Video Games: Fun Nintendo Wii and DS Games for Young Girls
I've got two children—my son is turning 8 and my daughter, 6. Like most boys, my son became enthralled with video games at about age 4. He quickly set aside his Leapster for the more exciting action and characters found in Wii and Nintendo DS games.
When we purchased our first Wii three years ago, I was intent on making it as much of an entertainment system for my daughter as for my son. I was disappointed that first year to discover that outside of some very basic preschool games, there wasn't much to offer young girls in the video game space.
Girls are still the ugly stepsisters when it comes to video gaming, but it's getting better.
Last Christmas, when Santa brought my daughter a Nintendo DS, I was delighted to find that there were many more choices available for her to play. For both the Wii and Nintendo DS systems, there are certain games in particular that she keeps returning to again and again. If you have a young girl in the 5 to 8 year-old range, these are fun choices to get started with gaming.
I should mention that I don't obsess too heavily over our video games being educational. With full-day kindergarten and homework and reading nearly every night, she rarely plays video games. So when she does, I don't mind the focus being on fun.
This game has cheesy graphics, voice animation with a horrible command of English, and confusing instructions, but once you get past all of that, you've got a game that girls (and boys! and moms!) will love. Flip burgers, chop vegetables, and cook stuff in the oven to earn medals and unlock new recipes.
This series is great to get girls up and moving—perfect for a slumber party, too! Watch the song choices on some of the games—you need to watch for appropriate language. My kids beat this former drill-team member every time.
With several games in the series, there is plenty for girls to love. Mini-games combine with adopting, dressing, and exercising pets, and it's all done with adorable graphics and music. Note: LPS games have a LOT of reading, especially on the Wii console. This can get frustrating for pre-readers.
Mario's not just for boys. This Olympic-themed Mario game is fun for the whole family. This game has a dizzying array of characters and sports to pick from. The ice skating is one of the easiest games for 5 year-old gamers to play without assistance. Curling? Way complicated, but still a hoot. This game is well worth the $50 investment.
Similar to LPS, Zhu Zhu Pets games offer minigame action and the lovable and uber-popular Zhu Zhu Pets. My daughter far prefers LPS over Zhu Zhu when it comes to gaming, but there's still plenty of entertainment here.
My daughter plays her Petz Fantasy Moonlight Magic game over and over again. The graphics and pets are rich and engaging, and she loves that each pet has its own favorite items that increases its happiness.
Equally popular with boys and girls, this simple yet incredibly challenging game has users throwing a variety of objects at differently-configured structures of blocks. Gamers try to knock all the blocks down with no more than the maximum number of throws. This will stump you, too.
This "video board game" format, with virtual dice, scads of mini-games and rewards, appeals to girls and boys alike, and there's plenty of appearances by Princess Peach and Daisy. If my daughter wants to hang like a boy gamer, this is the top choice.
There are so many choices out there when it comes to video games. What do your young daughters like to play?
Gigi Ross is a mom of 2 from Austin, Texas who keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom, where she shares her sometimes snappish, sometimes neurotic take on parenting and blogging. Gigi is a freelance writer and social media consultant. She is the business columnist for ShePosts and the Managing Editor of Business 2 Blogger. Her work has been syndicated by Mamapedia, Babble.com, and BlogHer. Connect with Gigi on Twitter at @akludgymom.