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14 Best Educational Games for Nintendo Switch

Header 14 Best Educational Games for Nintendo Switch
Teddy Booth
Written by
Teddy Booth
Written by
Teddy Booth
Teddy is a big kid at heart and a self-confessed geek who loves all things LEGO, Nintendo and RC (drones included). His mission is to find toys that kids will treasure, so that is why he spends A LOT of time curating the perfect list of toys and games that include options for everyone without putting kids inside boxes.
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TheToyZone is an independent publication with no ties with companies mentioned on the site. We don’t accept free products in exchange for glowing reviews. Instead, we report our own findings to help you make an informed decision.

As we all know, education is not exclusive to the classroom. We spend our lives learning new skills and acquiring more information until we gather enough wisdom to be as intelligent as the smartest people on the plane — Mom and Dad.

Gone are the days when video games were seen as corrupting our youth; now, they can teach us valuable math, sports, problem-solving and social skills. No other console promotes these types of games more than the Nintendo Switch. With their bright, colorful, fun releases, they have given us games that educate and entertain.

It’s crucial that screen time is used productively; that’s why these games are perfect for players of all ages. Most of the time, players don’t even realize they are learning.

Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations 

For this guide, I wanted to hand-pick Nintendo Switch games that focus on various subjects so that you can find one that:

🧩 Interests the player, so they can immediately engage and develop their skills.
📖 Will help teach them skills they may have found hard to grasp in the classroom.
🎮 They will want to play repeatedly.

So whatever educational game you’re looking for, you should be able to find it here.

The Top 3 Educational Games for Nintendo Switch

Model
Best for Sports Education
Best for Problem-Solving
Best for Creativity
Preview
Nintendo Switch Sports - Nintendo Switch
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain - Nintendo Switch
Minecraft - Nintendo Switch
Recommended Age
7 years and up
Everyone
7 years and up
Pros
You can play against people at home or across the world online
Each player can set their own difficulty level
You can build pretty much anything you want
Cons
You need plenty of room to play
It’s more fun in multiplayer mode than solo
Building can take a while to get used to
Price
$42.00
$38.92
$29.83
Best for Sports Education
Preview
Nintendo Switch Sports - Nintendo Switch
Recommended Age
7 years and up
Pros
You can play against people at home or across the world online
Cons
You need plenty of room to play
Price
$42.00
More information
Best for Problem-Solving
Preview
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain - Nintendo Switch
Recommended Age
Everyone
Pros
Each player can set their own difficulty level
Cons
It’s more fun in multiplayer mode than solo
Price
$38.92
More information
Best for Creativity
Model
Preview
Minecraft - Nintendo Switch
Recommended Age
7 years and up
Pros
You can build pretty much anything you want
Cons
Building can take a while to get used to
Price
$29.83
More information

Those are my top three picks, but check out the rest of the list to find the perfect educational game for yourself or as a gift.

1. Best for Creativity: Minecraft

If you like your creativity mixed in with some action, we have the perfect educational game for you. Minecraft became an instant hit when it was released in 2011 and has solidified itself as a classic in the gaming world. Combining fun characters and vast worlds to build and explore, Minecraft’s longevity, creativity and educational value know no bounds.

Recommended age: 7 years and above 

What We Love:

❤️ You can build pretty much anything you want
❤️ You have to protect your environment from enemies
❤️ Building your own community with other players

What We Don’t Love:

💔 Building can take a while to get used to

💡 If you love Minecraft but want to cut down on screen time, check out our guide to the 20 Best LEGO Minecraft Sets

2. Best for Problem-Solving: Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain

When it comes to problem-solving, I believe it’s a lot more fun to battle against others, brain vs. brain. With this academic accolade, up to four players can pit their brain power against each other, testing memory, math and motor skills in various games involving speed and accuracy. 

