Recommended Nintendo Switch Accessories and Games for Families

Has your child asked for a Nintendo Switch for Christmas? Our Nintendo Switch is enjoyed by all 3 of my children and I think it is great gift. If you are considering a Nintendo Switch as a present for your children this Christmas what do you need to know, and more importantly what accessories and games should you be buying to make the most of it?

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The games and accessories we recommend when buying a Nintendo Switch for family including extra joy-con and a charging unit

Should You Buy The Nintendo Switch or the Switch Lite for Families?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great handheld gaming device, but for me it’s the Nintendo Switch that stands out as a brilliant gaming system for families. You get the functionality of the Lite so you can play it as a handheld device, great for long journeys and single player games, but what I love is that you can also plug it into a big screen or TV and play together as a family. Children from around aged 5 should be able to easily play games and have a great time.

To use your Nintendo Switch to play on the TV you plug the docking device (which it comes with) into a  power source and the TV. Remove the controllers from the side of the Switch screen and dock the screen into the dock.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is smaller, lighter and cheaper so it’s a good choice if it’s always going to be played with by just one person. It is probably the most popular dedicated handheld gaming device currently on the market, but it’s also worth considering a tablet or iPad which offer more functionality. The controllers can not be removed on the Switch Lite and it can not be connected to a TV.

There is now a newer Nintendo Switch OLED model available which offers slightly better functionality: a LAN port (as well as the HDMI port) for TV mode, it’s very slightly heavier and wider giving it a 7 inch screen (compared to 6.2 inches on the original Switch or 5.5 inches on the Lite). It also has double the memory at 64GB. The memory will be useful if you choose to download games rather than buy the cartridges however the Switch has space to add a micro SD card to expand it’s memory if necessary anyway. Most children wont notice the difference, but it does look like the release may mean better offers are availble on the older version this Christmas if there is enough stock.

Our Recommended Accessories When Buying The Nintendo Switch for Children

A Carry Case

If you are taking the Nintendo Switch or Lite out you will want to consider a case to protect it from damage. They are also handy for keeping all the bits together. We use an old camera bag which works well, but if you are buying one a dedicated bag with space for all the kit will help keep you organised. If you have the Switch get one you can fit the docking station in, but if you have the Switch Lite you can go for something smaller and more portable.

Extra Pair of Joy-Con (controllers)

Depending on the game you can play the Switch using one or two of the controllers so you can have up to 2 players playing a game at the same time which the controllers the Switch comes with. You can buy another set of controllers allowing up to 4 people to play a game at the same time. I would recommend getting genuine Nintendo controllers rather than compatible ones which might appeal because of the price, however look at reviews of compatible ones to see if it’s worth trying them.

Joy-Con Charger

The controllers charge when attached to the main Switch unit, but if you have extra controllers or you want to be able to play for longer it is really helpful to have a separate charging unit. We have the one linked to below which allows us to charge all 4 of our controllers at once or individually.

Micro SD card for extra memory

You can extend the memory of your switch with a Micro SD card. I wouldn’t worry about buying one initially though, you can easily get one later if you find you have used most of the memory. If you do find you use up the memory quickly you might choose to buy a higher capacity card eg 256gb or 512gb, but if it takes you a few years you will probably be find buying a 64gb card. You don't need to buy a Nintendo specific one as they aren't any different.

Steering wheels for Mario Kart

Mario Kart is a really popular game for Nintendo Switch and you can buy steering wheels which the controllers slot into to enhance your gaming experience. There are both official Nintendo ones and cheaper ones. We are pretty split in our house over our preference to play with or without the wheels. If you are considering buying a wheel for Mario Kart you need to know they aren’t essential and they are pretty small, only slightly wider than the width of the controllers, if that, so maybe best for younger children. If you had similar for the Nintendo Wii in the past these are much smaller.

Comfort Grip 

For some games it can be useful to have a comfort grip to attach the pair of Joy-Con together, but as most of the multi play games only use half of the pair this might not be used much if playing as a family. There might be other adaptors you want to buy too depending on which games become a favourite, but to avoid filling your house with unused plastic I would hold off buying them initially.

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo offer a subscription service which you can offer find available in a bundle with the console or games. If you are playing with young children new to gaming it probably isn't worth buying, but if you decide you want it you can always subscribe at a later date.

Their subscription service allows you to play multiplayer games online, gives you some cloud storage and access to various games. My children are 10 and under so I currently don't want them to play with people outside our home so it's helpful not to have the option!

Recommended Family Nintendo Switch Games for Multiple Players

You can buy Nintendo Switch games as downloads or as cartridges, make sure you check which one you are buying if you have a preference. Even when buying from places like Argos where you expect to get a physical product you might find you just have a code and need to download the actual game. There often isn't a price difference between the two types.

Mario Kart

Mario Kart is our absolute favourite to play as a family (we have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe). This is because it’s easy to pick up the basics and each game can be fairly short so holds short attention spans. There are lots of variations of the racing game you can play so it doesn’t get boring. You can play easily with 4 people and even larger groups, but this is a more complicated set up. 

51 Worldwide Games

There are lots of versions of classic games in one purchase including solitaire, Connect 4, darts, Yahtzee and dominoes. These will appeal to children and adults.

1, 2 Switch

A number of (mostly) 2 player games which use the full potential of the Joy-Con including table tennis, quick draw (a shooting game) and one wear you pretend the controller is a bottle of fizzy drink and you have to shake it the right amount so it “pops” when you pass it to the next player.

Just Dance

My children are far better at Just Dance than me. Arguably I do the moves better, but they can hit the beat so get more points, they love playing it. It’s great fun for getting people moving and each version has a range of current music and extra content that can be unlocked. We have the 2021 version which has a children’s section where the figures are more child friendly (rather than looking like dancers), but my children prefer the music in the main game.

Mario Party

Mario Party is a popular game for people to play alone or with family and friends. You choose your character from the classics like Princess Peach or Luigi and go on various adventures together playing mini-games on the way. Personally I find that the amount of time you spend playing versus watching other people play or watching animation makes this game a bit slow, but others say they love it. I haven’t tried playing it with my children as I think they would lose interest.

Super Smash Bros

A simplified fighting game where players aim to damage each other knocking them out of the play area (rather than killing opponents like in some other fighting games). It’s good fun if you are happy to have your children playing fighting games.

Sports Party

The image quality isn’t great on a large screen, but there is a good selection of games where you can compete against family and friends or form a team and play side by side eg volleyball. The games are easy to pick up and play, but the main reason we got it was for some variety and it is substantially cheaper than some other games.

Carnival Games

An interesting selection of games with some more fun that others. It provides a bit of variation with short games children can enjoy as well as adults.

(Disclosure- all products bought myself or recommended by friends. Amazon links are affiliate, if you make a purchase after clicking through I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you if you choose to buy in this way.)

Buying a Nintendo Switch for children tips, games and accessories

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