25 answers

6Yo Girl Birthday Present...

My husband and I have been going back and forth on what to get our 6yo for her birthday. I would like to get her a Nintendo DS, he thinks she is still a little to young for that and won't appreciate it for what it is worth. He thinks that may be a better Christmas present either this yr or next. He thinks we should look into the V.Tech Smil Pocket Plus (which she does already have some games for, since she did have the VTech gaming system, that broke this past yr & she did like very much). Or he thinks we should look into the Leapster 2, so then we could see if she would be old enough to take care of the DS and it's games. Plus, either one of the younger hand held systems can be handed down to her sister, who will be 2 this month also. My whole thing is she has played the DS multiple times at her Dads (where she has an older step sister who has a DS), and has been asking for the DS specifically. Plus, I have talked to a couple mothers of other kids in Kindergarten who have gotten there sons the DS and say that their sons just love it.
I am just wondering if anyone else has any opinions on this subject...from an outside perspective!
Thank You.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone that replied with so many wonder options. But, we did decide to go w/the Leapster 2 right now...since eventually we will be able to hand it down to her little sister when she wants to upgrade to a DS. We decided that we will see how she does take care of her Leapster then think about the DS for Christmas. I did finally just ask my daughter what she would rather have, since she has played both and she did say at this time she thinks she would like the Leapster 2 maybe a little more and the DS she would probably like to get for Christmas, she too thought eventually she could give her sister the Leapster 2 when she was finished w/it. (-She is a very nice/thoughtful little girl.) Also, my husband and I decided to get a Wii as a family gift, so we will be able to see how she does on those games before we spend the extra money on the DS. Once again, Thank you to everyone, you guys were really helpful!! :)

Featured Answers

Get the DS, there are many age appropriate games and learning games too. My 5,6,&7 year old all have done fine taking care of it. There is a strap to go around their wrist so they dont drop it. My advice is go for it!
Mrs. B

I have a 5 yr old and he ADORES the DS. I dont think she is too young, however, has she been exposed to much video gameing? if not, she may be have a little bit of trouble at first.
Hope this helps

short and sweet - i would get the DS - my 4 year old loves it - there are games that fit their ages.

More Answers

I think she probably is old enough for it, but I think your DH's idea is good. if she already has games that aren't being used right now, I would get her that system for now, and then you have a complete package to pass on to younger sibling. Especially since you have someone to pass it on to and it wouldn't be a waste, then she can get the DS at Christmas, or next bday. Then she gets two exciting presents.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with NONE OF THE ABOVE.......

30 years ago they didn't have any Nintendo games. Now that's all I ever see kids do. My husbands 2 nephews are completely obessed with theirs. So, the rule in our house is NO GAMING SYSTEMS at all.

Board games are so much more fun because the whole family can play! And if the younger one can't play there are still ways to include her. She can still role the dice or help count and move pieces etc.

If you do chose to buy her some kind of system, I would set rules up front about how often it can be played..... Everything I read says kids are NOT getting enough physical exercise in a day and these sort of games are contributing to that.

1 mom found this helpful

I am also going to say "none of the above". Why not buy her something that doesn't require batteries or an electrical current.

Video games are not evil in and of themselves, but FWIW I personally think they are for older children. Your daughter is learning habits she will carry with her throughout the rest of her life.

When and if you do decide to buy a video game system, before you even open the box, decide how and when the children will be allowed to play it, both during the week and on weekends. How will it fit in with their other "screen time" (t.v.s, computers)? Also decide if you will use it as an incentive/reward system (more time if they're well behaved, less time if they've been misbehaving).

I've also heard some wonderful advice here on Mamasource on this very topic. One family had a rule that for every hour spent either outside or doing something like reading, they would earn 30 minutes of video game time.

1 mom found this helpful

F., this maybe different than what you were looking for... but we have a 5 & 7 year old and they both LOVE the Leapster from Leapfrog. It is a handheld "video game" with learning games. The games are fun. It's portable and great for alone time in the car or whenever. www.LeapFrog.com or in Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, etc.

My sis-in-law got our 5 yr old son a Leapster for his birthday in November simply because WE thought he wasn't ready for the responsibility and technology of a DS. We were wrong. He does like his Leapster, BUT he by far prefers to play his older brother's DS. So I'm sure we'll need to upgrade him to a DS some time in the future =)

While your husband has some valid points, if your daughter is asking for the DS then she will be disappointed in not getting one. If you can afford it, which sounds like you can, I would go with the DS mostly because it is what she wants and common sense arguments to a 6 year old isn't going to make sense to her.

short and sweet - i would get the DS - my 4 year old loves it - there are games that fit their ages.

