Nintendo has been a well-known video game and console creator since the very beginnings of the gaming industry. From their very first video game console, the Color TV-Game, that released way back in the 1970s to the Nintendo Entertainment System that revolutionized home gaming as we know it, Nintendo has a history of crafting some of the most well-known games and franchises of all time. The Nintendo Wii first released in 2006 as a part of the seventh generation of gaming consoles. It was designed to compete with Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 which were, and remain, its biggest competitors.
When the Wii was first introduced, it gained a lot of notoriety for its unique playing style. The system introduced the Wii remote and Nunchuk as its primary controllers which utilize not only button presses like the more traditional PS3 and XBox 360 but also incorporate motion. It was the first console to break away from the idea that we sit to play video games and instead used its revolutionary motion-tracking system to get players back on their feet. This type of “action gaming” would become the trend that would eventually pave the way for the Sony Move system, the XBox Kinect system, and even the VR-style games that we know today.
Throughout the history of video games, there has been a long-standing thought that games are for lazy people. Early gaming consoles tied players down with wired controllers and the need to connect to a large screen in order to play. The Nintendo Wii flipped this idea on its head by introducing a gaming console designed to be controlled by your movements. A new wave of fitness games flooded the market, from the aptly named and original Wii Fit to the more intense exercise titles like Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum. Suddenly gamers were being challenged to move their bodies in order to play and this led to a number of health benefits.
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to bolster your overall fitness levels. Studies have shown that playing 30 minutes of a Wii motion game like Wii Fit or Just Dance is an ideal way to build cardiovascular health. It can improve muscle strength and tone, enhance hand-eye coordination and gross-motor control, and reduce the likelihood of developing childhood obesity. Many seniors are recommended to use the Wii system to encourage them to be more active which improves not only their quality but also the length of their lives.
One of the best things about the Nintendo Wii versus the other major home gaming consoles on the market today is that is geared specifically toward children and family-friendly titles. There are more E rated games on Wii than any other system. This can make purchasing a game that is appropriate for your little one and with less violence than more mainstream games a lot easier. Whether you want to give your kiddo something to do over the winter or want to bring a new level of family play into your home, the Nintendo Wii has something for everyone. We have gathered a selection of some of the most popular Wii games from across the internet in a variety of different genres to fit every gaming style. We hope that one of our 10 Best Wii Games for Kids will be the highlight of your next family game night!
Our Top 3 Picks
- New Super Mario Bros
- Multiplayer Mode
- Mario Kart Wii
- Speed-Boosting Flips
- Just Dance 2016
- +Karaoke mode
Our Picks for the Top Wii Games for Kids
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Wii Games for Kids
The Nintendo Wii system combines video games with physical activity for creative fun and adventure. We chose games that promote physical involvement, social interaction, and imagination. Some include learning or demand coordination, and many help sharpen cognitive skills. All games require a good attention span, and if they weren’t fun, then no one would play them so this definitely figured into our selections. Recognizable characters and activities that can involve the entire family were also considered.
The more active a game, the better it is for a child’s health. Since Nintendo’s Wii system requires players to move to make things happen on the screen, playing these games often can help kids develop their balance and timing. Even more importantly some games can aid in maintaining a child’s healthy weight and improve their hand-eye coordination. Kids like to run around and burn off energy once in a while, and the Wii can take advantage of this instinct by offering an exercise that masquerades a play.
Movement helps improve memory and, at different stages of development, causes connections to be made in a child’s brain. Receiving and understanding instructions and then acting upon them is a necessary part of life, and Wii games help build on this. In order to improve in the game, kids need to observe and respond with increasing speed and skill. Wii has given them an opportunity to test themselves and appreciate their improvement as they grow. This helps build self-esteem and an interest in both competitive and personal play. Playtime is often more enjoyable when it involves competition or camaraderie so if a game allows for multiple players that makes it potentially more beneficial and possibly more interesting for players.
Some games are designed to educate in or out of the classroom. Most of them require some problem-solving abilities, and higher levels of play will improve these skills. Sometimes a game just makes learning more invisible and less stressful, so kids are more likely to accept a lesson that seems like a game. Again, if it isn’t fun, it probably won’t get used, so we’ve chosen educational games that are also enjoyable.
When children adopt new roles and act out stories involving other characters, their imaginations are triggered. We thought this was a good quality to encourage to inspire further creativity in their lives and interactions with others. Learning skills like driving a race kart or a car and fighting evil with weapons that don’t even exist require a lot of creative juice so, these too were qualities we looked for.
