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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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4 Answers 4

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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
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 22:40
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    It looks like something out of Transformers now ;)
    – RCIX
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 2:08
  • @RCIX and thus will appeal even more so to most 4 year olds, I would guess :-)
    – Josh
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 18:12
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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
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 16:43
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This insurance serves you ... is a protector.

http://www.amazon.com/DSi-Protector-Nintendo-Clear-DS/dp/B001U0O6KO

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
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 0:35

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