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sadly the only game that i have seen that is linux native that my kids like (9yr girl and 3yr boy) is tuxtype. my laptop has to pathetic of a vid card to play tuxracer or they might like that too, but that has nothing to do with education.
debian has a kids education game package, but i have never really had much luck with it as it requires things i just have not taken the time to chase down.
Transgaming has stated as of a poll or 2 back that they will start working on supporting the Jump Start line of kids games so soon those should start working with cedgea or Point2Play. that will be extremely nice IMHO.
gcompris looks like a nice suite for smaller kids - my girls are 11 & 13 so I haven't really tried it out.
Games my kids have enjoyed the last 2 years:
Pachi el marciano, wormux, snake, monster-masher, crack-attack, frozen-bubble, battleship, wesnoth, pioneers (=the game 'settlers'. This is formerly 'gnocatan'.), lincity, bugsquish, doom, icebreaker, circus-linux ...
Just to mention a few.
For smaller kids frozen-bubble, cirkus-linux and maybe icebreaker might be good.
If you have a decent connection, why not do what I did:
Select almost everything in the 'games' section in synaptic and let the kids fool around. They'll find their favourites!
Don't forget then, the menu-selection 'games' contains only a few games. Go to 'All Applications -> Browse all -> games' to find more.
And some games don't show up on that list either, like pioneers. You might have to add some entries to the menu manually (or tell the kids how to start a game from command-line, they learn fast).
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ended up going through all the games in synaptic and weeding out the violent ones. I installed lots of games, so at least some of them should be good. Supertux is my favorite; although, I'm not very good at it.
I started with edubuntu. I wasn't quite happy with the somewhat limited package selection. I added a debian repository, but it seemed like that was going to cause problems with system updates. So I ended up going with debian. Now I just need to get shorewall and dansguardian/squid setup and it will be ready to go.
The system will also be dual boot with windows me so they can play all those windows games too. I still haven't tried cedega yet, but I suspect that it isn't compatible with all the kids games yet.