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12 Best Nintendo Switch Games for 5 to 8 Years Old Kids

It’s 2020, and with the gaming industry more than a few decades old now, the generational divide is quickly blurring. Many new parents themselves grew up with the early home consoles, and it is thus natural that they would want to share the imaginative, interactive fun that comes with richly developed games with their children as soon as they are able.

But parents are also rightly concerned about safety. What games are the most appropriate, child-friendly, and can serve as altogether safe introductions to gaming? To answer that question, we went and looked at the 12 most child-friendly Games for one of the most popular consoles right now, the Nintendo switch.

Read on to find the perfect game for you and your kids to enjoy without having to worry about questionable content, toxic players, or aggressive monetization practices.

What makes a good game for 5-8 years old kids?

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to look for when shopping for the right game for your kids. You want to get them a game that they actually want. A game that’ll make them light up when they see it and give them a lot of fun times to revel in.

But just holding your finger to the wind and seeing what the most popular game at any given moment is hardly the best way to go. You need a game that sits snugly on the intersection of fun and safety. Safety from aggressive monetization. Safety from the pitfalls of online interaction. And safety from questionable or age-inappropriate content of any nature.

Down below we run through a dozen games that hit the bullseye of wholesome, family-friendly fun that won’t have you requesting any refunds from Nintendo anytime soon. Everything on this list is curated for its content, difficult, and downright fun. 

12 Best games on Nintendo Switch for 5-8 years olds

Without much ado, let’s taker a look at the list of 12 games we found your kids for the abovementioned age group would love to play a lot. Besides the superhits like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Mario Odyssey, we have got amazing titles like Kirby Star Allies and Snipperclips and more. Do let us know what you think about the list below.

Kirby Star Allies

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 7+
  • Developer: HAL Laboratory
  • Release Date: March 2018
  • Price: $59.99

Kirby Star Allies is a side-long action platformer that does it’s best to promote cooperation over confrontation. While Kirby himself has developed quite the reputation for swallowing people whole and taking their powers for himself, in Star Allies, it’s more about teamwork and fun. Instead of eating people, Kirby Shoots hearts to turn them into allies. This ties in with a drop-in/drop-out co-op system that allows up to three other players to join in and take control of the allies.

Otherwise, the game is structurally like any other Kirby platformer with great adventure, awesome boss battles, and bombastic visuals.  The game is very friendly towards younger children not only because of its iconic, cutesy protagonist but also for its lenient difficulty and ease of play — to the point that some older gamers were even turned off by how easy it was.

Download Kirby Star Allies: Nintendo

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 2018 (Switch)
  • Price: $39.99

Originally designed for the Wii U, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker takes on the same gameplay mechanics as the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World. The game features simple platforming fun involving the titular Toad and Toadette as they traverse a variety of enemy laden levels and do their best to get the gold star without getting hit.

The game features a lot of exploration-based fun within the levels as players try to project their path through the stage and comes with a whole lot of replay value to keep kids entertained for the long run. The game is certifiably child friendly with no real violence to speak of or anything beyond soft, cutesy graphics and an adorable lead character who is quite literally just a mushroom (or toadstool, we guess). The gameplay is simple, straightforward, and easy for children to understand and the relatively lower price tag never hurts.

Download Captain Toad Treasure Tracker: Nintendo

Luigi’s Mansion 3

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Next Level Games
  • Release Date: Halloween 2019
  • Price: $59.99

Basically Ghostbusters meets super Mario, the third installment in the Luigi’s Mansion series comes a whopping 18 years after the first one and 6 after the second. This time the game follows Luigi as he and the rest of the recognizable Super Mario cast head to The haunted Last Resort Hotel.

When Mario and co. inevitably go missing, it’s up to the players to pilot Luigi through the many floors of the hotel, contending with a variety of ghosts, mini-games, and all sorts of other hijinks in order to rescue them. The game supports online play and up to eight-player off-line multiplayer. And while the setting is technically haunted, the designs for the ghosts and other characters are very kooky and child friendly.

There’s a reason it won Best Family Game at The Game Awards 2019. Anybody who enjoyed the original games in the Super Mario series will certainly be enthused with this latest addition to the Luigi-centered spinoffs.

