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My mother-in-law is planning on buying my 4 year old a Nintendo DSi for Christmas this year. I haven't ever used one or even played one and was wondering if it is durable enough to handle a typical 4 year old? I obviously plan on informing him that it's not just something you throw around and he understands that things are breakable, but things happen when you're 4 regardless.

I assume I will buy a carrying case or something for it if there isn't one already included with it.

If it's not durable enough by itself, are there bumper cases (like an iPhone or equivalent) that wrap it and protect it available that will help it last a bit longer in case it's dropped? If so, do they hinder play, and does anyone have recommendations as to the best ones to get? Would I need any sort of screen protector?

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@Grace Nintentdo. Oops. Thanks for the fix. – Doozer Blake Nov 23 '10 at 20:34
up vote 14 down vote accepted

For the outside case, there's the "Nerf Armor"; it exists for the DS lite, DSi and DSi XL.

alt text

With that it should resist almost any fall...

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Awesome, and now through the magic of Amazon's 1-Click I also own this. – tzenes Nov 23 '10 at 22:40
Now this is a sweet case! Thanks. – Doozer Blake Nov 24 '10 at 0:52
It looks like something out of Transformers now ;) – RCIX Nov 24 '10 at 2:08
@RCIX and thus will appeal even more so to most 4 year olds, I would guess :-) – Josh Nov 24 '10 at 18:12

My daughter has played with my DS (not a DSi, but they're pretty much identical physically) since she was 3 and my DS is still in great shape.

They're pretty well constructed - a simple drop by a kid onto the floor doesn't really faze 'em. Obviously throwing it or something would be bad, but hopefully the kid will understand that's a no-no.

The touch screen also seems more than able to accept the attention of a 3 or 4 year old whose touch with the stylus may not be as kind and precise as an adult's. I've certainly talked to her about what not to do, but any rate my DS has taken its treatment well.

Who am I kidding? At this point it's her DS.

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My son has been playing with my original DS and my wife's Pink DS Lite, since his was 2 and a bit. And is getting his own DSi XL for his 4th birthday in a few weeks. Both are still in full working order. The only item you may need worry about is the stylus, as we've miss-placed them many times. – thing2k Nov 23 '10 at 16:43

This insurance serves you ... is a protector.

Obviously not become immune to the DSi but protects well.

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It might be easier to buy a 2nd hand DS with an R4 card and some games to start out. Let the kid break it and only then give the new DSi.

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That sounds like a fantastic waste of money. – Resorath Nov 24 '10 at 0:35

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