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DS Games for Pre-readers?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the what's-wrong-with-puzzle-quest dept.


ProfJonathan writes "My daughter just got a DS from the grandparents for her 6th birthday. She's only beginning to read, but wants a bunch of games of her own rather than just playing her older brothers' games. She got Nintendogs with the DS, so that's taken care of, but other relatives are asking what she might want. Can anyone recommend some good DS games that don't require reading skill, that might be age-appropriate and interesting for a 1st grade girl?" Wouldn't it be creepy if the kid had a really good brain age?

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Some Ideas (5, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552053)

Here are a few.
Diddy Kong Racing []
Yoshi's Island []
Super Princess Peach []
Kirby Squeak Squad []
Lego Star Wars []
Strawberry Shortcake []
Smart Girls Playhouse []

I know my 4 year old son loves Mario Kart. Lego Star Wars is his other favorite. That has a lot to do with how much he likes the films also. So if your child isn't familiar with the movies, or doesn't care for them, it would make a big difference of course.

Based on my own daughters - I would also recommend Animal Crossing [] . Now this involves reading, but that's not bad. It's really going to encourage and motivate her so that she can play. The ideas are pretty much what you get with the whole webkinz rage - and I know my 6 year old and 7 year old girls are totally into that. There so many more ds titles she would probably really enjoy it isn't even funny. Barbie stuff, Disney Princess stuff, etc.

Re:Some Ideas (3, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552095)

I would also recommend Animal Crossing. Now this involves reading, but that's not bad. It's really going to encourage and motivate her so that she can play.

I agree completely with that!

If the girl is 6 years old then I guess she should be learning to read by now don't you think so?? In any case, I completely recommend to use the games to encourage them to learn to read. I am really glad my first language is not English because when I was a kid (around the the Atari/NES times) playing RPGs like Final Fantasy , Dragon Warrior and Ultima made me want to learn English (even having a dictionary at my side when I played). There was also another game which name I do not remember, it was a Tiny Toons (or Looney Toons) game in which you had to create a "film" and it even had the text clouds with some dialogues.

I have always thought games are the *best* way to teach kids (it is the natural way of learning, not only for humans but for every species!) from learning to talk to learning AI algorithms (programming intelligent software mini robots that fight against each other )

Lego Star Wars on DS--meh. (1)

Soulfader (527299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552137)

Sorry, but Lego Star Wars on the DS--well, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, at least--is a mediocre game at best. Bad camera angles, unresponsive controls, and a few levels (Endor, especially) with chronic slowdowns that make it virtually unplayable. It's a shame because the game is so good on many other platforms; even the Game Boy Advance version, while much simplified, is more fun to play.

Of the games my wife and I have, Club House Games [] is probably the only one (aside from the excellent MarioKart) that I would recommend for younger players. There are lots of advanced card and board games, but also quite a few simpler ones (Memory, Aggravation, Go Fish, Old Maid, Uno, Checkers, Shake the bottle) which most anyone could play. Single card multiplayer is available for pretty much all of them if playing with others is a consideration.

Re:Lego Star Wars on DS--meh. (3, Informative)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552293)

Yes, the original trilogy was complete crap. Buggy nearly to the point of being unplayable. The new Lego Star Wars - Complete Saga for the DS was done from scratch by another developer and is much better. I can also throw in a hearty recommendation for Clubhouse games!

Re:Lego Star Wars on DS--meh. (5, Funny)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553785)

She's only beginning to read
Good to hear.

My daughter just got a DS from the grandparents for her 6th birthday.
Well, that should put an end to it.

She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552207)

I'm surprised that she's only beginning to read at age 6. Myself and most of my friends were reading Hardy Boys books at that age. My son just turned 3 now, and he's quite able to read Berenstein Bears and similar books by himself. My nephew is 5, and he just finished his first Goosebumps book.

It's too late to rectify the situation now, but your daughter probably should have started to read when she was two or three years old. By the time she's six, she should be quite able to read newspapers, magazines, and novels the size of the Hardy Boys books.

You should get her involved in a local library group for children, where they read actual books. Some of these programs reward children for the more books that they read, which provides the incentive necessary for some children. Of course, many children just end up reading because they enjoy it.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (2, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552277)

Don't worry about the girl -- some people just let their children wait until school to learn to read. I learned to read in first grade at age 5, but today I'm minimizing... let's see... ah: "The Design and Implementation of Typed Scheme" to post on Slashdot.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552795)

These days reading isn't the only way to learn. The use and manipulation of different GUIs might as important 20 years from now as reading text. That said, early childhood education is very important, while the brain is growing and forming it's most basic pathways it's an educational advantage if "how to learn" is being hardwired in. The difference is most noticeable in children where given little interaction at as babies/infants. They (statistically)never are able to absorb new concepts or information as quickly.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553967)

The use and manipulation of different GUIs might as important 20 years from now as reading text.
If you want to be a retarded windozw syadmin. Those of us who actually have a clue about user interfaces know that a command line (which is basically text, i.e. reading and writing) is far more powerful.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (2, Insightful)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552385)

Whoa there, way to make someone feel bad.

