These days, kids, especially boys, practically grow up with games. When they were young, at least I had a choice which game they’d play.
These are the games I didn’t mind my kids playing and they also enjoyed.
Zoo Tycoon This is a simulation game, in which you create a zoo. You have to optimize the environment for each animal. You learn a few things about animals and their favorite habitats. It’s a good game for animal lovers, but could get a little tedious later on. There’s a similar game called RollerCoaster tycoon, which is also fun to play.
Zeus : Master of Olympus This is a city building game with a setting of Ancient Greece. There are several other similar city building games, but I think this one is the most enjoyable. My kids picked up some names of Greek gods and heroes, and it triggered their interest in Greek Myth.
These are the educational games my kids actually played.
Zoombinis This is a great game teaching kids logic and reasoning, and enjoyable at the same time. It requires some math skills to solve puzzles, and might be a little challenging for younger kids. Help your kids and you might enjoy playing it, too. There are a couple of sequels to this game, which are also worthwhile to play.
Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster This game teaches kids how to play chess in a fun way. The first one in the series teaches basic rules of chess, and the second one teaches various strategies. My kids already knew the rules, so we only bought the second one.
Crazy Machines In this game, you build machines to solve puzzles. This requires a great deal of creative thinking. Some of them are quite hard to solve, and the game does not give out solutions unless you solve it first, so sometimes it could be frustrating. My girl didn’t like it as much as my boy.