As a parent, I’m sure you’re wondering if the Nintendo Switch is age-appropriate for your child. I have researched the internet trying to answer this question for you and others like you.
The Nintendo Switch is ideal for children aged 5+, and the whole family, as it has parental controls. Historically Nintendo has produced age-appropriate content but if your child is less than 5 years old the controls for certain games might be too difficult.
Everything that makes the Switch great for families will be discussed in detail so stay tuned.
The Nintendo Switch Is The Perfect Family Console
The Nintendo Switch is the ideal family console because of its versatility, the original Switch can be played in handheld mode as seen in the picture above and also whilst ‘docked” and enjoyed on the television.
The system will come with a pair of joy-cons(pictured above) that can be played together as one controller(pictured below) or played as their own controller!
This gives the system incredibly versatility as you could play a single-player game by yourself whilst the Switch is in “docked mode” and then split your controller into 2 and enjoy a nice family gaming session!
Check out the video below to see how Nintendo Switch is the ideal family gaming console!
Better still when you’re on the move such as driving to your parent’s house your Switch can come with you. Simply undock the Switch and your children/spouse can enjoy it in the car whilst you drive or use it for entertainment wherever you’re going.
The level of versatility the Switch has simply made it the most unique console ever made and Nintendo deserves credit for this feat of engineering. It can be enjoyed by yourself as a lone gamer, the whole family with multiple control options and even as a handheld when you’re out and about.
What’s not to like? You are effectively getting 2 consoles in one with the Nintendo Switch
Nintendos Age-Appropriate legacy
Nintendo is a company of 30+ years of gaming experience and has always produced family-friendly entertainment. PEGI is an age rating system for games that is a recommendation of what age a specific game is for. The following exert is from Nintendos official website
- 1. An Age Rating Icon on the front of the packaging, which shows for which age range the game is suitable. The five PEGI age ratings are: 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18.
- 2. Content Descriptor Icons on the back of the packaging, which advise you on the type of content contained in the game. The descriptors highlight eight types of content: Discrimination, Drugs, Fear, Bad Language, Sex, Violence, Gambling and Online (see ‘PEGI content descriptor icons’ below for more details).
The vast majority of Nintendo games are appropriate for young children or the everyone rating and according to the official website “titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.”
Most of the violence in Nintendo games would be very comical and mild, far less violence or explicit themes than which are present in most of the modern-day media or what your children will see in the news.
Of course explicit content does exist in the Nintendo Switch but you have control of what your children see and how they use the Switch. There is simply so much family-appropriate content that the whole family can enjoy and most of the controls are very intuitive and be understood and implemented very easily.
Most Nintendo games have a low learning curve but a very high skill cap, so easy to play but hard to master. Certain games like the cartoon fighter Super Smash Ultimate on the surface look quite basic and can be enjoyed by everyone but when you scratch the surface the gameplay is very deep and challenging.
Having games that cater to both casual/children and more serious players is a very difficult thing to achieve and Nintendo has achieved this time and time again.
Games such as Super Mario Odyssey one of the best games of this generation is fantastic for all ages and is recommended for around kids of 5+ and Mario Kart is a fun racing game that can be enjoyed by the whole family and is aimed at the same age demographic.
The Nintendo Switch is simply stacked with family-friendly games with excellent production values and other consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4 cannot compete whatsoever.
I cannot think of another family-friendly console that doesn’t have”Nintendo” in its name which speaks volumes on what the name “Nintendo” represents.
Check out this list of the top 10 Nintendo Switch games for your children so you can have an idea!
How Durable Is The Nintendo Switch?
I’m sure as a parent buying an expensive gaming console only to have your 6-year-old break it on the first week isn’t what you want for your purchase.
Luckily the Nintendo Switch is quite durable as a console. I’ve owned mine for 6 months and dropped it a few times but it has no signs of wear and tear and it will look like it will work for a long long time.
Check out this video at 2:06 a Nintendo Switch is dropped 1000ft and still works! If that doesn’t tell you something about the Nintendo Switches durability then I don’t know what else will
However, the joy-cons themselves are not built with the most sturdy materials and could break if you dropped them. They are relatively small and could impose a choking hazard if you have very young children. Although in general, the Nintendo Switch is quite durable.
What you DO have to watch out for is the screen, the screen itself is covered by a strong plastic coasting but I highly recommend purchasing a tempered screen protector such as this one from Amazon to protect your expensive gaming machine and to just be on the same side. You don’t want the screen to break as it is very expensive to replace.
Check out this EXTENSIVE durability test of the Switch to get a true representation of the Switches durability. After this video, you will know how durable of a console it is and if it’s safe from your kids!
Does the Nintendo Switch Have Parental Controls
I’m not a parent yet but I know how important it is to control how your child will use they’re Nintendo Switch luckily every Switch has extensive parental controls so you know exactly what’s going on.