When you start to read has very little relation to reading ability later, my son didn't really learn till 6, he was quite late compared to some in his class, now he's ahead of them, a whole 2 years later.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552515)

Whoa there, way to make someone feel bad.
Only if someone tells her what it says....

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552497)

At six years old, I was probably still drawing crayon pictures in the family encyclopedia set that no one uses. However, by the eighth grade, my reading skills was college level. I would recommend giving the kid crayons and an encyclopedia set instead of a DS and games. :)

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (1)

madprof (4723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552863)

But just think how much better you could have been had you learned to read earlier. You might know a few extra languages by now. ;)

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552565)

The trick isn't getting a kid to read as early as possible, it's getting them to *want* to learn to read and continue reading. What did it for me was when my parents finally bought a computer. I was 5 or 6, IIRC. Back in the DOS days it was awfully difficult to get around unless you could read. I was determined to learn to read so I could play with it. I've been a voracious reader ever sense. And I beat Mickey's Space Adventure before my older sister did and bragged like hell about it for months. (Yeah, I was a bit of a little twerp that way. ;D).

Get the kid as many good games with lots of text as possible. Buy her any book she wants and keep encouraging her to read to her heart's content. Don't get pushy. You don't want her to equate reading with "you're not leaving this table until you eat those brussel sprouts!" If she learns to love reading, she'll have a much easier time in school and might just grow up to be smart enough to take good care of you when you're old and senile. ;)

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (1) (1123953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553329)

Hardy Boys at age 6? Is that all? I myself read "War and Peace" at age 5.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (5, Funny)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553501)

Ee Lad, tha were luxury. When I were still 3, da would belt me if I hadn't read another volume of t' Encyclopedia Britannica before breakfast. Then it were down into Yorkshire coal mines as usual.

Life were good compared to my younger sister. As 10 week embryo, she had to read t' engravings on t' needle used to check out if she had genetic deformities such as leanings toward Lancaster.

Re:She's only beginning to read at age 6?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553999)

Myself and most of my friends were reading Hardy Boys books at that age.

And, of course you ended up on /. Whoop-di-doo and congrats! There's no problem with kids not being able to read before they start school, regardless of what you or your friends did.

Re:Some Ideas (1)

oakbox (414095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553467)

My son likes(d) Super Mario Brothers and Cars. Pokemon is a complete nightmare if your child cannot read well.

Re:Some Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553631)

Me and my kids (3 and 6) are currently playing Mario Party DS a lot over wireless, great fun!
Other fave games of theirs are Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros. and Lego Star Wars II (not the first one, that is a crappy game)

Re:Some Ideas (1)

ghostlibrary (450718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553783)


I'd add 'Mario 64' to the list... it's 'reading light' so it was motivating for my 6-year old. He wanted to read the little 2-4 word "what to solve on this level" titles, and the flavor text before the boss battles. So it required minimal reading to play, but had enough reading from time to time to motivate him that, yes, reading is useful.

Others he likes (as a pre-reader) are Yoshi Island, Yoshi Touch-N-Go, Scooby Doo Unmasked, and Mario Kart.

But be careful with that last one, child predators may use Mario Kart to prey on your child, as per an ABC report... well, okay, read a slightly more sane take on it at [] for details.

Colors! (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552069)

Get the R4 adapter [] and a microSD card [] , and put Colors! [] on it. Look what others have made [] .

Re:Colors! (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552097)

Not only that but you can buy all the games that stoolpigeon [] recommended and then put them on the R4 so you never have to worry about your daughter losing any of her games. But maybe she's more responsible than a 23 year old "adult" and she won't have that problem (if anyone sees my Mario Kart, let me know).

Re:Colors! (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552119)

That is awesome.

Re:Colors! (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552799)

I have two seven-year-olds, one boy and one girl, and they're constantly borrowing my DS to play games. They like Mario Kart DS a lot.

I bought Datel's Games 'N' Music; it's similar to the R4, is easy to find at Walmart and Best Buy, but is generally held in low esteem by the homebrew community. That said, all of the homebrew works with it, although I haven't found anything the kids want to keep playing.

There are DS demo download stations installed in game stores and airports across the country, and many of these demos have been captured by the community for play on homebrew cards. Both of my twins are fond of the demo for Clubhouse Games, my son is in love with True Swing Golf, and my daughter was fond of Elite Beat Agents but tired of having just one scenario. All three are now planned as Christmas presents.

