Is your kid struggling to understand cyberbullying and online safety? These fun, free online games can help your child better understand what cyberbullying is- and what to do if they think they are a victim.
My middle daughter, my most avid gamer and kid who is most comfortable on a computer, came home from school last week talking about cyberbullying. During Cyberbully Awareness Month, her school librarian set up a presentation for the older grades (she’s a 5th grader) to learn more about what cyberbullying and digital citizenship mean. She had no idea I was currently working on a series of articles about cyberbullying, but she was super excited to show me the game she learned about at school called Interland. It is, she informed me, a fun and interactive way for her to learn about internet safety and good behavior.
So we logged on from my computer, and later my iPhone, to explore Interland. Powered by Google, it is, as she promised, a fun, free game for kids that encourages positive internet behavior. Within the game, which we accessed from our internet browser by typing Interland into the search bar, we were able to choose between four different challenges, each with a different theme. In Kind Kingdom, we spread love and positivity. In Reality River, we learned the importance of not believing everything we see or read on the internet. Mindful Mountain reinforced the idea that we shouldn’t share personal information with internet strangers. And the Tower of Treasure talked to us about hackers and accessing private data. All in all, we spent about 30 minutes together exploring the game and discussing the content therein. The games were fairly basic but the lessons within invaluable. It was absolutely time well spent.
After she moved onto some Chinese homework lurking in her backpack, I did a bit more digging. I felt sure that Interland is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to games with important lessons. And lo and behold, I was correct. There are a number of free games on the web that engage kids and teach them about good internet behavior and digital citizenship. If your child is like mine and enjoys playing as they learn, check out these games to teach them about being a good citizen.
Free internet games that teach kids about online safety
Cyber Legends – Cyber Legends is a great game where kids can play for hours and hours while learning about online safety. Through this fun game, you child will learn about cyber safety, cyber security, and how to be cyber healthy. This free game is full of lessons that your children will use online forever.
BrainPop: The Meaning of Beep– Designed for older kids (ages 8 and up), this game pits players against bots as they try to guess the meaning of a beep-ed out word that has to do with internet safety and cyberbullying. Sentences with spaces for an unknown word will be presented to the player and they must guess the correct word. Each round has three sentences and you play three rounds to see if you can beat the computer and learn about internet safety at the same time.
Digital Passport by Common Sense Media– Choose from several different games that teach kids the importance of making good decisions online. Share Jumper gives kids scenarios about when to share information and when to withhold, and Evolve encourages kids to understand the different forms of cyberbullying and what can be done about them. Each game comes with different lessons that are both important to and beneficial for kids all the while being fun to play.
Nova Cybersecurity Lab Game– Older kids will enjoy learning about the importance of security in the digital world. Kids will complete challenges after they pick an avatar and a fake internet company to work for where they are in charge of cybersecurity. Players will be tasked with keeping their virtual company safe from hackers and learn about privacy and security in the process. This game can prove challenging so make sure your child isn’t easily frustrated.
Free Games that Teach Online Safety
There are lots of other free games out there to play, varying in degrees of difficulty. There are even apps that kids can download on devices that help them to better understand how to be a good digital citizen and work toward ending cyberbullying. These games may not be as advanced as some of their favorite internet games, but any time my daughter can learn while she plays she gets extra screen time, which feels like a win for both of us.
What are you kids favourite games?