Please help me corrupt my kids with a portable gaming system

We are flying to Mexico in about a week. (Note to potential robbers: Our two vicious dogs and a biker gang will be on guard and we’re going to give our poisonous pet snake free reign of the house.)

Anyway, Colin has been particularly challenging lately. (I plan to write more about that some other time.) We are having him evaluated  because we don’t know if it is due to his cocaine exposure in-utero or if he’s just on the extreme end for normal terrible toddler behaviors. In any case, we are very nervous about flying with him. Keep in mind that we are not novices at traveling with young children. We took Noah to Vietnam with us when he was 13-months-old, so when we flew home Noah was 14-months-old and Zoe was 4-months-old. We also flew to Mexico two years ago with Noah and Zoe, and we have flown to Florida twice with all three of them (though Colin was younger and less mobile). Still, Colin has *really* been a handful lately, so Christian and I are both pretty stressed about the flights. 

On top of that, I have a pinched nerve which is causing me extreme pain in my lower back and down my left leg. I am incredibly uncomfortable sitting in a regular chair, so an airline seat should be a blast.

I’ve never really wanted to get my kids into video games this early, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I think we need to get some sort of portable gaming system to keep Noah and Zoe occupied. I figure they can play video games while Christian wrestles Colin and I scream and writhe in pain and/or zone out on a mixture of Vicodin and airline cocktails. Sounds like a plan, huh? 

Noah and Zoe have played a few games online. Noah likes matching games and Zoe has played a game where she picks clothes and accessories for fairies.  What kind of portable gaming system can I get them that is age-appropriate and will keep them occupied on two long plane rides? I’m completely ignorant about these things. I know my cousin’s five-year-old has a Nintendo DS, but I don’t even know what that it. Is that the way to go or is there some other system? What kind of games can I buy?

Help me please!!!!

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11 thoughts on “Please help me corrupt my kids with a portable gaming system

  1. I’d look into the Leapster line of electronics. There are lots of educational toys that they have that my best friend’s 3 year old just loves.

    http://www.leapfrog.com/en/shop/Leapster2.html

    This system has lots of games and you wouldn’t have to worry about them becoming brainwashed so early since most of the games seem to be educational.

    As far as the DS, I’d say it’s a great way to go but it’s expensive. They system is about $120 and the games are usually between $25-$50. BUT, it’s something that they can grow with. The leapster2 seems to be more geared towards kids, while DS they can use until they’re my age. Or until a newer, shinier version comes out 2 months after you buy this one. 🙂

    Another thing is maybe a portable DVD player? Or drugs…. or both? 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Thanks Kaylee. I’m wondering if they are still too young for the DS. Someone else just sent me an e-m ail suggesting the Leapster stuff, so I will check into it.

    As far as drugs go, don’t think I haven’t thought about it!

    Did you ever hear the story about when Scott and Wanda took the kids to Hawaii? Scott read the instructions wrong and gave Scotty two dramamine instead of 1/2 a dramamine! The kid was PASSED OUT. They had to carry him to make their connecting flight! (They were freaked out at the time, but we can laugh now because he’s OK!)

  3. We started our kids with the Leapsters (Zeeb will move up to the DS on his 7th birthday, it was as long as I could hold out!). I’d also suggest looking into portable DVD players… some airlines and some airports actually rent them, which might be a more affordable way to go.

  4. Our younger kids love the Leapsters, and we like them because the games are educational. They even come in pink and green, so it is easy to tell them apart and nobody argues that somebody else has their Leapster.

  5. We have both the leapster and DS. My youngest kids are 3 and 5 and like them both. I would have preferred they just have the leapster (more educational), but their older brothers let them use the DS. Like another poster, the leapster is more educational. My youngest also uses the DS to “write” with (in the pictochat mode). She uses that more than any game. Good luck!!

  6. My boys both got DS’s for Christmas. They are 6&9. We waited to get the DS’s until my 6yr old could read. Not that there’s a lot of reading in the games we have, but I knew it would get old telling him what to do because he couldn’t read the instructions.

    I think your best bet would be a couple of Leapsters. Tova was playing one at a friends house & loved it. I think we’re going to need to get her one for our summer vacation.

    My kids doc actually suggested drugging the kids for travel but he said try it out at home first so you know how they’ll react.

  7. I am laughing so hard right now. Not because I think it’s funny that you’re traumatized about a flight with your kids – you have all my sympathy for that one! I’m no help since, when I in the same situation my best choices were crayons and alcohol (and I’m not saying who got which). I am laughing because one of the above responses which eloquently points out the advantages of Leapster because of their educational options is from my daughter (not naming names, but her initials are KRJJ) who, in the not-that-long-ago past, glared at me with her hands on her hips, loudly declaring I was “the meanest mommy in the world” because I refused to buy a gaming system which was owned by every other child in the world, but had no educational games. There is justice in the world after all.

  8. I’d go with the Leapster 2. Chloe has one and loves it. She has the Princess and the Frog game, as well as Disney princesses. Plus there are other things you can do without the games, such as drawing, coloring, etc.

    Chloe loves it, plus it was only $40ish.

  9. I feel your pain. My daughter is 3.5 and within the last month has put us through a whole new set of challenges. She is not wanting to listen, talks back and has even began to spit if she doesn’t get her way…ughh! Anyways, I am glad you posted this and anxious to see what you decide to get your kids for the trip. My husband and I will be traveling to Korea soon to pick up our son. We really want our daughter to go with us, but with this new change of attitude we are thinking twice. 15+ hours on a plane ride just might do us in…lol

  10. Pingback: I’m in pain, but at least I’m not crazy « My Minivan Rocks!

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