Top Pick

Top Games That Teach Empathy

Kids who are in tune with other kids' emotions are off to a great start. They earn the trust of their peers. They can help mediate when tempers flare. One day, they may even use those perspective-taking skills to become organization or even world leaders. Developing empathy is an important skill that can be modeled and practiced in all classrooms. These tools will help students choose the opposing viewpoint, understand the needs of others, be able to interpret unspoken communication, and gain a more rounded view of themselves.

Interested in seeing tips on how you might use some of these tools in the classroom? Check out our blog series We All Teach SEL: Inspiring Activities for Every Classroom

Avokiddo Emotions Publisher: AVOKIDDO
Hilarious animals help kids identify emotions
Grades Pre-K-K
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings Publisher: PBS KIDS
Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions
Grades Pre-K-K
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse Publisher: TribePlay
Open play encourages empathy, critical thinking, imagination, wonder
Grades Pre-K-K
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Four little corners - An interactive storybook app about friendship Publisher: DADA Company
Simple story about shapes showcases problem-solving and inclusion
Grades Pre-K-1
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Wee You-Things Publisher: Wee Society LLC
Kids join the story celebrating uniqueness -- including their own
Grades Pre-K-1
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
Cool School: Where Peace Rules Publisher: Realtime Associates, Inc.
Free simulator makes learning to resolve classroom conflicts fun
Grades K-3
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Zoo U Publisher: Personalized Learning Games Inc.
Research-based social game has terrific assessment potential
Grades K-5
Type Game
Price $7-20 per student
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
IF... The Emotional IQ Game
This product is no longer available.
Publisher: If You Can
Captivating journey cultivates kids' social and emotional skills
Grades 1-7
Type App
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Who Am I? Race Awareness Game Publisher: Playtime Interactive
Q&A game gets students talking about diversity honestly, responsibly
Grades 1-12
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are Publisher: Electric Eggplant
Must-read graphic novel teaches relatable tween lessons
Grades 5-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
Spirits of Spring Publisher: Minority Media Inc.
Beautiful design, great story, stunning sound in powerful SEL allegory
Grades 5-8
Type App
Price $1.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Journey Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Gorgeous, moving adventure -- a jewel of social and emotional learning
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms PS3, PS4
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Papo & Yo Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Powerful tale of alcoholism uses puzzles and metaphor to build empathy
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price 14.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, PS3, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Re-Mission 2 Publisher: HopeLab
Six arcade style games tackle tough subject of cancer
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
Thomas Was Alone Publisher: Mike Bithell
Story-driven puzzle game teaches students to value their differences and help one another
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $12.99
Platforms Mac, PS3, PS Vita, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Publisher: 505 Games
Unique cooperative adventure with lasting social and emotional impact
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price
Platforms PS3, Xbox 360
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Spent Publisher: McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham
Provocative, first-person look at poverty builds empathy
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Global Conflicts Publisher: Serious Games Interactive
Role play, global conversations make social studies personal
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
3rd World Farmer Publisher: 3rd World Farmer Team
Serious sim about global issues shows struggles of poverty
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 5
Darfur Is Dying Publisher: mtvU
Older game still drives home grim realities of refugee life
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 2
Papers, Please Publisher: 3909
Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4