Download Luigi’s Mansion 3: Nintendo

Yoshi’s Crafted World

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Good-Feel
  • Release Date: March 2019
  • Price: $59.99

Yoshi’s rafted world is another side-scrolling spinoff from the original king of kid-friendly platforming fun. But instead of being relegated to a glorified mount for two Italian plumbers gallivanting across the Mushroom Kingdom, Yoshi is once again the star of the show. In the place of gun battles, sword-swinging, or other cartoonishly violent combat systems of other supposedly “kid-friendly” games, Yoshi’s Crafted World is a picturesque 2.5D adventure that emphasizes the joy in exploration and hijinks more than it does the idea of fighting or other calamitous extracurriculars.

Even though the game is already closer to the easy end of the difficulty spectrum, it features a Mellow Mode to make gameplay accessible to almost any age or capacity. The only thing parents really need to be concerned about is the pretty much universally hated music — so, for your own sake, make sure the volume is down a bit before the kids get going.

Download Yoshi’s Crafted World: Nintendo

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: April 2017
  • Price: $59. 99

The enhanced Switch port of the 2014 release, Mario Kart Eight Deluxe is loved by gamers of all ages for its signature, slapstick gameplay, and is considered by more than a few to be the best racing game of the 10’s. Maybe because Mario Kart 8 did little to mess with the age-old formula: Pick a character from the classic franchise, hop into a go-kart and dive straight into the frantic, explosive, and surprisingly kid-friendly chaos.

Deluxe comes with a few new additions in the way of a couple of characters and a new racing feature called “anti-gravity” that has players racing over walls like vehicular spidermen. The game has four different difficulty settings to appeal to both children and adults and sports up to 12 players simultaneously.

Download Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Nintendo

New Super Lucky’s Tale

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Playful studios
  • Release Date: November 2017
  • Price: $49. 99

New Super Lucky’s Tale is a love letter to classic platformers of the 90s. The game offers a variety of gameplay, from typical side-scrolling platform adventure to fully 3D Worlds in numerous challenges to complete, new super lucky’s world is Both easy on the eyes and a lot of fun for kids – and maybe their parents too.

You can’t really go wrong with anthropomorphic animals when it comes to kid-friendly leads, and Lucky Swifttail the Fox certainly delivers the necessary smiles during his quest to stop the evil feline menace Jinx and his progeny, the dastardly Kitty Litter. The game is certainly on the easier side and serves as a great introduction to gaming for younger children by restricting the platform gameplay to its core fundamentals.

Download New Super Lucky’s Tale: Nintendo

Paw Patrol on a Roll

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Torus games
  • Release Date: October 2018
  • Price: $39. 99

There’s a good chance your children are already huge fans of the massively successful Paw Patrol children’s show. It’s been going strong for a few years now with Been seasons in over 180 episodes — And of course, the multi-platform video game we find ourselves discussing here. Paw Patrol: on a roll is an adventure platformer spread across 16 missions featuring the same recognizable talking pups from the show.

You might not be able to name any of them yourself, but you can bet that if your children are fans of the show, they’ll be over the moon about the chance to play as any of the furry, four-legged cast members. And Parents can rest assured that the game, coming from such a successful children’s show, knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to safe, kid-friendly entertainment.

Download Paw Patrol: On a Roll: Nintendo

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 7+
  • Developer: GAME FREAK
  • Release Date: November 2019
  • Price: $59.99

Pokémon Sword and Shield made some bold moves away from previously unquestionable tenants of the genre. And despite some initial outcry from long time fans, the series has received overall positive reviews and some critical acclaim for innovative new features and simple but rewarding game design. You’re still a trainer, you’re still trying to fill out your Pokédex and become champion of the Pokémon league, still trying to collect gym badges and defeat a pesky rival and still going after that legendary Pokémon.

However, alongside the new roster of eighth-generation Pokémon, there’s also a new dynamaxing and Gigantomaxing mechanic that causes some Pokémon to substantially grow to monstrous size and/or alter their form as well as a new open-world, continuous “Wild Area” for players to explore.

The new region, Galar, is beautifully rendered and based on Great Britain, and features An interesting steampunk aesthetic to the towns and villages dotting its landscape. Of all the expansive RPGs on the market, Pokemon Sword and Shield are probably the most kid-friendly and can scintillate new, younger fans as well as their parents that grew up with the original Gameboy games.

