans, Barbie: Island Princess is an enchanting PC game set in a world where kids play as a shipwrecked princess name Rosella who embarks on an adventure from her island home to a Prince’s castle. The game includes 28 different mini-games with a cast of friendly characters.

Barbie: Island Princess lets you accessorize your princess to your own unique style with beautiful dresses, shoes, and jewelry. From there, you’ll quest to win 12 island roses by playing a variety of mini-games, including moving birds, bouncing fruit into a basket or collecting pearls in a net while competing with your animal friends and Prince Antonio. The lush backdrops and graphics are vibrant and stunning, and each rose you collect from completing mini-games lets you unlock more dresses and other collectibles.

Best for Counting: Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival

Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival is the perfect PC counting game for children, offering 14 different interactive mini-games in a carnival setting with Cookie Monster. The easy-to-follow, audio-visual instructions simplify the learning process for number recognition, counting, shapes and pattern identification.

Guided by Cookie Monster and Big Bird, children enter a carnival where they learn logical processes, including figuring out the order of rings in a ringtoss game or knocking down a certain number of cans. Each mini-game adds variety by showcasing different creative and entertaining parts of the carnival (like the petting zoo and food court). The game’s difficulty adjusts to your child’s level, so it’ll become more challenging the more they learn.

Best for Learning The Alphabet: Sesame Street: Elmo’s A-to-Zoo Adventure

Sesame Street: Elmo’s A-to-Zoo Adventure simplifies the learning process for the alphabet and literacy skills for preschool-aged kids on the PC. The game is filled with 17 engaging mini-games that teach letters through visual and audio presentations.

Elmo leads the way in Sesame Street: Elmo’s A-to-Zoo Adventure, acting as a tour guide for kids in a zoo setting that's filled with animals such as parrots and frogs. Elmo and other Sesame Street characters give easy directions for each game activity, often through mix-and-match association and listening comprehension. The game’s difficulty adjusts to the pace of each child and offers easy-to-follow instructions where only the use of a mouse is required.