My husband and i broke down and bought a DS for our 4 yeart old this past x-mas. He asked specifically for it ofr 5 months. He has a leapster, not a 2, but an original that just wasn't what he wanted. He still plays with the leapster and shares that with his 2 year old brother. I know that my son would not have been happy with any other substitute once he knew about the DS. If you do decide to get one, make sure you buy a protection plan and try and find a case that both protects the DS and that they can play through the case. You do not want to have to deal with a child that has just got their dream of a DS only to have it fall of a counter and break a month later. Good luck.

We got our son a leapster when he was about that age and he enjoyed it but always wanted a ds, so at Christmas that year we bought him a ds and he never touched the leapster again. We would have been better off buying the ds. He plays and in the games there are parts you can't complete without reading the instructions so he would sit and sound out words so he could play the game. Yes the leapster is more educational as far as working on math and stuff but once you give a kid a ds there is no turning back. Plus you can get a warranty at toysrus that is for a year that pretty much no matter what happens to the electronic they will replace it. I guess what I'm saying is if you are planning on buying both save yourself the money and skip a step, don't buy the leapster and put the extra cash toward a warrenty for the ds and extra stylus - the pens, oh and headphones (the music for the games is annoying after a while). I wish we would have.

From a mom who has a 6 year old girl, here is my opinion. If your daughter has had the vtech for awhile, she has probably mastered it. I think it's a wonderful system for the younger set, but in our experience of, the games designed for children over 6 are few and far between. The Leapster is a great little unit, but I really think younger kids like it too alot more than 6 and over. We decided instead of spending almost as much as we would on a ds for one of the other units that ours would outgrow sooner than later, we would get the ds and know that the games will grow with her as far as we want them to. I certainly understand your husbands hesitancy, there is a very small stylus to keep track of, but those are easily replaced and it comes with two! The best thing in my opinion, is that there are ALOT of games out there that are really geared toward learning/responsibility. There is a bonus to the DS in that it can be a music player too. If your daughter is anything like mine, she will be asking for that next, and you can download and listen to music through the included headphones.

In response to those who completely ban video systems of any kind, the key is moderation and responsible parenting. I don't think any mother here would approve of buying a gaming system to use as a babysitter, but there are pros to them too. In our family, they are invaluable in situations like long car rides, hospital waiting room stays, etc.

In our home, we LOVE to play board games AND we have gaming systems. It is possible to have a healthy family dynamic with both. You just need to be consistent with your boundries. Good luck.

My personal opinion is none of the above, as we have done just fine without any electronic gaming systems and our daughter doesn't seem to even realize that she's "missing" anything. Kids are so sedentary these days without encouraging more indoor activities that require little to no creativity. With that said (again, it's just my "2 cents") I'd go with whatever she can "grow into" and is most cost-effective in the long run.

I say go for the DS. We have a bunch of the smaller gaming systems and they are barely used. We got our son a DS for Christmas this year--he is 8. My 4 year old even plays with it. The game selection is so much better than any of the other game systems. Also the other systems are so age specific. I even like playing some of the DS games.
I got ours at Toys R Us and did the 2 year warranty with it. I wasnt sure how ours was going to be treated, so I went ahead with the extended warranty. (Ours did get dropped on the cement last week though and nothing happened.)

We got our 7 yr old daughter and 5 yr old son each a Nintendo DS for Christmas, they have had a great time with them and we probably would not hve had to get them anything else:) We got our daughter the horse game, club penguin and a ballet game. For our son, lego star wars, mario race and spiderman. The games are usually under 20.00 so not bad. We bought them each a case to store there DS and games in and the charger, headphones and styluses(you get extra). We told them that its their responsibility to put the stylus back into the DS , and put everything in the case after they are done playing. If we see it not put away they lose the priveledge of playing it for the day. You did not say how old her step sister is but my kids have fun writing and sending pictures they draw and messages back and forth to each other. My husband was initially against getting them but now sees that it can be helpful for them to play in the car on long trips or times when quiet waiting is necessary. Hope this helps:)

Get the DS, there are many age appropriate games and learning games too. My 5,6,&7 year old all have done fine taking care of it. There is a strap to go around their wrist so they dont drop it. My advice is go for it!
Mrs. B

I have a 5 yr old and he ADORES the DS. I dont think she is too young, however, has she been exposed to much video gameing? if not, she may be have a little bit of trouble at first.
Hope this helps

I would say go with the DS. You can buy the Nerf "protective armour" for it to protect it from being dropped (that's what we did). There ARE educational games for it, too. Brain Age is great for working the mind (for adults, too!). And most of the games are the same cost as Leapster. I think in the long run it is a much better investment.

