Educational Video Games for Kids
Let’s not do the ‘should little kids be playing video games’ debate.
There’s plenty of times when plugging my kids into their Leapsters has been absolutely necessary as far as I’m concerned.
So you can relax and read this guide, safe in the knowledge that I’m not going to flame your parenting skills over a few minutes screen time.
What to consider when making your choice
Before you start looking at the options available, take a few minutes to think about what you want out of this new toy.
How much do you want to spend? Besides the cost of the initial hardware, you need to consider add-ons such as adapter plugs / battery re-chargers, protective cases, and the ongoing cost of games / apps to keep your child interested in the device.
How does your child fit in with the intended age and development range for the toy? If they will be outgrowing it very soon, can you upgrade to a more challenging model? But don’t buy a toy that’s beyond their capability or they will become frustrated and refuse to play with it.
Do you just need a toy for playing games on, or would a device that plays DVDs be useful? What about Internet access?
Available in green or pink. Touch screen tablet-style gamer, with built in photo and video camera. Compatible with cartidges (£20 each), and downloadable apps (£5 from Leapfrog’s store). Adapter available to buy separately.
Very similar to the LeapPad2 in design and functionality. Robust, touch screen tablet device, for educational games and apps.
Smaller screen than the LeapPad2 but runs the same games, and slimmer, lighter design may be more comfortable for little hands.
Can be used as a touch screen handheld gamer, or slide out the QWERTY keyboard to use as a mini laptop.
What to do next
If these toys seem a little young for your child, consider buying a cheap Android tablet computer to download apps onto instead. Take a look at this guide to buying a cheap tablet for more information.
Or go to Amazon’s educational kids computers section where you can see which toys are the most popular, and read dozens of customer reviews to help you choose the best gamer for your child.