BTW, I'd like to recommend Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons [] . The advertising hype seems true. I know someone who adopted a child with fetal alcohol syndrome who swore by the book after giving up on the public schools, so I got it for my kids and it's worked great. There's also video and audio tapes, flashcards, etc, but I've never felt the need to use them; the book and a willingness to spend time with your child is really all that you need.

Re:Colors! (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553457)

I can not recommend this enough. My 22 month old daughter loves Colors (and the R4 lets me do some homebrew too!). Here is a little pic of her playing with colors:
picture []

Ummmm (5, Insightful)

inSpecter (25343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552093)

She is 6 and cannot read? I would focus on that part first before letting her play games.

Re:Ummmm (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552143)

Every kid is different, and I wouldn't be too quick to jump to any conclusions without more information. Plus - she may be working super hard on learning to read, but she is still going to need some down time and fun. The DS can be a great motivator for the reading and even a nice supplement if she moves on to playing games with some text.

Re:Ummmm (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552171)

See, that's why a game like Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is good. If she can get into it (she's a little young for the amount of text, I think) it has a fair amount of text so she reads it and gets practice reading, but isn't thinking about that, she's just playing a game.

Re:Ummmm (4, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552227)

I'm 26 and never really learned to read myself [] .

Kids learn to read anywhere between the ages of 2 and 9. My mother taught herself to read when she was 5 years old - her parents had decided that a caretaker was cheaper than kindergarten, and mom was extremely bored. Motivation is what counts, mostly. By trying to force all kids to read at age 5, the system hurts children who won't want to learn to read until later.

I do okay with non-fiction, but my "imagination" functionality is totally disabled. Almost got it figured out...

Read the comment & follow-ups linked above for more on how I figured out that I can't really read.

Re:Ummmm (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552815)

Trying to understand your particular deficiency is almost like getting a blind from birth person to understand the concept of colors. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Being able to visualize concepts from words is such an automatic and common mechanism that I can't understand what it's like to live without it. I never read fiction on my own until high school when I discovered sci-fi and Tom Clancy. I think I read all the Heinlein books at the library starting with Starship Troopers. Vonnegut is another favorite author of mine. But my tastes and preferences I think had already been cemented BEFORE I started reading fiction. I learned to read with books my dad gave me. He was in the US Navy and loved aviation, helicopters specifically. My favorite book was a thick, hard cover technical reference of all the different helicopters used by the world's militaries. Reading about how the weapons systems were designed to defeat the armor of Soviet tanks made me curious about military technology which lead to history, politics and different government types. And remember, this was a 6-7 year old!

So I was this pedantic kid learning all this completely useless technical knowledge about helicopters and missiles and the cold war and reading nearly no fiction, but when I got to high school and actually started reading novels on my own I was still able to enjoy them without having the problem you had of not being able to make pictures in my mind. So while it's probably a good idea to give kids exposure to a wide range of reading materials, the relatively narrow selection of books I had didn't seem to do any harm to my development.

Best of luck to you trying to improve your reading ability. I can't fathom how difficult it must be, but it is an admirable and worthwhile pursuit to be sure.

Re:Ummmm (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552987)

but my "imagination" functionality is totally disabled.

Because of this I would wager that you are one of the few people who's driving isn't effected by talking a cell phone. Personally, the visual centers of my brain tend to focus on the concepts I'm talking about, not on the information coming from my eyes, I walk into things when talking on the phone or thinking intently about something.

Re:Ummmm (1)

MeltUp (633868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553353)

That's quite sad. I'm hooked to reading and rarely watch movies. Don't even have a television these days. I've recently discovered (English) science fiction (not my native language), and I'm just devouring it all. (just finished "Speaker for the Dead")
My reading is up to the level where my "imagination" functionality is in overdrive. I've never watched a movie adaptation that wasn't dull and boring compared to the book.
To me the LotR movies where extremely dull and boring. I watched them in agony and boredom. (2 times I was so naive to thing the next one would be better)

Now, the weird thing is, I don't have any visual imagination. My imagination takes on some other unseen form. Probably some other part of my brain that's involved, nothing visual. I honestly couldn't picture anything I read in LotR, but when I saw the movie, I did see it was horribly wrong. I didn't match my imagination, even though it isn't visual.
Perhaps that's why I don't appreciate movies and television so much? Visuals aren't of interest to me.

We had these tests in school where you had to read a text (not only in my native language, but later in the 2 other languages (French and English) I learned as well), and you had to answer questions about it later. I was always so surprised on how people could score less than 90% on these tests. I just couldn't understand they read that text without knowing it's contents. (I was so good at these tests, they actually kept me from failing French, which I speak very badly, but understand extremely well)

The brain certainly is a strange beast...

