Too Young for Wii? Also: Wii Vs. Kinect

Updated on February 10, 2013
B.W. asks from Seattle, WA
15 answers

So my 3 year old girl (almost 4) was at her cousin's and played a dancing game on the Wii. She LOVED it and is now asking for it for her birthday. Part of me thinks she is too young, but the Wii does seem fun. My 5 year old twin boys loved it too. The boys already have handheld Leapsters and they like to play iPhone games too. We do limit screen time in our house. I thought we would hold of on getting a console also seems like it might be good for exercise and coordination too. (Yes, we go outside but we live in Seattle so opportunities for indoor exercise are always needed.) Anyway, my other question is which is better: the Wii or the Kinect? I know the Wii is a lot cheaper.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the replies! THey both sound like they have their pluses and minuses. Not sure yet-maybe we will take a field trip and try them out!

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

Kinect-we never use Wii anymore. Esp since you have boys. XBOX is much better for the games they like with graphic like all of the LEGO and sports games which soon they will want to play if they don't already.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

She's not old enough for the Wii. YouTube has a bunch of Just Dance Kids videos, play those for her and she won't know the difference.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The Kinect is awesome.
We traded our Wii in for Xbox & never looked back.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on


Up here in perpetual rain land... Almost everyone I know with kids has either started out with, or traded for a kinnect. Its just a MUCH better system. ESP for keeping kids active during our 10 months of inside play

(Children's Hosp uses Wii for their bed bound patients. Kids usually full body play only in the beginning, and then quickly figure out that it only needs wrist movements. Hence why the hospitals use it).

Not just for the kids but also Pilates, Dance, Yoga, etc. for grownups. It uses your entire body, and corrects your form.

As far as expense?

The Kinnect is a 1 time fee.

The Wii has 1001 controllers, mats, boards, etc that have to be bought (not for every game, but most games require buying equipment) so its this perpetual thunking down of cash. My sister finally chucked her wii after spending over a grand in boards, mats, & special controllers. By 'chucked' I mean sold off and bought a used kinnect. I don't know how many times Ive heard this same story. Wiis are soooooo expensive in the long run.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Kinect is so much fun. You are are controller. My youngest was four when we got it for Christmas one year. She loves the kinectamils and Bolt games. My older daughter loves the Harry Potter game. My son likes the Halo, Zelda, etc. I like my workout games. Also, we have other games we can play as a family. I have played with the wii and the kinect and much prefer kinect. Tons of games selection for older and younger children. I love our kinect.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

your 5 year olds will get more out of it than your 3 year old at this point -maybe a joint christmas present? i'd hate for the 3 year old to "get it" for her birthday then it be an issue for her brothers.

but in general, yes, out of all video games, i'd recommend the Wii over any others. limiting screen time is optimal of course, but if they are going to use one, it's the best, imo. i haven't used the Kinect so i can't answer to that, but the physicality of the Wii is what hooked me. i think the kinect is similar?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

The Wii is a better system for the little kids. My boys were 3 and 6 when they got the Wii. They got the Kinect when they were 7 and 10 and don't play the Wii anymore, but I use it for Netflix.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think you've got some good answers. If it were me, because the Wii is such a big-ticket item, think about holding off until a group holiday or as a family gift, not as 'hers'. (Kids have challenges with 'whose' property is whose, as it is.) Certainly fine for a family, but not as an individual gift or there *will* be conflict over who wants to play what, etc.

Be sure to include the Wii in your allowance of screen time, not separate. (As in, one hour of screen time TOTAL per day, not one hour watching and one hour wii.) Then, if they don't choose to exercise but to use their time sitting and watching, bundle them up and send them outside.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

we got the wii, and the only thing we ever use it for is to get netflix in our workout room. what a waste.
my boys LOVE kinect (they're grown up but still love it!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

We have had a Wii pretty much since they came out, so my children have grown up with it. She's not too young, especially since she will soon be four. Your boys will soon outgrow the Leapsters (trust 2 year old LOVES her sisters hand-me-down Leapster but my older child abandoned it when she was 6.)

I can't answer to the Kinect, but I am a lifelong loyal Nintendo player, so even if I could, I'd still probably say the Wii. I use it for Netflix and Youtube as well.

And I imagine all the people who say "Don't get a Wii" just don't like certain kinds of games. We LOVE Mario and Zelda, Spectrobes, and a ton of other games that are available for the Wii. I also like the downloadable games available, and earning free games through my Club Nintendo account.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

if you limit screen time, then perhaps you should wait. Owning one will only increase the amount of screen time. :)

Sign her up for a class at your local Y (or other outlet) so she can combine exercise + activity + socialization!

We have both the Kinect & Playstation's Move. Wii seems to be more geared to younger kids + more selections. But I still vote for waiting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My 3 year old can play the Xbox and the Wii but he has a hard time with the Kinect. The Kinect is great, but it requires a bit of patience and preciseness that most 3 year old lack.

I say go for the Wii you can move to a more advanced machine in a couple of years when they are older.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

They have WII's at the Y and our kids love to check out the hand held devices and play game after game. So I think if you get the right kind of games they will love playing it for years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You're responses are all over the place, lol. It really does depend o your family dynamics. We had a wii when our kids were 1-6 and loved it. The kids did figure out that you could sit on the couch and play it, but it was always a family activity-so we stopped that right away. We even used it to play bowling when we had friends over and the kids were in bed. We had the balance board and rechargeable remotes that stayed in a dock. I have pics of tge one year old playing Mariocart in her diaper (she was so proud that she could do it).
We bought the Xbox the Christmas b4 last. We only have one tv in the house and our living room is too small to play two player without moving the couch. The kids get frustrated very easy when the Kinect has them repeat movements because it can't see them (especially our 4year old-cookie monster tells her to raise her hands about five times before the kinect sees her). The kids played it during screen time for a few months and then lost the remote (used they are $40-I payed that for 4 rechargeable wii remotes) . It hasn't been plugged in for ai least 10 months.
Even I miss the wii-it was fun for family screen time. 4 is definitely old enough. I wouldn't buy it for her birthday-we don't go that high for bDays. Perhaps you can find a refurbished console for the fam and buy her a game for her bday? Watch those dance games-some have songs that I don't let them listen to!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Peoria on

We have Wii, and we like it. The games are more younger kid oriented. Word of wisedom though, and all my friends with boys agree, your two boys will LOVE it and it will become a battle. Every boy I know (with one exception) LOVES video games over just about anything and it takes a lot of dedication from mom and dad to limit it.

In fact, we just disconnected and stored away our Wii for a while because it was too distracting for my 4 yo son. He was asking all day when it was time to play video games. Now, it's out of sight - out of mind and he's playing other things :)

1 mom found this helpful
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