Recommended age: Everyone 

Developing and training memory skills are essential in childhood as they lead to other skills they will learn. Studies have shown that a good memory takes you back to previous experiences and allows kids to retain information such as language, follow directions, learn routines and solve problems. It also has a big part in developing imaginative play. 

What We Love:

❤️ Each player can set their own difficulty level 
❤️ You can test yourself against scores from other players around the world
❤️ The use of split-screen mode when connected to a monitor

What We Don’t Love:

💔 It’s more fun in multiplayer mode than solo play

3. Best for Sports Education: Nintendo Switch Sports

Following on from the success of Wii Sports, Switch Sports features new games and some of the classics of its predecessor. Grow your skills while staying active as you play Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton, Chambara and (my favorite) Golf. You navigate your character by swinging, kicking, spiking and putting your way to victory and maybe, if you’re successful, take those skills to the field in real life.

Recommended age: 7 years and above 

Taking part in sporting activities is not solely about fitness and fun; it can also promote academic success in children. Team sports can teach social skills, teamwork, discipline and leadership capabilities.

What We Love:

❤️ You can play against people at home or across the world online 
❤️ Includes a leg strap for soccer
❤️ Adjust the difficulty as your skills develop

What We Don’t Love:

💔 You need plenty of room to play

💡 If you want to immerse yourself in the sports further, try this Switch Sports Accessories Bundle

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Not all education is about arithmetic and spelling; humans must also learn about the community. One of the best games to promote social skills on the Switch is Animal Crossing, which focuses on building your home, decorating it and creating a community with other players. You can fish, hunt for fossils and plant your own garden, but most importantly, you must learn how to exist peacefully in your society.

Recommended age: Everyone 

There are plenty of activities in Animal Crossing that promote social-emotional learning that can develop skills such as personal responsibility, decision-making, generosity, money management and altruism — all critical life skills that, when taught at a young age, can benefit a person significantly.

What We Love:

❤️ The colors and animations are very child friendly
❤️ There is a vast land to explore
❤️ The seasons change over time

What We Don’t Love:

💔 Can become addictive, so you may need to limit screen time

💡 When screen time is over, bring your new community to life with this Animal Crossing: New Horizons Villager Flocked Doll Collection

5. My Friend Peppa Pig Complete Edition

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home, but this little Peppa Piggy has taken the world by storm with books, movies, theme parks and now, her very own video game. A new friend has come to play with Peppa, a character you have created. Explore the landscape, tidy up the home and sing songs with your new best friend as you learn and play.

Recommended age: Everyone 

Peppa Pig is bright, colorful, fun, and offers great educational value to younger kids. Peppa, as a character, is kind, thoughtful, polite and friendly, teaching social-emotional learning like learning to share, giving thanks, compassion and making new friends.

What We Love:

❤️ It’s fun to see your creation interact with Peppa
❤️ It’s incredibly bright and colorful
❤️ Learn new activities and songs

What We Don’t Love:

💔 It is more story than gameplay

💡 If you’ve got a Peppa Pig fanatic on your hands, check out our buying guide of the 31 Best Peppa Pig Toys for Little Peppa Fans

6. Super Mario Maker 2

Have you ever imagined designing your very own video game? With Super Mario Maker 2 you can start by making custom Mario levels of your design. You can choose which blocks go where, add enemies to your liking and plot out brand new courses for Mario to navigate through.

Recommended age: Everyone 

We all know how important creativity is in a child’s development. Dr. Sandra Russ, a creativity and play expert, described creativity as “the ability to come up with original ideas; to put ideas or images or experiences together in new ways.” Super Mario Maker 2 promotes creativity and helps build valuable STEM skills as kids better understand basic video game coding.

What We Love:

❤️ You can choose which era in the Mario Saga you want to design
❤️ Learn which designs work and which don’t
❤️ The possibilities are endless

What We Don’t Love:

💔 It takes a lot of patience to design a level

💡 After screen time, don’t let the creativity stop with our list of the 28 Best LEGO Super Mario Sets for Mario Fans

7. My Universe – Pet Clinic: Cats & Dogs

Another important lesson is how to look after those around us, including our pets. This game allows you to run your own pet clinic, where you must learn how to care for animals and nurse them back to health. First comes the diagnosis; when you know what is wrong with each animal, you can treat them to make them better.

