Real educational games for Nintendo DS?

So come Christmas, every sentient being in my household will have some kind of device on which to play games. Me, I’m not big on games, but the iPod Touch apparently will play them, and I’ve been told they’re kinda-sorta fun, so perhaps I’ll give one or two a try. And, my husband has been equipped with an iPhone and he’s male so you know he’s playing games like a motherf**ker.

So anyway, the young beings in our home have, or all will have, at Christmastime the Nintendo DS. We already have a couple of them around the house, and a variety of games I know not the title of. I think Zelda is involved.

But — one of the sprouts is young, just 4, and it seems like there ought to be some games designed for actual education. Don’t tell me about how they develop good eye-hand coordination, or some rigamarole about how they enhance higher-order thinking or something.

No, I want to know if there are any actual developed educational games. Games developed by, you know, EDUCATORS. Yes, they can be fun, too, but since they’re going to be having their noses in these damn things for at least a month solid following Christmas, I’d like them to get SOME worthwhile benefit out of them, beyond mere entertainment.

The other children are girl, 14, and boy 11. (The other is a boy, 4.)

Thanks for any help!

— Electronic Mom

I believe the Brain Age games are made by a doctor/professor. Big Brain Academy is fun too. I’m not sure if either of those are good for a 4 year old (my daughter is only a little over a year so I have no idea what level a 4 year old is at). If you want truly educational for a 4 year old maybe DS isn’t your best choice. I’ve seen TV commercials for a hand held system made by the LeapFrog company (who seems to specialize in educational video games). It’s called Didj, although the site say 6 years old. I have no idea on whether it’s good or not but it’s something to look into.

Thank you. Yes, I’m familiar with Leap Frog.

With this young one, he wants what his older siblings have. And we do have the Leap Frog already. I’m looking for stuff specific to the DS. If it don’t exist, it don’t exist. I just thought I’d ask around and see.