Best Way To Teach Your Child To Play Video Games And Have Fun

I have a four-year-old little girl who LOVES to play games. Of course, she also plays with her friends, plays outside, and does things aside from sitting in front of the tv, playing video games is something she really enjoys. She knows just how to turn the Playstation on, how to log in and select the game she wants to play. I currently have an active PS Now subscription in order to keep her entertained with a good variety of games.


She first started trying to play games when she was three, but with such small hands, she had trouble getting her hands around the controller. That never deterred her, and she found ways to use the controller despite it not fitting perfectly into her hands. When she first began learning to play, I found it very difficult to find the proper game that a. was not too ‘M’ rated, and b. had simple controls that were easy to grasp.

Naturally, I began her on Mario, but honestly, due to only having his jump to avoid or destroy enemies, she was not able to play all that well. Timing had to be exact to jump on top of a Goomba and at three, almost four years old, that was a difficult task for her to perform.


After searching through my game library, I had nearly given up on finding a great game for her to be able to thoroughly enjoy. That is when I tried one last game, which turned out to be the one she is still playing to this day, over a year later.

That game is Mossmouth LLC’s Spelunky. In this 2D platformer available for Windows, Xbox, and Playstation, you control an no name adventure seeker. The goal of each level is to find your way down from the start of the level, to a door located in an unknown area, several floors below your character. You are equipped with bombs, rope, and a whip, all of which can be used to aid you while exploring the level.

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What really set this game apart from all of the rest that we tried to play, is the whip. See, your character is automatically equipped with a whip, which can be used an infinite amount of times. It can be used to strike down cave bats, spiders, snakes, and opening boxes. Having this whip on hand provided her with an opportunity to take out enemies on the level without having to time out a jump to get it. She could just stand still and wait for the bat to fly to her, then just whip it away.


My daughter used to not be the greatest at the understanding direction, as in left or right. Once she started getting the controls of the game down, I began trying to help her play by telling her to go left or right, up or down, and she really latched onto it, and no longer struggles with that problem. Spelunky was the perfect way to help her learn left from right.

Another great aspect of the game is that it has a tutorial level that can be freely played, and is not a headache to load or get going. Like all game tutorials, it was designed to introduce players to the game’s world. While most games will display the button to be pushed, along with text explaining what that button does, ie “Press X to jump,” Spelunky has a picture on the wall of the level showing the “X” button, along with a picture of someone jumping. For a four-year-old who can not read, having directions like this that she can understand, really helped her understand exactly what the game wanted her to do, as well as how to do it.


The game also introduces the children to more complex gaming inputs, such as needing to press down and square to pick up a vase.” While these type of things may seem trivial to us, doing both of these things can prove to be a challenging task for a three or four-year-old, especially if they have no prior experience playing any video games.


If you have a child who is interested in games, but can’t quite find the right game to play, I have to recommend this one. Not only is it a great game to teach your child to play, it is actually brutally difficult when being played as intended, as you only have one life to make it through to the end, there are no continues, there are no saves. Personally, I have only beat it once, and that was only done because I dedicated an entire night of gaming just to be able to beat that game.

Questions about the game? Comments about games you think are great for children to learn to play? Let us know below!

#How To Teach Your Child To Play Video Games And Have Fun