Handhelds for kids too old for Leapster?

My soon to be 7-year old is getting bored with his Leapster. My problem is finding him a platform and games that will work for his age. He’s learning to read but doesn’t have enough skills for any real reading. We want him to have something vaguely educational as well, although fun games are good too.

Last year, we got him a DS, which we returned, because he was too young for the games we got him. I’d buy him a new one, but I don’t know what games to get him. Any suggestions?

My guess is a nintendo DS would be the best thing to move up to. Some games that I personally have that I think would be fun for kids would be Mariokart DS (racing), New! Super Mario Bros. (basic mario side scroller), Animal Crossing, and Nintendogs (sort of a fake pet raising game). There’s also always classics like Tetris and Meteos (the disney magic one is surprisingly good). Maybe cooking mama, but that could be too girly? I’ve only played a few of the pokemon games, but he might like those too.

I don’t really consider those educational, though. I haven’t played any of the Brainage type games, so I’m not sure how they would appeal to a seven year old or their difficulty level. My first guess for good puzzle teaser game would be Professor Layton, but that does have a lot of reading in it so it might not be good (also, some of the puzzles are hard for me, so I can’t imagine what a kid would think).

But please take this with a grain of salt since I really have no idea what level a 7-year-old is at or would enjoy.

Thanks Time Stranger. We have Meteos, Brain Age, and Prof. Layton at home (my husband has a DS). My son’s played some Big Brain Academy games, which he really liked, but Prof. Layton’s definitely out of his league. Maybe it’s time to invest in another DS, though.