My son got his DS last Christmas when he was 3 1/2 years old. He had played with my cousins when we were on vacation that previous July and was hooked :) That was all he talked about Santa bringing him. We got him the blue DS XL.
I learned that the Xl means the screen is bigger. He had the Leapster since he was 2 and had done very well with that. He is also an expert on an Iphone. I don't know what we will do with these kiddos when they get school age because they are so advanced with technology. That is another story. Since he was so young I wanted to get some protective gear in case of dropping or falls. I looked all over the internet and saw this item below had great reviews. This is a must have item if you have a DS. It does make it bulkier, but well worth it. Better than shattering a screen or breaking the whole thing. They make these in both the DS and the DSXL. The Nerf Body Armor is a must have :)
The games that come with the DS are very small. This is a big responsibilty for our son to keep up with, but he has not lost one. We purchased a game case to keep his games in because it was overwhelming to always put them back in the boxes and if we wanted to take the DS with us this made it easy to take his games as well. This will hold up to 12 games which we haven't reached yet.
The last item that I would recommend is a car charger. We actually got a starter kit that had some extra stylus and other items in it. The only things we used from it were the car charger, screen protectors, wrist strap, and the extra stylus.
We have a small pottery barn backpack (will show this in a later post) that we keep all his DS stuff in and other items we need for running around town, going out to dinner, or traveling in the car. I think it has helped him keep up with his DS stuff because when he is done it has to go back in that bag. He also knows that he has to put his games in the case before he puts a new on in the DS. We taught him this from the beginning with lots of supervision and now he does this all on his own. He knows our expectations for keeping these nice things and he does it. I will also post later some of his favorite games that he can play. His dad and him tore of the supermario when he first got it. That was very cute to see :) Please comment below if you know of any other good tips for keeping up with the DS with little ones. This was an investment that we want to keep intact for a long time.