In the past, she has seen kids play hand-held video games that she loves to watch. She's discovered the Nintendo DS about two years ago. As interested as she's been when other kids have played theirs, she had surprisingly never asked for one of her own. Until just before the holidays a couple of months ago. When I mentioned this to my husband, he said, "Did you tell her no?" We've been hesitant about getting her this since we didn't want her mindlessly zoning out on video games that she would tantrum about when she had to put the game down. It just seemed like a bad idea!
When her birthday was approaching, we were really didn't know what to get her. We wanted to get her the latest Leapster, the Leapster Explorer. The ratings on it didn't seem that great, and she really seemed to be getting too old for the Leapster, particularly considering how advanced her reading level is. So, we searched for other educational systems, even considering getting her an iPod Touch, which just seemed like a bad idea.
I looked into the latest version of Nintendo's DS, the DSi. It was very highly reviewed, and I was surprised to find out it had many educational games available! One current drawback was that it had Wifi and was internet accessible. We just weren't ready to have our daughter surfing the web on her own. At home, we really restrict the websites she could visit. This problem was easily solved by putting a security code in to lock up the internet browser.
As we were contemplating taking this leap, my husband kept asking, "Should we do this? Are we making a huge mistake?" He asked this repeatedly (that's his nature. He tends to worry a little). We eventually decided to go for it with the internet restricted and with limiting her playing time on it to an hour a day, on days that she has the time to fit it in. Ironically, after my husband bought it and tested it out a bit, he asked me pointedly, "Why did you wait so long to tell me about this? This is great!" Gee, I thought we both were against it! LOL
My daughter does like her DSi, although it frustrates her a bit. I think it will take her some time to get used to it. She already warned her crush at school that they won't be able to chat with each other on their DSis since her internet was disabled! Whew, I could just see her sending him love notes!
I wonder how long we'll be able to keep her internet access disabled!