Electronic Games/activities for 3 Year Old

Updated on November 12, 2009
C.R. asks from Plain City, OH
12 answers

My son will be 3 in January so I am trying to come up with good Christmas and birthday ideas. He does not currently have any type of electronic portable game/activity board (leapfrog, leapster, etc.). I would like something that is eductional and fun and not like a video game. I don't even know what my options are and the pros and cons of each. Any information (good or bad) would be helpful.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses. Thinking that my son may not be ready yet and to delay the "video game look", we decided to wait another year on the V Smile or the Leapster. We ended up getting the Leap Frog Leap Pad with a couple books and the Leap Frog Scribble and Write. I think these will be more age appropriate and I want to really work on his alphabet, etc. I don't know much about the Leap Pad so any comments regarding this would also be appreciated - I can always return it if it was not a good decision! Thanks again.

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answers from Cleveland on

Hello C.,

I will sound like an old grouch, but am I the only one who thinks 3 is too young for this sort of thing?

I'd go with non-electronic toys--blocks, boxes, legos, lincoln logs, toy xylophone, stuffed animals, cars, brio train set, books, trike or bike, wagon....

Plenty of time for electronic stuff later.

For what it's worth...

K. Z.

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answers from Indianapolis on

We have a bunch of leapster stuff. There's the one with the "ABC's magnets" where you put it in the little console, and it'll sing a song, "The A says A, The A says A....every letter makes a sound, the A says A". and you can interchange the letters. It's great for the fridge.

We also got the DVD "The Letter Factory". Our now 3 year old has been able to identify all the letters and the sounds they make for about the last year because of that video and the other game. (we play with her too - writing the letters on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.)

For what it's worth...



answers from Dayton on

When my older boys were younger we got the V-smile console. My 3 year old loves it and to play on the computer. This year we are getting hi the V-smile handheld which he loved when we saw it at the store. I chose this one because it works with the cartridges that we already have. these games help with matching, counting and spelling and go until a recommended 8 years of age and each cartridge shows the concepts that the game will help work on.

Good luck!
L. - mom of 4 boys 10, 8, 3 and 2



answers from Terre Haute on

We got my daughter a leapster. It was wonderful. very durable. I bought her the educational games (kind of like videos) but taught her math, reading, spelling, sounds etc.
Very educational if you buy the educational games and really fun too. I enjoyed playing a math version of frogger as much as she did and it had various levels as she "outgrew" the lower levels.



answers from Muncie on

Around this age, we started using a "Leappad" - there is a version for younger children. Our twins are 10 now, so there may be something newer. :)



answers from Cleveland on

Leapfrog recently came out with two toys - Text & Learn and Scribble & Write. They are both under $20 with all of the christmas sales going on (toys r us $16.99) and I just can't figure out which one to buy (but since i have twins maybe i'll buy one of each). I've read good reviews online and in parents magazines. Both are for learning #'s and letters and also how to write them.



answers from Cleveland on

I've also heard good things about the Leap Frog, text and learn and scribble and write.



answers from Cincinnati on

I loved the first leap pad computer which can be used anywhere.It comes with little activity books and you change the disk-like piece.

I also sell many great books for girls and boys Birth-Teens. We have books that come with cd's, books with flaps, activity, nature , different reading leveled books, holiday things. Just a wide variety.

Here is my website: ubah.com/T2267

You may order straight off my website. Books come within a weeks time.

J. R.
Usborne books and more
Educational Consultant



answers from Columbus on

My kids all love the "Pixter" which is a creative drawing, stamping,creating type device. It is a really cool toy and doesn't really reach video game status in my mind since it based on only creativity and no games. It is hours of fun though!



answers from Bloomington on

I'm not sure if this would be too much like a video game, but my parents got our son a Leap Frog "My First Computer" keyboard/game system for Christmas last year. He wasn't ready to play with it until some time a few months ago (around the time he turned 3 years old). What's great is it just plugs into the AV jacks of most TVs, so it doesn't need its own monitor. Also, its very portable because its just a keyboard and game "console". We haven't bought any new games for it yet, because it comes with really great pre-loaded games that deal with learning letters and numbers. Also, he's learning to use a mouse and keyboard. The only issue I have for it right now is it doesn't seem to have an "off" switch for the keyboard, so I've had to change the batteries in it often. I'm thinking about buying him some new games for it for this Christmas.



answers from Toledo on

Hello C.. When my youngest turned three over the summer we got her the V-Smile (we had games) and she loves it, but she calls it her DS lol I wanted one for her to play with in the car since her older sisters have DSs. My almost seven year old likes to play with the V-smile also. And you can buy games up to age 8 or 10. I like that it only takes four AA batteries and we bought re-chargable ones.
Best of luck



answers from Mansfield on

This is not portable but the fisher-price cool school is AMAZING! My dad got it for my youngest daughters 3rd birthday and she loves it! She plays on "her computer" as often as I will allow her. She asks almost every day. And plays for a long time when she is on there. It is educational and lots of fun. My 6 year old daughter also likes it alot although she doesn't need it for the learning. It has softwear that has different characters Dora, Scooby, SpongeBob, Clifford, Sesame Street, with different games and activitied but the GREAT thing about it is once you load it on the computer they can switch between games and characters whenever they want... you do not have to change games for them like other computer games or even VSmile or Leapster. They learn how to write letters and numbers even shapes by tracing the cards and it shows up on the screen. Letter sounds, counting, all other "preschool learning skills" and in the scooby game they look for "clues" switch is just what is different about this picture and then they use those clues to pick who the monster is, like a lollipop means he has a tongue, hand print with 3 fingers, etc. so they become observant and have to think scientifically using problem solving skills. They make pictures in the art studio it is great! Allows them to "paint" without getting the supplies out and cleaning up all the time! I really love this product and think it is the best out there... I always recommend it and wish it had been out when my oldest was little.
Also the V Tech Vsmile or Vmotion is great too. It will for sure grow with him (some games are for up to 8 years old) but unless you get the V pocket it is not portable.
I don't know anything about the leapster products sorry.
The V Tech Whiz kid learning board is fun and educational too but the downside to that is that there are lots a pages to keep track of so I don't let her play with this one as much.
Sorry this is a long answer but hope it helps!

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