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 -- Playful learning for kids 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 says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say
Zoo U
Research-based social game has terrific assessment potential
Grades K-5
Type Game
Price A one-time license fee of $7 per student.
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say 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 Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Hall of Heroes Visit Website: https://www.centervention.com/hall-of-heroes/
Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school
Grades 5-8
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
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 says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say
Papers, Please Publisher: 3909
Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
This War of Mine Publisher: 11-Bit Studios
Strategy game offers superb, mature take on war and civilian survival
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Mac, PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated