Video Games for You and Your Kids

By Allison O'Connor and Jeff McKinney

2 Girls playing video gameVideo games are a favorite past time for many of our children. Try as we might to push our kids outside to play or read a book, they always seem to wander back to the computer for their video game fix.

Well, not all video games are created equal. There are a number of educational video games that both you and your kids will enjoy. Here are two recommendations from Gaming Guru Jeff McKinney from that are perfect for rainy summer days.

Trivial Pursuit- board shotTrivial Pursuit (EA, rated Everyone)

The classic trivia-testing board game, Trivial Pursuit, gets a digital makeover with this new video game edition available for Sony’s PlayStation2 and 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii. The basics remain the same; you answer a series of questions from multiple categories to collect the wedges needed to fill your pie as you move around a board.

As with the traditional board version, you can select to play the “Classic” mode, however, the addition of two new modes for the video game have really kicked up the fun and created a whole new style of play for the Trivial Pursuit game. The first of the new modes, the “Facts & Friends” mode, allows you to earn extra points by guessing whether your friends know the answer to their questions. In the second new mode, you can hone your knowledge and play alone with the “Clear the Board” single player mode.

An additional element of the video game is the ability to introduce different types of questions, such as “Multiple Choice,” “True or False,” and image-based questions, which makes this a great game to play with the short-attention- span- set or, tweens and teens. Trivial Pursuit is in stores now.

Help Wanted game shotHelp Wanted (Hudson, rated Everyone 10+)

Get ready to tackle some of the wackiest jobs on the planet with Help Wanted for the Nintendo Wii. Players can try their hand at 50 quirky and comical jobs including a Bodybuilder, Sushi Master, an Astronaut, a Dairy Farmer, Clown, and Boat Captain as they compete in mini-game style challenges against the computer or other players.

Thanks in part to its ridiculous job assignments and screwball antics, Help Wanted will find a wide range of fans from the youngest gamers to adults. It is a party game and perfect for groups to play together, however, there is a single player mode and the game can be just as much fun for an individual. Look for Help Wanted in stores this May.


Other Games and Toys

Summertime Toys for All Ages

The Green Toybox



 Jeff McKinney, is the “Gaming Guru” at where he reviews video games and writes a weekly post for the site’s blog, the Play Forum. Additionally, Jeff has been writing for and ToyGuy blog for the past eight years. You can also find and follow Jeff on Twitter.