When you are introducing your child to the wonders that are video games on a game console, there are definitely some better games than others. Some games that are geared towards children of those ages have too much reading (which makes it impossible for them to master themselves), and some are just not very entertaining. Some are even downright LAME.
My daughter’s first video games system was a V.Smile Baby. It has some large colored shape buttons that when you press them something will happen on the screen. She really did enjoy this game, and we had a couple of different cartridges for it, but frankly we only used the one it came with. She really didn’t need different games to play at this stage since it was pretty much the same reaction on each game. She presses a button and gets a reaction, didn’t really matter what was up on the screen. It’s a great little system, but I wouldn’t waste a lot of money on getting more games for it. Now my son likes to play with the “controller” but we don’t plug in the game system. He enjoys just playing with it in the mode that doesn’t use the TV.
Her second system (after she pretty much outgrew the first), was a LeapFrog Clickstart My First Computer. I really liked this game because it helped her figure out how to use a mouse and a keyboard before we let her loose on our real computers. She still (at 5 years old) requests to play this game system sometimes. We did purchase several different games for this one as well, and she really did enjoy playing the different games. She got to the point where she was able to change out the games herself, and loved to explore the different areas of the game system.
Both of those game systems leave MUCH to be desired when it comes to graphics though. The graphics were very simple and cheesy and somewhat pixelated, even on her tiny TV in her room.
Now, of course she has graduated to her DSi and the Wii, here are some of my pics for the best wii games for a preschooler and the best DSi games for a preschooler…
First up we have the Diego and Dora games. All of these games for the Wii have similar controls so I’m just going to talk about the first one we got which was Go Diego Go, Great Dinosaur Rescue. What is great about these games is the controls. When you want Diego to swim, you have to make motions with your arms like you are swimming. For him to jump, you have to jump. It is very easy for the Preschooler to understand and master quickly. Not only does the game tell you what to do, it will have a little person on the bottom of the screen displaying the motions you are supposed to be doing. These games are seriously a great introduction to the “big kid” consoles.
Once she mastered those games, we moved on to the Mario series. She started playing Mario Kart and Mario Party. On Mario Kart, if you start out on the easiest mode (50 cc) and stick with the easy courses, they will be able to master the “driving” in no time. They will probably get frustrated a bit, as they learn how to control it, but it’s a great time to teach them about practicing until they get better. My daughter can even beat me on Mario Kart. Mario Party is another great game while they are still learning, because it’s not going to take them through a game where things get increasingly harder. The mini games are just right for teaching a number of different skills. The characters of both games are also fantastic… what can I say, my daughter LOVES Bowser! She has even moved on to playing a real Mario game (Super Mario Galaxy 2) and she loves it!
For her DS we have a couple Dolphin games, that get a little bit too advanced for her at times, but she still enjoys playing them. I just get recruited into helping her, and then waste the next 30 minutes playing her game as she goes off and plays legos! She is able to play the Mario games for the DS though perfectly. There are a few games I would still like for her to try out, that I haven’t been able to find yet. Once I do, I’ll let you know!
So check some of these systems out for your little ones, and soon they’ll be gaming pros (just what you always wanted… huh?)
*Disclosure – I was not given/paid/or compensated in any way by any of these companies
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com