It’s no secret that I am a massive Nintendo geek! I have recently spent a lot of time reading reviews of the Nintendo Switch console and games. So I’m keen to find out the answer to my question: Is the Nintendo Switch educational? I haven’t bought the system yet as I know won’t get much time to play without the kids joining in. I want to make game purchases they’ll be able to enjoy too. With this in mind, I decided to hold back and research lots, before making my purchase.
Technology For Kids
I think it’s important to let kids have access to technology. My 6 and 7 year olds both have tablets filled with educational apps, and Syd loves writing blog posts and reviews on her laptop. I was keen to find whether the Nintendo Switch offers any educational value, in the hope I could justify buying one “just because”. This BBC piece discusses a wide collection of Nintendo Consoles, but not one mention is made of Nintendo Switch educational value.
Generally speaking, I think having some family time playing age appropriate games on a console is great. However, it’s not massively educational. My 6 year old loves to play on our Xbox with me or her Dad. She has learnt to be more patient when waiting for her turn. Her ability to listen to instructions has definitely improved, as well. However, she hasn’t learnt anything academic from it, in my opinion.
Age Appropriate Games
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. Sadly, Nintendo has some adults only games in their catalogue now.
Fortnite, for example is only suitable for children aged 12 and over. Despite this, plenty of children as young as 6 frequently play the game.
Here’s a breakdown of the age recommendations for the Nintendo Switch Games available to buy in the UK today. (Jan 2019)…
Suitable for children aged 3 and over:
Mario Kart 8, Just Dance 2019, Sonic Mania Plus, Super Mario Party, Fifa 19, Rocket League, Donkey Kong Country, Monopoly. Mario Tennis Aces, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Sports Party, Carnival Games, Nickelodeon Kart Racers. Go Vacation, Crayola Scoot, Legendary Fishing, Paw Patrol on a roll and Farming Simulator,
Suitable for children aged 7 and over:
Pokemon: Let’s Go, Minecraft, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom. Lego DC Super – Villains, 1,2, Switch, Lego City Undercover, Crash Bandicoot, Cars 3, Rayman Legends, Lego Worlds. Hello Neighbour, Hasbro Game Night, Minecraft Story Mode, Fitness Boxing, Harry Potter Collection. Marvel Super Heroes 2, The Escapists 2, Lego Ninjago, The Incredibles, Pokken Tournament, Adventure Time: Pirates. Hotel Transylvania 3, Sushi Striker, Sonic Forces, and Yokus Island Express.
Suitable for children aged 12 and over:
Super Smash Bros Ultimate (This contains lots of violence). The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Sega Mega Grive Classics. Civilisation VI, Monster Hunter Generations, Hello Neighbour Hide and Seek. My Hero One’s Justice. Dragon Ball Fighters, Arms, Hyrule Warriors, Bendy and the ink machine, Fortnite, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. Octopath Traveler, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and The world ends with you.
Suitable for children aged 16 and over:
Diablo Eternal Collection and Dark Souls Remastered.
The two games I am most excited about playing are… The Legend of Zelda – breath of the wild and Mario Kart 8, Deluxe. Mario Kart is suitable for children aged 3 and over. I can see it being a game the whole family will love playing together on a rainy afternoon.
The Nintendo Switch console itself is still holding its price in the UK at the moment. It was available at 15% off in the Christmas build up. However, the £279.99 RRP is usually what you’ll see on the High Street.
This 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 ours. Hopefully by then, some more educational games will be available.
One thing I will say is… The Switch, (or any other console for that matter) is not a replacement for reading. We are still huge book fans, and definitely spend more time reading with the kids than gaming.
So, Is the Nintendo Switch educational?
In my opinion… Not really. Your child(ren) may learn the occasional thing from games. However, the device should be considered as an item for relaxing with – not learning from. The time may come when Nintendo expands their downloads to include more educational products. However, for now I don’t consider the Nintendo Switch educational.
Finally: If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, why not check out my other geeky blog posts?