Our top picks brought together as many of these features as possible in order to maximize the quality of play for your kids. Nintendo’s Wii system allows children a more immersive interaction with games than in previous and some current game systems. From sports to dance to interaction with cartoon-style characters, we wanted to ensure that playtime is fun, active and exciting for anyone who picks up a console.
Wii Games and Children’s Development
There has been some controversy as to whether computer or video games are good or bad for kids. There are those who say that sitting in front of a TV and game console all day long can lead to significant loss of motor development. Some would even say that it can contribute to the development of obesity.
But if you are going to look at the design of the Nintendo Wii system, it addresses specifically this concern. It actually encourages children to become more actively involved in the gameplay. This is made possible by the system’s unique motion-sensitive inputs such that players will have to really move parts of their bodies to interact with these games. This helps provide kids the necessary stimulation for their psychomotor development. This is especially true in games that involve whole-body movements such as dance and sports.
Additionally, there are also games that can help children enhance their problem-solving skills as well as imagination and creativity. They learn to harness their planning and strategic thinking skills not to mention their ability to predict the consequences of certain actions.
But what is really amazing about the Wii system is that it allows for a multiplayer experience. This can enrich their social interaction abilities and pave the way for healthier social relationships. If the child plays these Wii games together with his or her family, then family relationships are not only enhanced but are also strengthened.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do these games encourage our children to play more video games?
A: Yes and no. Like many questions related to gaming, there is no easy answer to this question. Wii games are designed to appeal to a large market of gamers and especially children, so there is a large likelihood that playing one game that they enjoy will encourage your child to want to play more games that they enjoy. This, however, can be a good thing as many games for this console encourage multiplayer cooperation which can help your child build meaningful relationships and friendships over time.
Q: How do we keep our kids from ignoring other people and playing games alone?
A: Some games are better to play with at least one opponent. You can choose this kind of game and allow kids to play only when they have a friend or family member to play against.
Q: Why should we choose Wii and its games over another system?
A: Wii has the largest library of motion-based games. If you enjoy using sports or dance games, then it only makes sense to include the children’s games as well. In fact, Wii focuses on family-oriented games, and many of them encourage physical play which is always a big plus for kids who tend to be inactive.
Q: Why not just encourage kids to go outside and play with a ball?
A: Outside is a great place to play and if fresh air and sunshine are available, so much the better. But a lot of kids can’t play outside in the dark or when the weather is bad. Sometimes you need to know exactly where your children are and what they’re doing.
Q: Why do we need a Wii Party instead of just playing music?
A: Music is great, but sometimes kids just stand around and listen to it. Wii Party is a great way to get kids interacting and having fun. Games get people to let their guard down and relate to each other more easily.
Q: What happens when my kids outgrow the system?
A: They won’t. The Wii system can continue your child’s education throughout their life, and there are lots of games that you might enjoy, too. Endless Ocean: Blue World takes you under the sea, there are Active Worlds that allow you to visit historical sights or build a city. New games become available all the time.
Q: How do I know which video games are fit for my child to play?
A: The Nintendo Wii helps to take the guesswork out of this concern for parents. However, if there is still doubt, all video games now come with a code as to who is the ideal audience for that particular video game. Understanding this rating system is important and is something a parent can learn online.
Q: Is there research into the benefits that Nintendo Wi provides kids?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact, there has been some research conducted on the benefits of the Nintendo Wii games. Researchers have actually determined that playing interactively with Nintendo Wii can make exercise fun and even help fight childhood obesity. There are also research studies into the fact that maybe interactive video games such as the Wii system that require movement could be used as a therapeutic tool to help strengthen certain muscles in the body.
Q: Are these games appropriate for my child or do they contain a lot of violence?
A: Among the current consoles on the market, the Nintendo Wii is well-known for having a diverse library that is geared toward family and children gamers. While this doesn’t eliminate the system from having any violent games available, it does make it easy to find titles that are better suited for your little one. We always recommend following the ESRB rating system when it comes to purchasing a game that you may be unfamiliar with and avoid Mature-rated titles altogether.
Q: How does the motion control work?
A: The Wii remote straps to your wrist (so that it won’t go flying if you get a little overenthusiastic in your games), and then the receiving box (or your console) reads signals from the remote. This remote is different from its predecessors in that it transfers signals in three dimensions, meaning it captures the various movement you do. If you want to play a game with more intricate or complex motion analysis, you can purchase the Wii Plus accessory, an extension of the normal motion-sensing remote.
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