I wonder: how easily are you distracted while you read?
I lose all sense of time and surroundings when I read. I ignore everything. Sometimes when I stop reading, I discover people have told me something while I was reading, to which I'm told I replied "yes" (without stopping to read off course). However, I usually only have an extremely vague memory of that happening...

As a hint if you're looking to "learn to read": don't think this "reading imagination" HAS to be visual. In my case, it seems to take another form.

Re:Ummmm (1) (1123953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553435)

I have read the other messages but for the life of me I can't figure out how you were able to achieve high grades in school unless your mind was extremely adept at making imaginary pictures while you were reading textbooks. As for federal (sic) schools -- what do you suggest instead? Private schools teach reading the same way public schools do (I went to private school for preschool, kindergarten and grade 1-6) plus I'll bet nearly everyone here went to one or the other and we managed to learn to read just fine.

buy her a book (1)

unknown_user_name (1197289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552239)

buy her a book and send some time teaching her.

Re:buy her a book (1, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552423)

I wish I could mod up the second half of your post. Parental involvement is vital to teaching reading. If you are not reading books with your children then you giving them a serious disadvantage in modern society. That said, if she is six then you are about four years too late. The original poster is either a negligent parent, or his daughter has serious learning difficulties. If the latter is the case then he should get her to a child psychologist, who can probably give him some good recommendations for games that will be beneficial to her. If it's the former, then making her spend more time without parental attention will not help matters at all.

Re:Ummmm (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552309)

You do realize she could just be an elderly first-grader with a birthday late in the calendar year (and therefore early in the school year)?

Re:Ummmm (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552675)

anyone I know learned to read before the first grade.

Re:Ummmm (1)

duckwaltz (861889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552381)

I have to agree with inSpecter on this one. You should make sure your child can read before letting her rot her brain with video games.

Not completely abnormal but do work on reading 1st (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552455)

There's plenty of kids who have a mental stumbling block with respect to reading. But generally once you get it, even if it takes till 6 or 7 to get it, they shoot off real quick. It's like a switch that flips in their heads. But not reading at 6 is not the norm. A lot of kids are reading in kindergarten, some in preschool already.

For every 6 or 7 year old 'late' reader there is a 2 year old reader. My son is 2 and sounding out words already, I have no doubt he'll be reading simple books in a few months. Again, part of it depends on mental development of the child but a big part of it is a commitment on the part of the parents. We started reading with him at a few months' age. It's probably his favorite activity, he has about fifty books and for the longest time we read each book every day. Even today we read for at least a half hour each day. Reading and repetition on the part of the parents really does help the kid develop their vocabulary and ability to read well.

And yes, we have a video game ban and restrictions on television - no more than a half hour a day, tied to behavior. When he gets older he can play video games but as a young kid there is way too much they have to learn about this world, they really don't need to waste their time behind a console.

Re:Not completely abnormal but do work on reading (1)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552913)

I entered first grade not knowing how to read, but I picked it up plenty fast.

In highschool, I had extremely high standardized test scores, placed out of college english requirements with 5's on the AP english exam, excellent scores on SAT and SAT II for english and german, had a pile of german awards (highest score on the standardized german exam for the state), and a smattering of journalism awards.

In college, I studied german, french, and japanese simultaneously while doing a double major in physics and math, chem minor.

I think what really made the difference for me was growing up in a bilingual environment (english and korean), and studying music before I could read. Growing up, I also watched lots of TV and played video games constantly, which I think had a large influence on the problem solving skills that I have today.

I'm not sure modern games would be as good for this. I played hundreds of games as a kid, each requiring adapting to a new set of rules, objectives, and strategies to complete. Modern software is much larger, and more repetitive, so it may not have the same effect.

Re:Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552907)

Most people learn reading at the age of 6 at school. That you learned it earlier doesn't mean everybody else is late.

Re:Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552983)

My first schooling was in Kindergarten starting at age 5, but we didn't do much beyond learning the alphabet and a few words (A is for Apple, B is for Ball etc) we didn't start learning to read until first grade when I would have been 6-7 and I wasn't all that interested in it yet (hyper farm kid more interested in being outdoors) but did learn what was required but not more. I finally got into reading by about age 9 and then it really took off and I am an avid reader and did exceptionally well academically from then on. So I don't see the big deal about not reading at 6.

My cousin on the other hand read at 3 and was writing short stories by 4, he never did continue on to do very well in the later grades though.

I think there is a fairly broad range that is perfectly normal and not at all indicative of problems or greatness later in life.

Re:Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553601)

Maybe she has a condition (perhaps even undiagnosed) that causes her to struggle with reading. I struggled greatly with reading as a child. I have a lot of talents, but reading isn't one of them (and I do a lot of it in a day).

