When are kids old enough for video games?

Do you let them play as soon as their hands fit around the controller, or do you have concerns that delay video game playing in your household? What's your rule, moms?

18  Answers

2 5

Everything in moderation (and when they are ready for it). Games and education is what I do for a living and my 3 year old daughter has been playing games since she was 18 months old. It improves hand eye coordination (and fine motor skills if they use a DS with a stylus). She plays age appropriate games (Elmo's ABC for the DS, Once Upon a Monster for the Kinect, etc, but she is still only allowed 1 hour of screen time a day at the most. This includes games and PBS.

That being said, they can get much of the same thing from other types of play (like ball sports), but I don't think that there is any reason to keep them away from age appropriate games. I also don't think that higher priced "educational" systems are necessary when games for the DS and iPod/iPad/iPhone are cheaper (especially if you already have the hardware at home.

Check out these blog posts:
http://www.nymgamer.com/?p=76
http://www.nymgamer.com/?p=341

5
8 6

I think they're harmful and I can't stand seeing kids plugged into their ds etc. My son will not have his own computer games until he's old enough to purchase them himself. He plays with toys, uses his imagination and looks at books. Much healthier. I'll probably have to let him use my laptop when he goes to school but until then I plan to let him play as I did when I was a kid.

5
13 8

Thats right,i totally agree with you,i didnt have these things as a kid either,would rather have my son reading books and using his imagination;)

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8 12

my son is 3 yrs old and my husband and I let him play the XBox 360 but he plays 3yr old games ABC's and colors and sounds. I think its good for his eyes and hands.

4
1 45

I let my 7yo and 5yo play interactive Education games only..It improves their maths, reading and problem solving.. :). I also time them 1 hour max...

4
8 23

I dont have a problem with my 7 yr old son playing his DS, and my tablet, but the good thing is still loves to play outside and his toys, ever so often he will play games on his ds or wii etc... I dont care if he plays video games, certain games are good for him great for hand And eye cordation, he even plays on my phone like angry birds etc..., he's in 1st grade and they have him on tablets and computer and lap tops and neonets, some of out there cant keep your kids from playing games, the schools are letting our kids play and when they have play dates they play at other kids houses! I hope this helpful in some way!!

4
235 30

I think as long as the games are age appropriate and the time is limited to no more than 30 minutes daily it's fine.

3
87 12

My kids play games as soon as they can pay attention and hit the keyboard (around 1 year) like Kneebouncers.com, then they get online education games and Leapster games, and my daughter's 4 and plays Animal Crossing and a hunting game with my husband (which I only allow because she has real compassion and wouldn't shoot an animal and understands gun safety IE DON'T TOUCH). I think the biggest concern is Moderation especially if your child isn't getting anything educational out of it. I plan on putting games on an iPad for them when I get one.

3
9 29

I don't think it's necessary for kids to have X-box and Nintendo etc. I choose to buy Leapster for my son and he also has his own account on the computer where he can access Nick Jr. games on the internet. Alex is 7 years old.

3
31 9

I let my daughter play age appropriate games as soon as she could understand the rules. She is allowed to play on our desktop, has her own desktop screen with parental controls on and a time limit. If she has not logged out of her screen before the time is up, it will log her out. As a gamer mom though I have no problem with letting her play video games, so long as she understands how to play.

3
2 14

My children each have a nintendo wii game, they are 6 and 3. but i found that they weren't quite ready to play them. they each have a computer game that is educational. it depends on the game, and how ready parents think their children are for them.

2
22 29

My 5yo is the most uncoordinated kid you will ever meet. I had him in karate for about 9 months, dance class, gymnastics, you name it. He got a Wii for his 5th birthday and it's helping him tremendously.

1
0 1

I don't limit the time they spend on their vid games as they soon get sick of it after a half hour, turn it off on their own and go outside to run/play for the afternoon (8 and 9 yr olds). No fighting, no hassles. Computer/internet 'is' strictly monitored and only perhaps once or twice a week for 45 mn's MAX. Again, no arguements from them about wanting to stay on longer. I have a harder time getting them off the playground than I do with the modern tech :)

1
6 1

I personally am not a HUGE fan of video games and my kids get out to play when they can. Having said that we have an XBOX360 with Kinect and this can come in very handy for wet, windy and cold days. I live in Scotland and you can't always be outside. Yes there are other indoor activities but at least the Kinect means they get to work off some energy. (Girls are 6 and 3)

1
2,093 0

We have chosen to put off the use of computers and video games for as long as possible. I felt that technology wasn't something our kids needed an early start with. It's the kind of thing kids find and figure out no problem. Instead, we put time and money into social activities, physical activities, traditional books, etc.

Our 4.5 year old has never used a computer or other electronic device. Our 6 year old didn't use one until he started school when he was 5.5. Our girls did use computers some as preschoolers (sites like Tumble Books and Starfall), but not a lot.

We had an xbox for years and our kids didn't even know it was a gaming system. They thought it was just for watching DVDs and netflix!

0
16 0

I do know if you go to the dashboard I think on xbox 360 you can set the family settings and have a password and it shuts it off and the kids can play age approved games for them! Also would work good with the hubby put a time limit on that for him as well

0
1

I let my kid play as long as he wants, he I 13 and I let him play teen and mature games, but I don't care as long as he knows not to do it

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207 0

When children are about 5 they can benefit from a hand held video game like Nintendo DS. It does teach eye hand coordination and is great for the car and doctor visits. The games are not as expensive and it is easier to control ie put up when its not video time. Just be sure to set definite rules and explain them to your child. Amazon sells them used too. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VXJEW6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000VXJEW6&linkCode=as2&tag=bravandgrac-20
At about 7 a child can help decide about an actual game system. It can be a learning tool to discuss how much they cost, the price of games, what games are acceptable. Again rules from the start! and be consistent. Chores and homework must be done first. Play with them sometimes...you will make them laugh!

0
14 3

I let my oldest son play video games at the age of 2. He is considered "gifted" and was well ahead of his peers in school. He's now 16 and gets excellent grades. It's not harmful but helpful, as long as it's in moderation and lots of educational games are thrown in there. :) He used the "Jumpstart" series and I got the same series for my younger two children as well.

Edit: I let them all play many hours every day, as long as they get the education shows and/or games in first and they can't play before 9 am.

-1
14 3

To whomever voted negative... Real open-minded, huh? Glad I'm not YOUR kid(s).

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