Video Game Console for a 3 Year Old: Leapster Versus Vtech

Updated on September 18, 2010
S.S. asks from Cheyenne, WY
6 answers

Okay, mamas...I need your help again!

My son will be turning 3 soon and he is so smart, so I was looking at getting him a fun, but educational video console for either his birthday or Christmas. There are just so many options!!! Most are listed for age 4+, but I have heard many moms who have bought Leapster or Leapster2 for their 2 1/2-3 year olds and they love them.

Personally, I am looking at the Leapster2, Leapster Explorer or the V-Motion, so what are your opinions on these video consoles for a 3 year old (or even opinions for a 4 year old). Are they pretty simple to run for them? Did they fit your child's hands easily? Is there one that is more geared for a 3 year old over the others? I am interested in getting something that he can use now, but that will grow with him as he gets older. Are there certain games that your 3 year old loved. Are there other consoles that I didn't think about that are awesome for 3 year olds?

(And please...I don't need any feedback on not allowing a 3 year old to play video games...I plan to limit his video game usage and monitor the games he plays.) Thanks for your help mamas!

EDITED TO ADD: Anyone had experience with the Mobigo yet? I like that it has a keyboard, but don't like that it doesn't have the pencil for practice writing. The only reason I ask is that it is listed starting at 3 while the Leapster's age is 4.

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answers from Killeen on

My mom just got my boys (4 and almost 3) the Leapster2 and they love them! I can't really say anything on the V-Motion (wanted to get it last year for Christmas, but never had enough money for it) or the Explorer (My mom wanted to get that one, but didn't quite have enough for 2 of them) as we have never tried them. But as for the Leapster2, they are a bit big, but they just sit on the floor or couch and play. It's pretty easy for them to use, we've only had them for about 2 weeks now and they already know how to do it themselves! They still come to me sometimes and ask for help, but they pretty much do it on their own. The come with "Creativity Castle", which is for drawing/coloring, and one game download from the website. (They have 4 starter games to choose from) For my 2yo (he'll be 3 in Dec.) I got him the shapes game and he does just fine with it! He was frustrated at first, but then again..he gets frustrated easily, but now that he's use to it he does fine. For my 4yo I got him the dragon one that teaches numbers and letters, he seems to be doing pretty good with it. I think you're son will be fine. Just get him something you think he would be interested in and that he needs to work on. (for example my 2yo needed to learn shapes and my 4yo needed to get his numbers and letters down for when he starts school)

And don't worry about all that "don't let your kid(s) play video games or watch TV" crud. I don't believe in that. I think as long as it's educational and you limit/monitor them, kids will be just fine. I mean all of us turned out just fine, and I'm pretty sure just about everyone on here watched lots of TV when they were kids. lol

Hope this helps! Good luck and have fun! :D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

My son turned 4 in June. My daughter is almost 7. We got them each the V.Smile pockets and we also have the V.Motion. My daughter is very smart & moved up to the nintendo DS when she was still 5. She outgrew the games quickly. However, my son loves his V.Smile pocket. As for the V.Motion, my kids used it maybe twice!! But, only because they prefer the Wii that we got for the family. =0)



answers from Springfield on

I've tried several of these gaming systems and I definitely recommend the Leapster. Little kids love its portability (see, they have an ipod like daddy or a Nintendo DS like big sissy) and the games are pretty widespread in terms of what kids are capable of doing. It makes cool music and sounds and the games are impressive with graphics. The educational standard is excellent and it's big-time mom and grandma approved. :)



answers from Chicago on

my kids are 6, 5, & 3, we have had our leapsters for 3 is son was 3 when he tried it & he eventually got real good....we have all the games & they seem to play with all of them still but as my 6 yr old son gets older he tends to use the games that are age appropriate.....since we monitor there game use it has been a blessing on long car rides, restaurants, or boring places like Dr offices or a friends home that doesn't have kids or kids are younger



answers from Chicago on

We got our kids the electronic books and they loved them. I think this would be an excellent choice for your son. My kids loved the LeapPad and the LeapFrog Tag. The cool part about these is that the kids got to have books read TO them and the LeapPad asks questions like "Find the...". It's a really neat way for them to play, learn and understand they can read on their own.

We didn't let our 3 & 4 yr old kids play "video games" per se. Honestly, I think even when we introduced a few games to them they had more questions than fun and troubles figuring out the controls. But that's just us. They had a few websites they liked to play on their computer, but the LeapFrog stuff was portable.

We eventually got a DS (for me for Christmas) so the kids wouldn't fight over "who's it was". We have found some games on this and it's easy for the kids to use and seems to be a good choice as it goes well into grown up level games too. So I have fun with my games and they enjoy theirs too. I recommend some of the gaming "rental" sites so you can have him try out some games before purchasing them. We've found that although we've gotten recommendations from friends, sometimes our kids just didn't like the game, didn't like how "hard" it was, etc. So by using the rental site for a brief period of time, we got to try before we buy. And that was well worth the rental everything arrived by mail.

I hope this helps you make a decision.

Mom of a 7, 5 and 1 yr old.



answers from Missoula on

We have had a few V-tech systems and have been disappointed in how the hold up. We have gone thru 2 portable ones and our son has been taught how to care for his things. We are also on our 2nd v-motion and are having issues with that too. We have never had a leapster so I can't comment on it.

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