The problem is that books are BORING. I can't blame the schools or my parents for not trying, but I just hate reading things that aren't interesting. We had to read countless fiction books in school for various literature classes. BORING. I don't know how many times I'd have to start over with a paragraph or page I just read because I couldn't remember what I just read. And what's with all the details?! I don't need a detailed description of the dew on the lawn that the main character is walking on. Get to the damn point.

I've heard, "you just haven't been reading the right books" all of my life from people who like to read. I've tried different books and they are all just too boring. Movies get to the point, books drag on.

I think I personally do a lot of reading in a day. I'm a developer, so I do a lot of research online in a given day. Whenever I don't know a concept or word, I always quickly look it up on Wikipedia or (I like to learn). I love politics and current events. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Slashdot, Digg,, the local newspaper - I religiously check them every day and enjoy reading various political commentaries. I'd dare to say I read more than the average adult (the fake kind of reading, that is).

But I know, that's not good enough. It's not "real" reading unless it's a 600 pages book about some cake-eater walking through the forest to some volcano.

Pass. I'll take a book where I can learn a new technology over Harry Potter any day.

Does she like Princesses? (3, Informative)

Abjuk (29648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552105)

Disney Princess: Magical Jewels [] is another good one, if she's in to the whole Princess craze.

Here's one! (5, Funny)

Gigiya (1022729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552113)

Re:Here's one! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552557)

I think the kid might have an easier reading the paper [] instead of doing the crosswords. :P

reading (5, Insightful)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552115)

DS games that don't require reading skill

Why not make this a good opportunity to teach her how to read -- you're never too young to learn. If she encounters something she can't read, read it for her, or you can sit next to her as she plays the game. It's a great way to get kids to read without making them feel like it's a chore. The animation of the scenarios can help her understand what she's reading too.

To answer your question, I believe the new Super Mario would be a good choice.

Re:reading (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552149)

You're never too young to learn on your DS either. Taco seems to think it'd be funny if she scored a good brain age, but why the heck not let her try? All of us grew up seeing Game Boys and Nintendos as basically toys. It'd be great if the next generation saw them as learning devices along with entertainment devices.

Re:reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552251)

Yeh! My kid was playing Worms online when he was 8 or so.

Boy did he learn some new words!

Re:reading (1)

kronnek (982486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552507)

If she encounters something she can't read, read it for her, or you can sit next to her as she plays the game.
There is the crux of the situation. Both my sister and I were both earlier readers compared to other children and this is where the DS is a problem. You have to spend time with your children reading and sounding out word parts with them. Parents have to make time to read with their children, everyday. If you give your child the DS and they start learning words just by memorization to get through whatever level, a la hooked on phonics, they will suffer later in life with reading comprehension. Books are cheaper or free in some cases. Plus, you don't have to buy batteries for them. :)

Re:reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552719)

Books are cheaper or free in some cases. Plus, you don't have to buy batteries for them. :)

The DS has a built-in rechargeable battery, so that's not a very compelling argument compared to your other points :-)

Re:reading (1)

homerjaythompson (617593) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553281)

It is an excellent opportunity to learn to read ! I learned reading and speaking english (i'm french native speaking) by playing Final Fantasy 1 on nes !

Wouldn't it be creepy? Sure it would.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552131)

Wouldn't it be creepy if the kid had a really good brain age?

If she is six and cannot read then I doubt it....

Age 6? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552151)

Umm, I have a few friends with a 2-1/2 and 3 year olds. They're already starting to teach their kids to read. You may want to focus on that instead of giving her games. Buy her some books. Let her play the DS after spending 30-60 minutes of time a day working on reading.

Not a parent? I can tell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552531)

FYI. Not every kid is the same.

Re:Not a parent? I can tell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552775)

Not a parent? I can tell.

Considering I almost say as much right up front, your reading comprehension and deduction skills are simply ASTOUNDING!

Re:Age 6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553223)

FFS. You probably didn't mean it this way, but your post came off as kinda "She's six and not reading? Whip out the text books! Get her working!"

She's six. Work isn't fun, play is. If you want her to read, play reading games with her. Like when you're spending time with her, make it fun to read the words around you. Some people have suggested games that involve reading, you could get those and play with her. Or, the best option, read books to her. Show her that you enjoy reading, that she can enjoy reading, etc.

Think of her like a tiny Lion cub. She's not going to learn to disembowel her prey through a careful study of hind-claw management. She's going to play until she learns how to kill. In this case, books.

You could also teach her disembowelment, I suppose. Totally up to you.

On a more serious note, making a child spend 30-60 minutes a day on reading before giving them a reward is likely to teach them to hate reading. Don't do it.