The following exert is from the official Nintendo website discussing the Nintendo Switch Parental Control app that can be used with both IOS and android devices.
The Nintendo Switch Parental Controls smart device app is a free smart device app which you can link with Nintendo Switch to easily monitor what and how your children are playing. If you do not have a smart device you can also set certain restrictions on Nintendo Switch directly.Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
With the app, you can monitor your child’s gameplay time and set a time limit for how long they’re allowed to play. When the times up an alarm will play on the Nintendo Switch announcing that playtime is over.
Now it isn’t just an alarm as using the suspend software feature allows you to automatically turn off the game when the allocated time limit is used up. Sorry kids!
Now you want to monitor what games your child is playing? No problem as the Nintendo Switch parental controls smart app gives you a detailed report on what videos games your child is playing and how long for, this can also be read as a monthly report so you can easily see what games your children are interested in.
You might ask on the Nintendo Switch can I restrict games according to my children’s age? You will be glad to hear that you can! You can prevent children from playing games that are not appropriate for their age group based on the PEGI age rating mentioned above.
Also, you can restrict communication with other users we have no control over how others act online but luckily you can restrict your child’s ability to send and exchange messages/images with other Nintendo users. This can also be applied to specific games.
Check out this handy tutorial on how to set up parental controls for your Nintendo Switch so you can get a heads up before you purchase one!
Can The Nintendo Switch Be Tracked If Lost/Stolen?
Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch does not come with an included tracking solution. However, there is a solution called a Tile mate that you can purchase from Amazon for $20(here).
This mini device can be attached to your Switch with connects with a mobile app informing you of where your Switch is using Bluetooth tracking so it’s limited to close proximity but can be life-saving if you realise it’s lost when the Switch is still close by.
Although Tite has a community which will send you an alert if your Switch is within Bluetooth range of another Tile user.
Whilst definitely not perfect a tile will save your Switch if you realise it’s lost and it’s still within Bluetooth distance and it’s a good alternative to not having any recovery method at all.
Check out this review of the Tile Pro so you can get a better understanding of what the device is. It can work with anything you want to keep track of such as your phone or laptop, not just your child’s Switch.
Nintendo Switch Family Membership
You will be delighted to know Nintendo offers a discount to its online services with families! Individual online membership is $20 for a year but a family memberships cost $35 annually!
A Nintendo Switch family membership gives up to eight different Nintendo Account holders Nintendo Switch online for one year. This works out to fantastic savings as if you have 8 different family members it will cost less than $5 a year for the membership so all your children and anyone else in your family can be blessed with online savings!
The 8 accounts can be spread into different consoles so even if you purchase 2 switches the family membership still applies.
Check out this handy tutorial on how to easily set up Nintendo Switch Family Membership in no time!
Should You Get A Nintendo Switch Or Nintendo Switch Lite?
I’m sure you’ve heard that there are two different versions of the Nintendo Switch, one the original the other is the Nintendo Switch lite. The biggest difference between the two is the lite has a smaller screen than the 6.2 inches of the Original and it’s mainly a handheld device and cannot dock to your television.
Which one is better for your children? Well, I’d recommend the original Switch because the ability to switch between portable and docked mode is the whole point of what makes the Switch so versatility for families in the first place, you’re losing that key feature if you get the lite.
Although the Switch lite is a lot lighter and way more comfortable for long handheld gaming sessions, so it would make the better choice if your children will mainly play the Switch in handheld mode. It is also about $100 cheaper but again you lose the “Switch” functionality.
Check out this comparison between the two devices so you get a better understanding.
Should You Get The Nintendo Switch For Your Kids?
Nintendo has always been number 1 for family rated gaming and the Nintendo Switch is perhaps the most family-friendly console ever made.
The Switch functionality of switching between home console and handheld device uniquely allows it to be both a home gaming system for multiplayer family games like Super Mario Party and Super Mario Kart, whilst being an equally capable portable gaming machine for gaming on the go.
It has perfect parental controls allowing you absolute control of both the games your children play and how they interact online with others, with the ability to suspend software if your children breach the time you allocated.
Nintendo Switch Family Memberships gives you a fantastic option to save money for your entire families online Nintendo membership, and Sony and Microsoft simply do not offer this fantastic value.
Now, should you buy the Switch or the Switch Lite? I still believe the original Switch is your best option because of its versatility but the Nintendo Switch Lite is still a fantastic option if you want a cheaper option and your kid will only play the game in handheld mode.
Best Nintendo Switch Family Games
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Catch ‘Em All: Pokemon: Let’s Go! Pikachu/Eevee.
- I’ll Race Ya!: Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
- Party Time!: Super Mario Party.
- Dinner’s Ready: Overcooked! …
- It’s-a Me!: Super Mario Odyssey.
- Work Together: Snipperclips Plus: Cut it Out, Together!
- More Party Games!: 1-2 Switch