We love our Leapsters, but the only other thing our kids have is a Wii and we love that, too.

Good luck,

I would say invest in the DS. We got our seven year old one for Christmas and she loves it. We thought our four year old was too young so we got him the V-Tech. They will both play the V-tech, but not a lot. My four year old loves his sister DS and it is a constant battle between the two for who gets to use it. He is better at Mario Brothers than me!!! My four year old does a good job of being careful of it.

If you do go with the DS look at Circuit City if you have one near you. They are on sale since the store is closing.

I am going to add a litte more after reading some of the other comments. I am all for educational toys. My daughter had the leapster and now we have the V-Tech. Neither has held their interst as much as the DS. If your daughter has already had a taste of the DS she is not going to be sastified with either the Leapster or V-Tech. I think you would be wasting your money and will be buying her one for Chistmas.

Some of have talked about a concern for children's growth. I can say my children are still very active. DS is used only at night, in lieu of their television time or long car rides. You are the parent and can control the amount of time and the games available.

The Leapser for sure has more educational games and the DS is more entertaining. We are a gaming family and have DS's for 4 of the 5 of us (the only one who doesn't have is own is the 2 year old.) The 2 year old does play some games on there - Monkey Ball, WarioWare, MarioKart, Nintendogs, etc. He tends to lose the stylus, but he is pretty careful with the DS itself. I believe the DS has a longer lifespan with kids as you can continue to get new games that progress as they do (even once they get to be an adult - if it lasts that long.)

I understand how this can be a dilemma. I have an 8 yr old who is showing interest in a DS now also (we're telling him he has enough eletronic toys right now). I have always been one for educational toys. When he was much younger, he wanted a game boy and we bought the leapster. They have great games that help teach/enforce letters, numbers, etc... He loved it and played with it a lot. Last year when he was in first grade, we got a PS2 (he wanted a the Wii... more expensive)... and he hasn't touched his leapster since.

Now that my daughter is getting older, she is now showing interest in his leapster, so we can get some more use out of it. I think that since you also have a younger one, the leapster2 would be a good route to go. Then, down the road, when your daughter gets something else... your younger daughter can have the leapster2 handed down to her.

It seems our kids grow up faster than we mothers want :( I just don't care for all the junk that's available to them. What's wrong with playing games that are fun for them, yet educational too?

Good luck with your decision,

Personally, I wouldn't buy any gaming device for a 6 year old. Between TVs and computers that's enough screen time for me.

As my bias, I have 2 year olds, so I don't know what it's like personally with a 6 year old.

I side with your husband on this one.

I think she would love it, they have a lot of games that a 6-year-old can play. My daughter has a game where she takes care of puppies, Nintendogs. Plus, it can be a way of teaching her to be responsible and take care of things. I also like the fact that if my daughter is not being good, I can take it away from her for a while.

My daugther is 6 and a half and she got her DS for Christmas when she was 5 and a half. she loves it. we both play it. there are SO many games out there - simple doll and animal games, some learning games, some taking care of animals - teaching responsibility kind of, some just fun, but so many. she doesn't play on it for hours and hours - i'd never let that happen - but it's been a great toy. it is pricey, but since we both play it and have been for over a year now, i'm very happy with it.

Hi, F.. I would personally wait as long as possible with the Nintendo. Leapsters are fantastic and educational and they come with all sorts of games that will help her learn. The only thing I have seen Nintendos do is stunt social growth in young people. We broke down and bought leapsters and have limits as to how much the kids can use them (only on weekends, etc). I would definitely wait and try the Leapster first!

Hi - I agree with your husband on this one. While Nintendo is fun, so is the Leapster he is proposing you buy her. I would reserve such things as DS until she is at least 9 or 10 since the early years are the formative ones, where children develop habits and values that will last a lifetime. Better for her to become interested in educational toys at such an age...Sorry not to agree with you, mom, but H. it helps :-)

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