And if any of you have kids in the 2.5 - 3 year range, and want them to read, I'd caution you that there are skills in which delayed presentation gives the child more time to develop the precursors necessary for that skill. I beleive reading is one of them, and that a child of 6 who has been using the time to develop (again, through play) can ultimately be a better reader than the child of 3 who was pushed to read.

m! IUTBAPSTAANAGSIME (I used to be a public school teacher, and am now a graduate student in music education)

Re:Age 6? (5, Insightful)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553405)

Let her play the DS after spending 30-60 minutes of time a day working on reading.
No, do not do this. Reading should never be related to work. She should not be 'forced' to read for an hour if she wants to play her games. That turns reading into a chore, and she won't want to do it.

Re:Age 6? (1)

Reinsarn (1197359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554013)

I was an early reader, and most of my programmer buddies were late readers. We're all gamers, college-level readers and writers, and we do most of our reading online nowadays.
We just tried out Colors! and Phidias; both are excellent drawing applications for the DS. I also enjoy some of the Cartoon Network games for DS, though most of those require some degree of reading to enjoy the plot. You might be able to tempt a kid into reading more by helping them read the text of some games.
That said:
If reading is a chore instead of a pleasure, a young reader may have already tried a few books and found them not to his or her liking. The trick is to find a genre of books the child will enjoy, and let the tykes gorge themselves on books. (Hey, it beats gorging on fast food!) If reading about favorite topics doesn't interest the kid, try reading with them: fantasy, science fiction, and child-friendly biographies of amazing people are a good bet.
In the event that none of these approaches work, have your child tested for dyslexia.
This public service announcement was brought to you by the letter J.

Interactive Storybook DS (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552201)

You might give the Interactive Storybook DS [] series a look.

# family time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552215)

e-board games great for teaching if the family isn't going to play the real games with her. why spend time building bonds when she can love a DS instead?

My 5 year old daughter's favorites (1)

Luveno (575425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552247)

My 5 year daughter has a DS and is big on it. Her favorites:
  • Cooking Mama 1 & 2 (everyone seems to love these two)
  • Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses
  • Elite Beat Agents
Others that she plays from time to time:
  • Catz
  • Super Princess Peach
  • Super Mario DS
  • Nintendogs
  • Monkey Ball

Put down the DS and GO OUTSIDE (0, Offtopic)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552275)

Six is too young to sit around pounding on a video game. I swear, we're raising a generation of kids who won't know how to walk on dirt and run screaming from squirrels.

Someone else suggested family games. Sounds good.

I'd also suggest:

A subscription for the family for CRAFT and MAKE magazine.

A tub full of craft items and kits. Dollar stores and places like "Joann Fabrics" and Michael's have really cheap, really nifty DIY projects for girls. I visited Harbor Freight yesterday; they had a bin full of kits to build dinosaurs, motorcycles, cars, biplanes. All under two bucks.

Get LOST from SLASHDOT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552441)

Goddamn luddites.

Re:Put down the DS and GO OUTSIDE (1)

ghoul (157158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552909)

The next generation of kids will need to play video games to earn their living - from doctors using robotic surgery to pilots flying UAVs most jobs will be done through a video game like interface. Saying teaching to read is more important than teaching to play video games is like saying memorizing multiplacation tables is more important than algebra in the age of the pocket calculator

I found some online games, interesting: (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552285) []
Dora the Explorer series.

Why would you want games that don't have reading? (3, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552299)

You've left me wondering why you want recommendations of games that don't involve reading. Six years old is hardly too young to be learning how to read. If anything, you want games that will help teach reading. So what you really want is a game that has reading in it, but can still be understood even by a gamer who isn't a good reader yet. There are many games that fit that bill. As a suggestion, check out Meteos. It's a really great puzzle game with five different levels of difficulty (so she'll be able to win it at least on the lowest level), and after completing the campaign mode, there are a multitude of all-text epilogues explaining how your victory (or lack thereof) in the final level affected events. That's a great way to practice reading. You can sit down with her and read it for her when she's playing; it'll be a good lesson, and she'll be interested because she'll want to know how the game ended up.

Incidentally, I first learned the word "Congratulations" when it popped up at the end of a particularly hard Game Boy game I had been playing for a long while (this was when I was really young). I asked my dad what it said. After that, I was more proud of being able to read such a long word than at having beaten the game.

Re:Why would you want games that don't have readin (5, Funny)

chitokutai (758566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552749)

I recommend Oregon Trail. How else will a child learn the words Typhoid and Cholera?

Re:Why would you want games that don't have readin (2, Interesting)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553327)

Can't forget dysentery...

It was a while before it occurred to me to look it up but once I did, I wound up reading up on the history of the Oregon Trail and really made me appreciate dying of natural causes :3

And speaking of ancient games, as a kid, before we were allowed to start playing Oregon Trail we had to prove we understood the concepts of operating a computer with a mouse. Crap everyone knows by now :P But I would really like to get a copy of that one. All I remember was the computers it ran on were PowerPC's running one of the color versions of the Apple OS.

