Is the Nintendo Switch educational?

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I am a massive Nintendo geek, and have spent a lot of this weekend reading reviews of the new Nintendo Switch console and games. I haven’t bought the system yet as I know won’t get much time to play without the kids joining in, so I want to make game purchases they’ll be able to enjoy too. I decided to hold back and read lots of reviews before making my purchase.

I am a big advocate for letting kids have access to technology. My 4 and 5 year olds both have iPads filled with educational apps, and I am keen to find out whether the Nintendo Switch offers any educational value. This BBC piece discusses a wide collection of Nintendo Consoles, but not one mention is made of education, other than a slight reference to the Nintendo DS game – Brain Training.

Generally speaking, I think having some family time playing age appropriate games on a console is great, but not massively educational. My 4 year old loves to play on our Nintendo Wii with me or her Dad. She has learnt to be more patient when waiting for her turn, and her ability to listen to instructions has definitely improved too, but she hasn’t learnt anything academic from it in my opinion.

One thing I am steadfast in is only allowing my children to play age appropriate games. This is where my love for Nintendo comes from, I think. When I was a child, Nintendo was more of a family console, while Sega tended to offer more violent gameplay. Sony went even further, and suddenly consoles were being designed with adults in mind, rather than children.

In terms of games which are available now and suitable for children aged 3 and over… there is only one – Just Dance aims to encourage children to get up and moving. It may even teach them some new moves. More games are due for release soon, but as it stands, there isn’t much choice for people looking to get their younger children involved.

The two games I am most excited about are: The legend of Zelda – breath of the wild, which is available now and Mario Kart 8, Deluxe – which is available from 28th April 2017. Mario Kart is suitable for children aged 3 and over, and I can see it being a game the whole family will love. I’m hoping the console will be easier to find by then so I can try to tempt hubby to have a little splurge.

The Nintendo Switch console itself is like gold dust at the moment. Finding it in stock in the UK is a challenge, but not completely impossible – I managed to find it in stock at over 10 Smyths Toys stores this morning.

A recent article by Voucherbox suggests the price of the console may drop in a few months. Chances are I will wait until closer to Christmas before buying mine, as hopefully by then, some more educational games will be available.

Are you a fan of consoles? Do you think Nintendo is a better, less violent option compared to Xbox and Playstation? Do you allow your kids to play games aimed at people older than their current ages?

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