My husband and I agree on most of the major parenting issues, but we have drastically different opinions regarding video games. As an avid gamer, he sees no problem with our son playing on the Xbox 360, Wii, or Nintendo DS. I, on the other hand, am not a fan of most of the titles available.
Since our son is only in second grade, I would prefer that he stay blissfully ignorant regarding the joys of Grand Theft Auto.
If you’re fighting a similar video game battle in your house, I suggest compromising and picking up a copy of Smart Games for Kids for the Nintendo DS. This combines two titles from Scholastic: My Amusement Park and Digging for Dinosaurs.
These educational games are designed for children ages five to eight. In My Amusement Park, your child gets to build a park, fix the rides, and earn money from the visitors. In Digging for Dinosaurs, you pretend to dig for dinosaur fossils as you learn various dinosaur facts.
Although the games don’t have the fancy graphics you’d find in titles geared for teenagers or adult gamers, they are colorful enough to hold your child’s attention during long car trips or a wait at the doctor’s office.
Of the two titles, my son likes the Digging for Dinosaurs game the best. I think the dinosaur game might be better suited for children ages seven to eight, while My Amusement Park seems better for kids in the five to six year old range.
With a retail price of just $19.99, Smart Games for Kids is a great bargain. I have seen the Digging for Dinosaurs game sold separately for the same price.
Photo credit: Nintendo