Re:Why would you want games that don't have readin (1)

hyvetyrant (1197317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552923)

Having a 5 year old who is fascinated with games, and is in that early reader stage - I think the poster is not asking for games that don't have words, but games that don't depend on a certain reading level to enjoy. My daughter will stop playing a game (and instead watch me play, and try to direct me) if she needs a bunch of help with the words - it gets too frustrating. The games she likes on the computer read the directions to her as well as displaying the text so she can try to read it and still understand the gameplay. That said, I'd suggest looking for some of the GBA puzzle and board games.

Re:Why would you want games that don't have readin (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553267)

I still remember how funny I though it was that 'Filch' was on the SATs, and the only place I had previously ever seen it used was in Zork II: The Wizard of Froboz. People definitely underestimate some kinds of entertainment as learning tools.

monkey island (2, Interesting)

diskis (221264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552307)

Give her games with real text. Those old Monkey Island games taught me English. Was quite fun the next year when we started learning English in school. When most pupils could say "This is a book", I used words as "rubberchicken with a pulley in the middle". You could actually install ScummVM and run Monkey Island on the DS :)

Killing two birds with one stone (3, Interesting)

readandburn (825014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552319)

I'm sure many of you are familiar with this site [] , but the VGC just reviewed a couple of DS games for young kids. Reviews are also tagged with icons to determine if a game is suitable for young ones.

Also, in light of the recent controversy at Gamespot, this is a good site for truly independent reviews (although it can take a while for new games to show up). You can see what one game publisher did after he gave a bad review [] .

Re:Killing two birds with one stone (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552607)

Gamespot's reputation for independent reviews may be history [] now after a game publisher pulled their advertising and the reviewer got canned.

Re:Killing two birds with one stone (1)

readandburn (825014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552667)

Yes, this is what I referred to in my post.

As I said, I think the VGC site is one of the few truly independent game review sites (and probably the biggest).

Re:Killing two birds with one stone (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553553)

Independent? Sure. Any good? No. A cursory look at their rather anemic Wii reviews lists Super Paper Mario at the same rating of the awful Table Tennis, The pretty bad Mario Party 8, and the terrible Carnival Games.

The only reason independent reviews should be better is because it is less likely that you'll be misled by a review. If a site's idea of quality is way out of line of mine (and most of humanity), being independent is irrelevant.

put down the game and go to the library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552389)

Many wonderful books in the children's section.

If she can't read them, sit and read them with
her so she can see the book and the words in print.

Also Check Game Review Sites (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552407)

There are some great review sites that often include this type of information in the review.

GameSpot gets a 10/10 in this area.

I was reading... as far as I can remember, at 3 (1)

Sleeping Kirby (919817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552463)

As far as I can remember, I was already reading Chinese. But then, I am chinese. IMO, this is what the US DS market is lacking. Games like this: []
I miss good and fun educational games that I use to play...

How about you DON'T get her GAMES. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552475)

Now is the worst possible time to get her interested (obsessed) with games. She needs to focus on reading.

I'm a gamer, and a parent, and when the time is right I will introduce my son to games, even encourage him. But not until he has mastered the much more fundamental skills of reading and writing.

Giving her lots of games now would probably set her back for years in school. I'm serious.

Pre-reader? (1)

tarogue (84626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552483)

Six years old and just now starting to read? My son started reading before he was 5. Instead of video games, why don't you spend time reading to her? Get her more interested in books than games. My son has grown up around computers, but he would still rather read than play games.

Get off my lawn. (1, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552533)

A 6-year-old "pre-reader" with a personal game system? Great - she'll need those gaming skills to keep herself happy when she plows through a series of dead-end jobs in her twenties.

Before it's too late, let the thing run low on batteries and then have her pitch in with her own cash to buy more. (Your 6-year-old IS familiar with money by now, right?) That will get old fast, and she'll be back to playing with other kids, running around the block, setting fire to cats and all the other things 6-year-olds should be doing if you ever want them to move out of your basement someday.

You're welcome. Now get off my lawn.

Re:Get off my lawn. (2, Funny)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553107)

The DS has a built in rechargeable, which is the fatal flaw in your cruel plan.

No problem with reading here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552599)

My 5 year old shares GBA games (DS will play GBA carts) with his older siblings (oldest 10) and plays most every E rated game we have with no problems. He asks us or one of his siblings to read the talking bits, but he just started kindergarden. The other 2 read at or above grade level and he seems right in line, he even makes paper versions of his games. For all we know he'll end up ahead of the other 2 because of his exposure to words above his reading level that deal with something he enjoys and uses almost daily.