Download Pokemon Sword: Nintendo

Download Pokemon Shield: Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 7+
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: October 2017
  • Price: $59.99

Super Mario Odyssey has the unique ability to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike as well as fans new and old of the classic Mario franchise. Instead of reclining back into the traditional side-scrolling mechanic of the core series, Odyssey expands on the open-world 3D exploration from Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. Not to say that fans of the classic games will be left unsatisfied.

As Mario travels across many lands beyond the Mushroom Kingdom in search of Princess Peach Bowser, players encounter both sandbox-style open-world landscapes as well as special areas called Flat Zones which switch back to the side-scrolling platform mechanics of the originals. A lot of new gameplay mechanics come with Mario’s brand new ally, Cappy the hat spirit, Call and downs Mario with a bunch of new moves and powers that make super Mario odyssey possibly the most unique Mario game ever created. And possibly the most highly praised.

Parents don’t really have anything to worry about when it comes to Super Mario Odyssey either. The game’s difficulty won’t really have anybody scratching their head – though it doesn’t coddle gamers either — and any game where a majority of the combat is centered around a friendly-looking hat spirit is probably not going to leave any lasting emotional impact on any impressionable young gamers

Download Super Mario Odyssey: Nintendo

Snipperclips

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: SFB Games
  • Release Date: March 2017
  • Price: $19.99

Snipperclips takes what kids love about arts & crafts and boils it down into a cooperative platformer. The stars of the show are Snip and Clip, a pair of anthropomorphic two-dimensional shapes, who can creatively overlap one another in order to create specific shapes needed to solve a variety of adventurous problems.

It’s a tricky, logic-based puzzle game in a simple, accessible package that can provide many hours of fun, satisfying gameplay for children and adults alike. Snipperclips was nominated For IGN’s Game of the Year, Best Switch Game, and Best Multiplayer award and won Best Puzzle Game in 2017.

Any parent looking for a game that encourages some cognitive exercise as well as fun and cooperative gameplay that they themselves can sink their teeth into should look no further than Snipperclips.

Download Snipperclips: Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: March 2020
  • Price: $59. 99

Animal Crossing New Horizons is by far the most popular game in the long-standing series, outselling the lifetime of all previous games just the first couple months of release. And it’s not just because everyone’s locked at home and looking for things to do. The cutesy, animal and kid-friendly life simulator goes out of its way to magnify the pillars of the series’ chilled out gameplay.

Like previous games in the series, players are free to move about an open-world island deciding how they want to play. Adventures, animal rearing, farming, crafting, playing dress-up—the player is ever-free to decide what they want to do, and when they want to do it. The only thing the parents need to be concerned about when it comes to game content is the online multiplayer.

Adults and teens have of course found workarounds to the content restriction system and found ways to crack jokes and create other content geared for a mature audience — like arranging flowers in unsavory phrases or uploading custom outfits that are either somewhat inappropriate or potentially scary. Which is fine for adults. They can have fun too. But parents need not worry — online multiplayer requires a Switch Online subscription, without which children can play a perfectly kid-friendly solo experience.

Download Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Nintendo

Overcooked 2

  • ESRB Rating: E
  • PEGI Rating: 3+
  • Developer: Team 17, Ghost Town Games
  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Price: $24.99

Overcooked 2 seems simple enough on the surface. A couple of players work together to manage a wacky and somewhat impossible kitchen — ranging from hot air balloons to intergalactic alien kitchens replete with booby traps and all sorts of other nonsensical chaos – and cope with the mounting difficulty as orders pour in, dishes stack up, and the kitchen gets hot.

Overcooked and Overcooked 2 are really Resource and Time Management games that prove you don’t need massive explosions or battles to the death to ramp up the tension. Both games in the series are loved by millions, winning Best Family Game at both The Game Awards 2018 and Game Critic Awards. While there is absolutely nothing inappropriate about the content of the games, parents should note that the 3+ PEGI rating may not reflect the quickly escalating difficulty.

Younger children would be better suited towards co-op play with an adult who can help round out some of the hard-edged difficulty. That said, it’s certainly one of the most fun games on the market right now across all genres and age groups; anyone with a switch should give it a shot.

Download Overcooked 2: Nintendo


That’s our pick for the 12 best, most child-friendly games for the Nintendo Switch. We hope you enjoyed the list and found something for you and your little ones to enjoy in the coming months. And spread the joy! Let others know in the comments if we’re missing any of your kids’ favorite games!

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