What’s a momma to do? It’s spring break. It’s raining and you’ve heard for the 45th time, “I’m bored.” It’s a precursor to many summer scenarios, so you might as well start building your arsenal of amusement options now.
After suggesting a bazillion choices from building a LEGO set still in the box from Christmas to reading a book required at school, you give up, give in and turn to the computer for possible entertainment.
WAH-LA! Free gaming options await on your PC, worth at least a couple of hours of kiddo amusement. Check out www.nick.com/kids-choice-awards . It’s Nickelodeon online. The “more” tab to the far right provides a dropdown menu that includes a “games” choice. From that tab, you’re linked to all “KCA” games, which stands for Kids’ Choice Awards, meaning your kid will like them. There are 14 games, and a few are fun.
Unless you want your kid to be immersed in Nickelodeon shows and its celebrities, skip the Hangman, Trivia and Brain Blitz and look for Fast Lane Dwayne, Slime Task Force, Amped Up and Smash Crash Slime.
Fast Lane Dwayne is my favorite! It’s a car race where you control your car with the arrow keys, racing against the clock. Coins appear; hit them and collect more points. Your car flashes green when a high-point green coin is near for the taking. Advance levels and get new tracks. It’s fun, easy and engaging.
Slime has been popular for decades. It’s oohey but awesome, and it’s the target in this shooter game. Hit the test tubes of slime for 25 points, and then slime the celebrities as they go by like ducks in a shooting gallery for even more points. Of course, the slime runs green and gooey! Advance in levels and you’re awarded bigger slime shooting guns!
Amped Up is a musical game that I really bombed, but it’s fun, requiring quick thinking and fast finger action! Players choose a musical genre and then are prompted by sliding blimps to pluck strings on a guitar to play a tune. Great melodies and surprisingly mesmerizing entertainment.
Monster trucks rule on Smash Crash. Kids press the up arrow key to propel a monster truck forward over cars, barrels, bridges and jumps to collect points. The space bar makes your monster truck jump. The more the destruction, the more the points.
All of these games are preceded with a commercial, but hey, you’re playing for free. There are a few mini games that are unlocked as you advance. Play those or just continue sliming, smashing, crashing and speeding for fast-lane action!
Need more free games? Check out www.freearcade.com . Here you’ll find every genre of game from sports and shooter games to puzzles and strategy fun. There are hundreds of games and not enough time to play them all. Your only payment is time watching the commercials prior to accessing each game. The music for games is a bit repetitive and trance inducing. Turn the volume down if you’re in the same room with your younger player. Also be warned; each game page has a link to youtube.com. Videos might not be appropriate for all age groups. The games are simple enough for any age player, requiring no more than mouse, arrow and space bar control.
A few fun ones include Free the Fish (below), a trajectory game similar to Angry Birds. The challenge is to shoot a cannonball around obstacles to unchain fish. In the puzzle category, find Happy Builder, a darling game requiring good hand-eye coordination. Players build houses, statutes and other structures for points and higher levels. It’s addictive and challenging. Another fun challenge is Wicky Woo. It’s similar to Super Mario. Players use the arrow keys to move the character forward and the space bar to jump over obstacles or else be squished. Wanna play Super Mario free? Go to www.supermariobrothers.org .
These online games don’t offer the high-tech graphics or original musical score of those made for gaming consoles, but they do entertain kids on rainy days and can be added to your storehouse of solutions for the “I’m bored” conundrum.