Family Bonding with Video Games (Nintendo DSi Giveaway!)

The contest is closed, winner is Christine.

Nintendo DSi winner

Up until a few years ago, we were not at all a gaming family.  We didn’t even own a gaming system.  My husband never really got into the video games that many of his friends played constantly.  Plus, we have three girls.  We had honestly never imagined that girls would enjoy playing video games so much.  Until… the Nintendo Wii came on the scene!  I think it was Rock Band that finally pushed us over the edge into getting one. (or maybe it was before that, It’s all a blur).  Anyway, it was a FAR cry from the original Atari system my brothers and I used to play in the 70s.

So we got a Wii, and a Rock Band set, and the rest is history!  Pretty soon, Nintendo made the genius move of introducing the Wii Fit, and I quickly got on the bandwagon with that one, too! Wii Fit helped me get my fitness mojo back with “baby steps” to moving, working out, getting active again!  And the fitness games were really fun for the kids too!

Moving on in our family gaming evolution, we decided to get a DS for our oldest daughter.  I admit I wasn’t sure at first, and I didn’t know how she would do with the time management/responsibility of having a personal game system. But we have been pleasantly surprised at the educational value as well as the self-control practice of setting limits.

I often feel like there is a negative connotation among moms when they talk about video games.  Sometimes we parents look at it as a necessary evil, instead of thinking of ways to use this “tool” for personal development.  There have been lots of benefits of doing the “game” thing in our family! I’m going to share a few ways playing video games has helped our family, and I’d love it if you would share some in the comments!

  • Wii Fit gives us a chance to get some activity in the cold, snowy winter months, and it’s a life-saver when school’s out for snow.
  • My husband and I bond over Rock Band, especially since we’re musicians!  We’ve figured out that I’m best on drums and he’s best on guitar.
  • Almost all of the family can play Super Mario Brothers together.  (4 players- we have 5)  The girls especially like playing with their daddy, and they really learn about working together to achieve a goal.  If you’ve played SMB, you know that you really have to work as a team sometimes to get through!
  • Even the little one can play Mario Kart, though admittedly, she usually doesn’t win!  She loves playing with the steering wheel accessory, and doesn’t have to learn tons of button functions.
  • Where’s Waldo hones their observation skills.
  • Just Dance is a HUGE hit in our home (with 4 dancers here), it’s so fun, active, interactive, fun for the spectators as well as the players!
  • Many of Hip Chick’s DS games promote problem solving skills, with her having to solve mysteries, and navigate through the game worlds.  There is actually a good amount of reading in the games she likes, too!
  • Having a DS has developed Hip Chick’s responsibility and time management skills.  She takes very good care of her system, and works hard to keep everything together, not lose the games. She uses the DS to reward herself after accomplishing a required task, like reading or homework.

The biggest reward by far for me, is the inspiration that came from getting active with the Wii Fit, DS Personal Trainer: Walking, and EA Sports Active for Wii.  As I became more active and fit, comfortable with my body, I decided to start dancing again! To make a long story short, I am now back to Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop after being dormant for 16 years!  I feel great, and love sharing the dance experience with my three ballerina princesses!

Love gaming? Have kids who are gamers? Want to learn more about how gaming promotes skills, values, and family togetherness? Then, join me at the #gno Twitter party this WEDNESDAY, September 15 from 9-11 p.m. ET (8 CT, 7 MT, 6 PT).

Game Stop and Nintendo DSi Giveaway!


The people at GameStop are excited…and with darn good reason.They are now offering the super popular Nintendo DSi (you know, the one your kids are always asking about) for only $149.99. And in conjunction with Today’s Mama, and Mom it Forward/#GNO, one Real Life reader will win a Nintendo DSi and two games from Game Stop (Approximate Retail Value $210)!

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment on this blog post, sharing a way you and your kids have learned skills and values, or bonded as a family with video games.

Leave a separate comment for an extra entry if you:

  • are a Real Life RSS Subscriber (Subscribe by reader) (Subscribe by email)
  • follow @GameStop on Twitter
  • follow @MomitForward and @todaysmama on Twitter (one entry for both)
  • follow @reallifesarah on Twitter (that’s me!)
  • Attend the #GNO Twitter party Wednesday at 9PM est, and tweet that you’re there from my blog post! (Please include link to your specific status update)
  • Link to this post on your blog, with the text Nintendo DSi Prize Package Giveaway
  • Post this Giveaway only ONCE on Twitter (must include @reallifesarah and @gamestop) Here is an example Tweet, but you don’t have to use it word for word:

Early Christmas Present! enter to #win Nintedo DSi and @gamestop #giveaway($210) from @reallifesarah!

(I do this to thank subscribers/followers with an extra chance to win!)

For even more Nintendo DSi giveaway fun, check out TodaysMama and enter to win DSi’s for the entire family. You heard me right! That’s 5 DSi’s and 10 games.

And remember, Real Life is on Facebook now! I’d love to connect with you there! Remember to share with your Facebook Friends! Use the Facebook share button at the top, or “Like” this article below!


This contest will be open to US And CANADA Residents 18 or older, through September 20, 2010. One winner will be chosen by random number generator, and notified by email. Winner will be responsible for claiming the prize by email.

Disclosure: In conjunction with my participation in promotion of this project, I am receiving a Nintendo DSi, as well as two games from Game Stop.  My middle child will be very happy at Christmas! 😉

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. With 3 boys, we do a lot of family bonding with Wii games. Some of our favorites are Boom Blox and the Raving Rabbids series. We also like to use the WiFi connectivity to play with family friends online.

  2. We are definitely a gaming family. Games have been a great form of g rated entertainment for us and the kids. It has also helped the kids with sharing and has taught them as well. For daughter and son have both learned to speak some spanish through Video games. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I already follow gamestop on twitter

  4. I already follow Mom It Forward on Twitter

  5. I now follow todaysmama on twitter

  6. I am now an email subscriber.

  7. I follow @GameStop on Twitter

  8. I am now following you on twitter

  9. I follow @MomitForward

  10. I follow @todaysmama on Twitter

  11. I follow @reallifesarah on Twitter

  12. tweet

    Thank you so much for the chance!!