It’s not always easy finding good Nintendo Switch games for a 5 year old. Kids may find some games too complex, or they may have trouble using full-size controllers. Thankfully, the Switch has plenty of fun, kid-friendly games offering both simple controls and engaging action. From pre-K platformers to open-world action and everything in between, here are the best Nintendo Switch games for children around five years old.
The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids 5 Years Old
When considering the best Nintendo Switch games for children aged 5, we considered a few things. First, the games need to be approachable; easy to pick up and play. They also need to be family-friendly; no violence or unmoderated multiplayer. Finally, and most crucially, they need to be able to keep a kid’s interest. In other words, they have to be fun. Here are our picks.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
It’s hard to beat Mario Kart 8 Deluxe when it comes to kid-friendly Switch games. The series has been around for decades, and by now features all of the most recognizable Super Mario characters and environments. Even better, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has a host of driver aids that can help even the most inexperienced racers reach the finish line.
But the best element of all is just how much fun it is. Karts can be customized, characters can be swapped, and there are enough tracks to keep players happy for dozens of hours. Crucially, it allows for local multiplayer using individual Joy-Cons, which are a good fit for tiny hands. Plus, coupled with Nintendo Switch Online, players can race with others across the world in a clean, kid-friendly multiplayer lobby.
Paw Patrol: On a Roll!
Paw Patrol: On a Roll is frequently cited as one of the best Nintendo Switch games for young children. Based on the popular animated series, it’s essentially a two-dimensional platformer free of enemies or any real sense of peril. Instead, it’s designed around simple objectives, and features clear on-screen prompts for required actions. This simplicity is one of the main reasons why it can be enjoyed by children as young as three years old. The only real drawback is that it’s single-player only; siblings and friends will have to take turns.
BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!
BoxBoy is a lesser-known series developed by the team at HAL Laboratory, one of the oldest and most renowned developers for Nintendo consoles. The series consists of puzzle-platformers where the player manipulates a box-based protagonist in order to reach the end of the stage. Each object or hazard can be evaded by changing the hero’s shape, making for simple but addictive gameplay.
Originally designed for the Nintendo 3DS, BoxBoy!+ BoxGirl! is the latest release and the first available for the Switch. It’s also the first in the series to introduce multiplayer, allowing two players to work out puzzles together. Finally, it’s the cheapest game on this list, selling for just $9.99, and there’s even a free demo featured on the Nintendo Switch eShop.
Kirby Star Allies
Another HAL Laboratory release, Kirby Star Allies is the latest game to star Nintendo’s adorable pink puffball. The series’ classic action remains largely intact, where Kirby traverses levels and inhales enemies to gain new abilities. It’s always been a fairly easy game, and this one is no different, making it all the better for younger players. However, Star Allies stands out for its companion system which allows for drop-in, drop-out multiplayer.
By throwing hearts at enemies on screen, Kirby can turn in-game foes into allies. Those allies can then be controlled by up to three other players. With the right blend of companions, new abilities and power-ups will be unlocked, encouraging both consideration and teamwork. There are even unlockable gameplay modes that ramp up the challenge, keeping the game relevant as children grow older.
Minecraft is one of the easiest recommendations on this list. Developed by Mojang, this open-world sandbox allows players to express their own creativity by using basic tools and materials to reshape the world around them. It’s amazingly robust, featuring simple objectives that grow into the potential for staggering creations. It also happens to be the best-selling game of all time, appealing to both children and adults alike.
Most importantly, it’s a game with a lot to offer younger players. The Survival mode works up its challenges slowly, allowing time to develop basic problem-solving skills. Alternatively, the Creative mode allows for endless building without worry of danger. As an example of the game’s creative potential, it was recently used by Japanese school children to host a graduation ceremony during quarantine. Finally, it’s a fantastic way to socialize and collaborate, as multiple players can join together to build elaborate structures and even working machines.