Handheld Video Games for a 6 Year Old

Updated on September 02, 2012
A.M. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
8 answers

good morning mamas! seeing the question about the leapster got me thinking...

my son's preschool had a few (what he called) Nintendo DS's that they let the older kids play with occasionally. he LOOOOVED them. and has wanted one for awhile.

i have ZERO clue about video games.

but i KNOW that a leapster or one of the "kid" ones would not cut it for him, that stuff is for "babies" (rme). and i know i'm cheap and since i'm not "into" video games, paying over $100 dollars for a system, THEN $25-$50 per game is completely out of the question. i am looking on craigslist (and most of the "DS" on there seem to be around the same price as what i just saw advertised on amazon??? but i haven't researched a whole lot)

any other tips or ideas? i am thinking towards christmastime i will try to get him something.

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So What Happened?

thanks for the advice ladies! i totally agree with limiting use and setting clear rules. argh, it's frustrating that these things are so expensive though!

Beth, i appreciate that you seem to disagree with me on several things, but your response really has nothing to do with my question. i didn't ask you for your opinion of my child's preschool, or his education, or his choice in toys. and i don't have to defend them to you. just rest assured that i've got those parts handled ok?

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

you might also get an Ipod touch. It can download apps with games just like the Ipads. All you need is an internet connection.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

Instead of a system like a DS you may want to consider an inexpensive tablet of some kind - like a used iPad Generation 1 or used ANdroid tablet. These devices allow you to buy lots of games through the app stores for cheap ($.99-$4.99 ish) that would first let your child figure out what kinds of games he will like. That way you're not investing a lot up front. This is sap hat we did for our daughter and it worked out great. Lots of variety and it helped us figure out what she liked. Then when she was around 8 we went ahead and got her the DS as a Black Friday deal for Christmas and she has had it since.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Most 6 year olds I know wouldn't want to play Leapster. If you get a DS then he will be able to play games with his friends. There are plaenty of educational games available for the DS. I bought all of our video game systems with the reward points from my credit card. I use my credit card to pay for everything, and pay the full balance each month, then I have lots of reward points to use for Xmas gifts. There are also lots of places you can get used systems and games. My 10 year old has an Ipod Touch and we have a Blackberry Playbook, and both boys like the games on those too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I got my son a Nintendo DS Lite at Target last Christmas for $99 plus tax. We buy our games used at Game Stop. Check around your area and see if there are any gaming places that sell used systems and games. In my area, we have a private store that sells used XBox's, PS3's, and Wiis for a good price. In terms of games, my son likes anything with Mario in it. We just got a Wii not to long ago and both my sons love it. We also rent our games through Family Video, Blockbuster, and our local library has free games.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I think our Leapsters are boring and hard to play. They are not the Explorers though. I got my son a DS lite off Craiglist for around 70 dollars. He gets games as presents on his birthday or Christmas. We have also gotten games off Craiglist and at rummage sales.

Ipads and Ipod touches are fun but much pricier. Love that there are many free games to download. Hate that they try and get you to buy more within the games.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My 6yr old has a Kindle Fire tablet and she loves it. It's so much nicer than her DS because she can play with a game for awhile and when she's bored with it, move on to the next one. Apps are so cheap, if not free!! She can also then stream netflix on it, which she loves to do.

Her DS sits, never being played. IF she plays it, it's because she has a new game (which she sometimes gets as gifts) or because someone else is playing theirs.

The Fire is pretty reasonable too. It's $199 at Best Buy, but you can also get open returned ones (which are inspected by the geek squad) for $20 off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son plays with the family Ipad - I've downloaded a mix of educational and just plain "fun" games on it. If you can balance that with the hand held, go for it.

BUT-all I can say is create rules about HOW LONG the child can play them at a time. There was a child at my son's daycare that had one attached to his hand ALL THE TIME. The few times my son had playdates with the boy, there were times where the kid just wouldn't put it down. So decide on the game ettiquite for your kiddo cause those games are addictive. You DON'T want a kid that would rather play games than go to the park.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

a 6 yr old is NOT to old for a leapster or leap pad. My almost 8 yr old has access to a DS and leapster and plays the leapster explorer more often.
They are at least educational.
DS does have a few educational games for that age but they are few.
Check the nintendo site to look at games and just see if those are what you want him playing.
I'd be a bit upset if my kid's preschool was letting kids play a DS during school time.

1 mom found this helpful
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