We have a large age range span at our house, and inevitably this causes problems when the 4-year-old wants to play video games with the 17-year-old. VTech’s V. Smile Motion Active Learning System ($60) changed that dynamic and opened up a whole new world of video game fun that I had no idea even existed.
First off, squeals of delight welcomed the pink and purple console and its wireless controller (not to worry, it also comes in primary colors for a tougher look). Within minutes, my daughter had it out of the box and with minimal help, plugged into the television, trying out Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Fix-it Adventure game ($25). Her father and I were reading the instructions to her, but she was already playing, yelling “Swiper! No swiping!” repeatedly.
For kids ages 4-7, the games are lessons in disguise: while my daughter was spending time happily bouncing the joystick from frame to frame, she was counting to 20, working through the alphabet and matching animal babies with the sounds they make. I read up on the different lessons, feeling happy that she was learning something and playing at the same time. She’s also really into the Disney Little Einsteins ($24.99) cartridge because it has all of the music and dancing that she enjoys in the show. We’re finding that the lessons are fun, integral parts of the games.
Another plus is that the cartridges are all very kid-friendly – my daughter easily slams them into and out of the system with (so far) no ill effects and has had to swipe them (Swiper! No swiping!) from her toddler brother on more than one occasion.
– Alicia, Austin mom of a blended family of six: a rough-and-tumble 1-year-old boy; a 4-year-old princess-obsessed girl; three teenaged girls and a son heading off to college in the fall, looks for quality gear that makes life easier and ups the family fun quotient
CBB Deal: Save 20% at Vtechkids.com using coupon code CBBVtech909 (expires October 1, 2009).