Ok, maybe your kid doesn’t really need one, but I can tell you for sure that my daughters love their Nintendo DS systems. Portable, colorful, and complete with a wide array of games to choose from — let me tell you, these are not just for bigger kids. My youngest (2 and a half) has a well-loved 1st generation DS. My oldest (4 and a half) got the newer DSi last Christmas.
The original DS:
There are so many affordable games for the little ones that if you haven’t thought about investing in a DS, you really should. Yes, the system itself a bit pricey for something to hand to a toddler (running about $130, depending on the model – check them out here), but these multifunctional devices are sure to keep your kiddo busy even on the longest car rides and most boring of waiting rooms.
Here are a few of our picks:
This adorable Wonder Pets game is under $10 and has both an adventure game and a free-choice area, where kids can play the piano, color pictures and dress up the Wonder Pets!
Next up is Treasure Adventures by Crayola – This coloring book based game lets your child solve puzzles, connect-the-dots and scour the world for clues! Also has a crayon box mode for traditional coloring.
Smart Girls Playhouse! I’m not typically a fan of gender-specific activities, but this game is great! It’s a collection of minigames including math practice, spot-the-differences, puzzles and free drawing. There is also a boy version with similar activities available .
Like all Mario games, Mario Party DS is a bit more expensive, running around $28. However, the bright colorful graphics and over 70 minigames make this one worth it. There is a story mode as well, but the wee ones really take to less structured, single serving minigames. I can’t really call this one “educational,” but bare minimum, you’re building those motor skills!
With loads of other fun and educational games geared toward the young’uns, the Nintendo DS could be your child’s next obsession! The DSi also has wi-fi capabilites and two cameras, plus a cute version of Photo Booth to make your child feel like the fanciest of photographers. Do you have a favorite game I didn’t include? Let me know in the comments! My girls will love you for it!
*NOTE* The above products are well-loved in my home and I was not compensated in any way for this review!