Recommended age: Everyone 

Although much is still to be learned about the educational values of simulation games, studies have shown that these types of games off great real-world experiences for children in a risk-free environment. Pet Clinic, in particular, teaches kids valuable lessons in compassion and empathy and developing their business skills.

What We Love:

❤️ Make a diagnosis by solving the puzzle of their symptoms
❤️ As you progress, you can upgrade your clinic
❤️ Treatments include; x-rays, bandages and preparing medicine

What We Don’t Love:

💔 You need a good grasp of reading to play

8. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics

What better way to spend some downtime than to play a classic game with your friends/family? This release includes 51 classic games all in one place for you to develop your problem-solving and strategy skills and learn that important lesson; how to win and lose graciously. Including Chess, Checkers, Dominos, Darts, Bowling, Backgammon and solitaire, there is tons of fun to be had.

Recommended age: Everyone 

Problem-solving games such as these are a great tool in a child’s education. They encourage critical thinking, promote collaboration and competitiveness and provide opportunities to apply concepts they’ve already learned and learn new ones.

What We Love:

❤️ It’s ideal for long journeys
❤️ You can connect several Switchs’ together for multiplayer games
❤️ You can change difficulty settings

What We Don’t Love:

💔 You have to learn the rules for 51 games

💡 If you like playing board games, check out our buying guide to the 10 Best Board Games for 8-Year-Olds

9. Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training

If there’s any game in this list that exemplifies the expansion of your brain, it’s this. Test your existing skills and grow your brain power with this set of classic and new exercises. You can play alone or train with friends or family in the same room or online.

Recommended age: Everyone

It may sound obvious, but studies show that brain training games can play a major role in improving cognitive functions in both children and adults. Benefits from these types of games can include; improved memory and recognition, increased attention span and enhanced cognition.

What We Love:

❤️ You can use the touchscreen or the controllers
❤️ It comes with a stylus 
❤️ Improves your memory

What We Don’t Love:

💔 If you’ve played the DS version, you may already know most of the puzzles

10. Snipper Clips Plus: Cut it out Together!

Snipper Clips Plus is pretty out there when it comes to solving puzzles in video games, but that’s what makes it so fun. Most of the time, you don’t realize that you are developing your problem-solving skills when playing. You don’t win “Family Game of the Year” at the 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards for being boring.

Recommended age: Everyone 

The benefits of these types of games are well-studied, and evidence shows how much of an asset they can be to our educational growth and development. As well as improving motor skills and promoting creativity, recent studies have shown that kids who play puzzle-solving video games show higher brain activity associated with memory and attention.

What We Love:

❤️ The main characters are adorable
❤️ Up to four players for co-op play
❤️ Each level is a different challenge

What We Don’t Love:

💔 The harder puzzles can get frustrating to solve

11. Game Builder Garage

Computer programming may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be with Game Builder Garage. Take your first steps into a new world by building your own video game using the step-by-step lessons. Not only will you learn new skills, but you can also let your imagination run wild with different designs.

Recommended age: Everyone

No matter how you feel about computers, they’re here to stay, so learning coding early can have enormous benefits to a child’s development. The University of Texas states that learning coding at a young age can boost problem-solving skills, advance computational thinking and digital literacy, encourage persistence and improve confidence and communication skills.

What We Love:

❤️ You can test your skills between each lesson
❤️ You can share your games with others online 
❤️ You can play games created by others

What We Don’t Love:

💔 You need plenty of patience

💡 Designing your own game can take time and battery life so make sure you don’t get caught out with Nintendo Switch/Switch OLED Attached Power Bank

12. Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness

The Rubik’s cube has puzzled us for 50 years, flipping the colors around to make them match up. With this brain fitness video game, you test your speed, memory and logic skills in its twelve mini-games involving the famous cube.

