Tuesday, September 20, 2011

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 47: Classic Mario

I almost didn't put this activity on my blog. It's just not my style. At the same time, if there are any parents reading my blog for tips to entertain a bored and eager toddler, I want to have a variety of resources for them.

Today's activity isn't free unless you already own a game system. If you don't own one, then I don't recommend going out and spending hundreds of dollars in hopes your child will be entertained by it. If you *do* own one, well, put it to use!

Last week, my husband decided to introduce our son to Super Mario Bros, which we have on our Wii. Really, though, you can use any nonviolent game. Anyway, we don't really watch TV or movies at our house. We're not big fans of TV (especially my husband), and we just don't have time for movies anymore. So, because we're not constantly sitting in front of the tube, I decided not to mind that he wanted to introduce our son to video games. I know it's been his dream to be able to sit down and play video games with our son one day, and I'm not going to take that away from him.

And, so, Oliver was introduced to Super Mario Bros. He loves it. Andrew calls Oliver his "jump guy." Andrew controls the arrow keys to make Mario move, and Oliver presses the jump button over and over.

Oops, they fell down a hole:

Oliver is starting to understand how the game works (sort of). In fact, he'd jump up and point out all the coin blocks on the screen for Andrew and him to get.

For the first time today, Oliver decided he wanted to play himself. Andrew showed him the arrow key. It was very difficult for him, but Oliver would make Mario move or jump. He couldn't really do both. He was so excited that he made Mario move himself, that he repeatedly yelled excitedly at the screen and pointed to Mario. I'm pretty sure it was the best 15 minutes of Andrew's life.

Other parents might not approve of video games for their children, and I respect that completely. For us, it's a lot of fun, and I was amazed at how much Oliver could understand and how well he could maneuver in the game. At this point, he never plays longer than 10 or 15 minutes, but I'm sure we'll have to have time limits set in the future. In terms of fun and entertainment for the entire family, I give "Classic Mario" an A.

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