I've got some good advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552683)

Never talk to Slashdot about anything relating to your personal, private life. It's full of ranting, reactionary, opionated, over-educated sociopaths, who think that because they once saw a child out of the office window, they are an expert on pre-school education.

Fact is, if you're posting here (and I include myself in this) you've gone horribly wrong in your life somewhere. This is why I refuse to create an account for myself.

Reading is good (1)

Sodki (621717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552717)

Give her some cool and flashy game that *requires* reading. It will encourage her to read and become a brighter human being. I started to read because I was tired of the drawings on Asterix's comic books. I wanted to know the stories too.

Don't like it (1)

himurabattotsai (1197311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552741)

My friends nephew, who's just learning how to read, very slowly, always comes up to me and says, what attack is this? He loves pokemon, and I'm learning to hate what I once too loved. "Umm, this one's grass, will this attack be good?" "Will this attack be good?" "How 'bout this one?" I have never wanted to hit a 4 year old before in my life, until now. You'd think it's innocent and harmless, but I'll be playing a video game against my friend, and his nephew will smack me on the back and go. "Hey, which 'ttack is good for dis one?" I really, really never want a kid, and if I have one, he's playing non-reading videogames like Mario until he learns to read at LEAST small words. Also, I hope it'll have a little common sense. I mean, the kid can sound out letters,but he never thinks to just do it, so I have to make him.

Motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552753)

Are there any dating-sims for the DS? I don't speak a word of Japanese yet I tend to make it through these alright.

reading makes games a lot easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552865)

i remember when i couldn't read, but played banjo kazooie...that final game show part was damn hard when you have no idea what the fuck the answers or the questions are since you can't read

6 seems very late to me too (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552971)

I agree with the various posters about the late reading age.. I was already programming in BASIC by that age, and was reading at a grade 6 level by then as well.

Kid DS game (1)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553109)

I recommend Big Brain Academy which is basically the same thing as Brain Age but is aimed for the under-10 set.

It does require some limited reading skills but the puzzles in it are not as complex as the Brain Age ones... while still being tricky enough to drive grownups nuts.

Sorry, no link but it's easy enough to find.

Aspiring predator (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553127)

I am an aspiring Nintendo WiFi network predator, and I was wondering what games are best for preying upon the pre-reader crowd. Any suggestions?

Good lord (1, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553209)

I played video games a LOT when I was a teenager, but it's stories like this that make me extremely happy that my eight year old boy loves going outside, building stuff with wood, taking things apart, reading books, and generally hates video games from the times he's gone over to his friends' houses.

It's only later in life that I realized that video games are basically mental sugary sweets. They're empty entertainment that exist solely to cause your mental wheels to spin. I don't subscribe to them being actively harmful, but the lost opportunity cost for growth is significant.

I personally think this DS needs to "accidentally" get thrown in the bathtub, and then replace it with reading, crafts, piano lessons, etc.

Don't Give In On Duplicates (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553211)

If she wants other games than already exist in the family collection, that's reasonable. But if she just wants her own copy of a game her brother already has, a firm "No" is necessary.

Better to have her learn at a young age the difference between reasonable, and unreasonable, demands. Fail here, and you'll pay an ever more expensive price each year for decades to come.

Six years old and only beginning to learn to read? (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553225)

Shame on you. My dad started teaching me when I was two.

Electroplankton (2, Insightful)

makapuf (412290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553255)

This is a really good "game" for a younger (starting from three), I let my son play with it. It doesn't focus on 'winning', 'baddies', killing people or whatever, it is just an introduction to music, sounds, ... He LOVES it.

Of course, he likes also me playing with him to it, and making mario boucing into walls at super mario world really makes him laugh.

Slashdot Culture (2, Interesting)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553649)

I find it strangely interesting (and entertaining) that the sex-starved, pale, anti-social geeks that supposedly frequent this place have so many strong opinions about how someone else should raise their child. The mind boggles...

Re:Slashdot Culture (1)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553717)

Absolutely... I read the first 20 or comments and the vast majority were boorish advice of an intrusive and arrogant nature. What a bunch of fucking wankers.

A little advice (1)

codefungus (463647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553945)

My brother, at the age of 4, beat Metroid on my NES. Less than a year later, he finished The Legend of Zelda on the same system. Before he could read. From there, he gamed and gamed and today, he's heavily involved in WOW. He's now 17 years old and only knows how to game. He can't even muster up the competence to order a chicken sandwich from Wendy's. I remember when he was about 6 or 7 he knew how many feet were in a mile, could add and subtract fractions, but it was all a waste. I wasn't around, and my parent's let him play video games as he wished.

Games, and instant gratification in general, will always be around. Help her not give into it. Buy her a few books, a model rocket, something other than f8cking games.

Good luck.
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