Common Sense


Great Games That Teach Life Skills

So much of what students have to navigate in life takes skills that aren't always taught in the classroom. Technology can teach them about their health and wellness and help them develop skills such as conflict resolution, safe social networking, and getting along with others. With the tools on this list, students will be reading stories, playing interactive games, creating digital media, and analyzing their own personality profiles. 

Looking for more resources to help students navigate life's digital dilemmas? Check out our guide to Digital Citizenship & Social and Emotional Learning

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Social and Emotional Learning

Four little corners

Simple story about shapes showcases problem-solving and inclusion

Bottom line: This cute little story could be a nice launching pad for big discussions about friendship, tolerance, and acceptance.

Kid in Story Book Maker

Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills

Bottom line: A must-have story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

Toca Tea Party

Pretend play meets social skills at this cute interactive gathering

Bottom line: Beautiful, imagination-provoking app is so easy to use, kids will likely want to return for many more parties.

Big Kid Life Vet

Gentle feedback helps kids learn empathy and some ABCs

Bottom line: This engaging and simple veterinarian game helps preschoolers build pre-reading skills.

Wisdom: The World of Emotions

Quirky game helps kids recognize and regulate anger in self and others

Bottom line: If they can get through the confusing bits, students will be able to identify, label, and perhaps manage strong feelings of anger or frustration.

Mindful Powers

Care for a cute creature to practice mindfulness and self-control

Bottom line: Meditation lessons and visual timers act as decent supplemental activities for introducing SEL skills.


Complete SEL units in a neat and tidy package

Bottom line: Detailed social and emotional learning lessons provide teachers with almost everything they'll need to spark positive character development and reflection in their students.

Zoo U

Research-based social game has terrific assessment potential

Bottom line: A powerful and focused social problem-solving game designed to reach kids who need direct instruction.

7 Mindsets

Thought-provoking structured program simplifies SEL skills

Bottom line: If teachers take advantage of the extension activities, students can get great in-depth instruction and practice in SEL skills needed for life.


Experiential game teaches empathy toward those with autism

Bottom line: Lessons on inclusion and community in the classroom require post-game facilitated discussion for deep learning.

I Love Potatoes

Adorable social innovation app spurs discussion, collective action

Bottom line: This free app, when used with the extension materials, will help students understand their role in the environment and the economy, and empower them to make change for the better.

S.S. Grin

Fantastical game helps teach friendship skills through storytelling

Bottom line: Riveting role-playing game reinforces relationship skills, but plan carefully so that students can save their game.

Hall of Heroes

Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school

Bottom line: Wonderful and fun social-interaction game designed to teach cooperation and friendship skills needed for middle school and beyond.

Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are

Appealing graphic novel teaches relatable tween lessons

Bottom line: A compelling read for tweens and teens looking for guidance and understanding of common social situations.

Community in Crisis

Game shows real-world uses for literacy and decision-making skills

Bottom line: A clever, real-world, and civic-minded context to learn and practice ELA skills.

The Carnegie Cyber Academy

Safe internet practices wrapped up in fun, illuminating games

Bottom line: A unique project helps kids learn about serious Internet safety while playing in a lighthearted virtual world.

Vital Signs

ELA game set in a medical clinic shows the value of literacy skills

Bottom line: Great ELA lessons that realistically integrate literacy skills into the simulated day-to-day of a medical clinic.


Uplifting one-stop shop for social and emotional learning resources

Bottom line: inspirED delivers exactly what it claims: empowering, easy-to-search content for social and emotional learning.


Incredibly relatable story about navigating adult love and life

Bottom line: This heartwarming game helps kids empathize with the highs and lows of romantic relationships.

Wellness and Self-Improvement

Mindprint Learning

Expert feedback and tools designed for individual learner profiles

Bottom line: This impressive tool uses normed digital assessments to create a specific learning profile and provide authentic tools for individual learners.

I Got This: An Interactive Story

Interactive story explores diabetes health issues, lacks depth

Bottom line: A kid-friendly way to teach an important message about healthy living, but a missed opportunity to fully engage kids with assessment or gameplay.


Guided lessons focus on the brain, encourage a growth mindset

Bottom line: Wonderful, easy-to-use lessons spur self-reflection and a growth mindset in students.


Quirky, funny videos give thoughtful answers to kids' sex-ed questions

Bottom line: An appealingly down-to-earth way to help kids face tough questions about navigating the challenges of puberty.

AppClinic - Saving Lives!

Easy-to-use CPR refresher looks nice but lacks enough guidance

Bottom line: This app would be a good intro to -- or refresher for -- CPR training, but could be improved with a lot more depth and feedback.

Roadtrip Nation

Outstanding site motivates kids to follow dreams, work hard

Bottom line: Incredibly inspirational, fun, and helpful guide for kids trying to figure out a sustainable, happy future.

Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm

Immediate help for teens struggling with harmful urges

Bottom line: Powerful therapeutic tool teaches positive coping skills and mental wellness.


Robust personality survey for students results in real-world insights

Bottom line: For educators who have the time, drive, and buy-in, this program is a great data-analysis and character-development tool.

Sex, Etc.

Reliable, unbiased sex ed site keeps it real for teens

Bottom line: An engaging and informative destination for sex ed teachers and students.

Please Knock on My Door

Effective and affecting game about dealing with depression

Bottom line: A slow-paced SEL game for helping students understand the nuances of managing mental health.

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