Recommended age: Everyone

The Rubik’s Cube is the ultimate brain teaser, but sticking with it (and not throwing it out the window in frustration) can lead to great benefits in our development. Enhancing problem-solving skills is the most obvious asset, but it also boosts cognitive power, improves memory, enhances brain-hand-eye coordination and instills confidence.

What We Love:

❤️ It tracks your activity to show your progress 
❤️ The difficulty heightens as you progress
❤️ It’s challenging and stimulating

What We Don’t Love:

💔 It encourages you to play everyday

💡 If you want to try solving a Rubik’s Cube IRL. Check out our review of the smart Rubik’s Connected

13. Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! Bundle

They say music is the food of love, but it’s also food for your brain. This Drum ‘n’ Fun bundle keeps your mind active by memorizing patterns and following rhythms to over seventy iconic video game songs. Playing video games that involve rhythm and music can be an excellent way for kids to dance, sing and have fun, but they can also promote some key developmental skills.

Recommended age: Everyone

The prestigious Kaufman Music Center in New York states that music training can strengthen a child’s decision-making network, encourage the ability to take instructions and improve focus and concentration.

What We Love:

❤️ Connect your Switch consoles together for multiplayer mode
❤️ Play as characters from the Nintendo universe like Kirby and Splatoon 2’s Squid
❤️ The drum is a fun accessory

What We Don’t Love:

💔 Banging the drum can be loud

14. Colors Live

One of my favorite classes in school was Art, so I had to include this colorful, creative title in our list. Colors Live lets your imagination run free with realistic painting and design. It features a pressure-sensitive painting to give it a real-life feel and lets you record your process to see how it all came together.

Recommended age: 3 years and above 

Art and creativity are an integral part of our social and emotional development. As well as the satisfaction and pride you get from creating something, it allows us to share our perspectives and learn to express ourselves. What makes art so special is that it can be used as an expression of our imaginations and feelings or as a fun activity to enjoy as a group.

What We Love:

❤️ Complete challenges to advance your skill
❤️ You can display your work online for all to see 
❤️ Comes with a Sonar Pen to draw and paint with

What We Don’t Love:

💔 The lessons are more for beginners

💡 Take Colors Live outdoors to paint the world with this Daydayup Switch Carrying Case

Frequently Asked Questions About Educational Games for Nintendo Switch

🤔 Are educational Switch games good for kids’ development?

Simple answer. Yes.

Video games are a fantastic way to carry on a child’s education outside the classroom. As we see it, they will want to play video games anyway, so why not sneak in some lessons to screen time while they do?

Nintendo has an MO of releasing bright, colorful, fun games for all the family, making their latest handheld console, the Switch, the ideal platform to bring educational games into the hands of younger players.

With so many titles on offer, the key is to find a suitable game that kids will engage with to get the most out of the lessons they’re learning while having fun.

🤔 How can video games contribute to kids’ education?  

Gaming has become a huge part of our society, and while some games are mindless fun, others can stimulate and expand key learning skills in a child’s development. 

Don’t just take my word for it; check out the results of this study into Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development from Harvard student Cheryl K. Olson.

The right educational video game can:

  • Teach problem-solving skills
  • Inspire interest in history and culture
  • Develop social and competition skills
  • Encourage exercise
  • Spark creativity

So… What Educational Game Should I Get?

The great thing about kids is that they all have various interests, but sometimes they find it hard to engage with anything other than what they enjoy. The surefire way to find the right game is to discover their interests and what kind of games they enjoy playing.

If they’re big into sports, then Nintendo Switch Sports is the obvious choice. If they are a budding artist, you can’t go wrong with Colors Live. And for the academics out there, you can nurture their thirst for problem-solving with Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain.

If you’ve seen a Switch game that I haven’t included in this list and you think it should be, PLEASE send me a message so I can update and include it.

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