We all know how much kids love games. But do you know how much games can impact learning?

Both game playing and game making are proven to build STEM skills and 21st-century learning essential for success (and careers) in today’s connected world. Games motivate students by making content relevant, immersive and compelling. Games require kids to think strategically and solve complex problems, “fail fast” and collaborate across disciplines. And perhaps most importantly, games help teachers make learning irresistible!

Use the resources below to learn more about the power of games for learning, teaching game design, and how you can use games and game making in your classroom or at home.



Games for Learning Reading List [Institute of Play]

Playmakers [Institute of Play] – A series of videos that explore the experiences and innovations that are leading the way for learning design in the twenty-first century. Meet a range of people working at the intersection of games and learning.

Learning with Technology [Common Sense Media] – Learning with technology, whether with a math app, a video how-to, or a wiki, opens up a new world of discovery for kids. As they access information in novel ways, kids are preparing for life in a new interconnected, global world. In this series, learn how to spot the good stuff, find the right products for your kids’ needs, and foster a love of learning.

Games and Learning [Games and Learning Publishing Council] – Blog produced by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Game-Based Learning [Edutopia] – Blog providing tips, techniques, and tools that apply the principles of game design to the learning process.


Games as Guide [Institute of Play] – A beginner’s resource on games for anyone involved in designing learning for youth.

How to Teach With Games e-book [Filament Games] – Classroom insights from educators packed with expert perspectives and practical advice, supplemented by recommended resources and downloadables to help you get started with game-based learning.

Teaching with Games [BrainPOP Educators] – Games, screencasts, research, teaching tools and more.

Mission Packs [Institute of Play] – Transform your curriculum into a game-like experience that engages and excites your students.

Gamestar Mechanic Learning Guide [Institute of Play] – A curricular resource that brings Gamestar Mechanic to life in formal or informal learning settings.



Games for Change Games Page [Games for Change] – G4C curates digital and non-digital games that engage contemporary social issues in a meaningful way.

Print & Play Games [Institute of Play] – Teacher-tested, student-approved games for difficult-to-learn skills and concepts created by the Institute of Play.

Game Up [BrainPOP] – A curated collection of cross-curricular, online learning games from leading publishers, plus teaching tips for easy integration.



Teaching With Games Vimeo channel [Institute of Play] – This video series looks at how teachers can be exposed to games through various forms of professional development. A project of the Games and Learning Publishing Council and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, produced by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Institute of Play.

CODE Video Library [CODE] – Website containing a growing library of educational videos related to Computer Science, How the Internet Works and Inspirational Videos.



Code.org – expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color, by providing student courses and professional development for educators

Codesters – enables schools to bring coding to students right in their classrooms. Create a free teacher account and have your students work through the 3 free Intro to Codesters lessons to learn the basics of using the platform and programming in Python. Codesters is built for current classroom teachers. Learn ahead of your students by working through the tutorials, use standards-aligned lesson plans and monitor student progress with the teacher dashboard.

Fullstack Academy – coding courses for educators

See something missing from this list, or want to share an additional resource, program or tool? Let us know!

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.