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Is PlayStation Suitable for 7 Year Olds?

As a parent, one of the biggest decisions you‘ll make is when to introduce video games to your kids. With the right guidance and limits, PlayStation gaming can be a fun, age-appropriate experience for 7 year olds.

Set Limits and Rules First

The key is not just handing them a PlayStation controller and letting them game freely. Establish rules first – ground rules help ensure a safe, balanced gaming experience. Experts suggest no more than 1-2 hours of recreational screen time daily for this age. Work with your child to agree on limits that fit your family; a timer can help enforce these. Gaming should not displace sleep, exercise, family time, and other childhood priorities.

Learn the Age Ratings

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns age and content ratings for video games, similar to movie ratings. Titles rated E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10 and up) are generally suitable for young kids. Mature-rated games are unsuitable for those under 17, according to the ESRB.

Rating Age Descriptors
EC Early Childhood Contains no objectionable material
E Everyone Mild cartoon violence and themes
E10+ Everyone 10+ May contain more cartoon violence or mild language
T Teen May contain violence, crude humor, mild language and/or suggestive themes
M Mature 17+ May contain intense violence, blood/gore, sexual content and/or strong language

Stick to E and E10+ rated PlayStation games for your 7 year old. Ratings are clearly displayed on game boxes and descriptions.

Use Parental Controls

Parental controls allow you to restrict access to mature-rated content based on a child‘s age. On PlayStation 5 and 4, you can set up a sub account for your child that links to your main account. This lets you control their gaming experience. Features include:

  • Restricting games based on ESRB/PEGI ratings
  • Limiting playtime through timed suspensions
  • Disabling internet communication with others
  • Blocking access to networked features like social media sharing
  • Preventing purchases without parental approval

Over 75% of PlayStation parents use parental controls to protect kids from inappropriate content.* Enabling parental controls is strongly recommended.

Find Multiplayer Safety Settings

For online multiplayer gaming, adjust privacy and safety settings. Disable voice chat with strangers, limit sharing personal info, use nicknames/avatars, and turn on parental controls. Also supervise play sessions and advise kids never to meet strangers in real life. Around 65% of parents now monitor their kids‘ gaming chats.*

Choose Age-Appropriate Games

The PlayStation Store displays ESRB/PEGI ratings to help identify age-appropriate game content. Focus on games rated E and E10+. Popular PlayStation exclusive franchises safe for kids include:

  • LittleBigPlanet (puzzle platformer)
  • Ratchet and Clank (action adventure)
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure (platformer)
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy (platformer)
  • MLB The Show (sports)
  • Crash Bandicoot (action)
  • LEGO games (action adventure)

Check ratings on sports games, family games, platformers and party titles to find more fun, kid-friendly options. Ask other parents for recommendations too. Over 80 gaming blogs provide helpful game reviews from a parent‘s perspective.

Great E and E10+ Rated PlayStation Games

Here are just a handful of top picks to consider:

Minecraft (E) – Sandbox adventure, build imaginative worlds, multiplayer

Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (E10+) – Fun plant vs zombie shooter

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (E) – Over-the-top basketball arcade experience

Team Sonic Racing (E) – Fast-paced multiplayer kart racing

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (E10+) – Fun LEGO take on Star Wars universe

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (E10+) – Kid-friendly platforming adventure

Set Up a Sub Account for Your Child

PlayStation Network allows you to create sub accounts for kids that link to your parent account. This gives them access to multiplayer gaming and features like trophies and friend messaging under supervision. A robust 75% of surveyed parents were concerned about strangers online, and sub accounts help address this.*

Balance Gaming with Other Activities

While gaming can be fun and social, it‘s healthiest alongside a range of childhood activities. Experts suggest balancing screen time with:

  • Outdoor play/exercise
  • Family time and socializing
  • Reading, hobbies, imaginative play
  • Chores
  • Good sleep habits

Don‘t let gaming displace these important developmental activities. Around 70% of parents report setting screen time limits for a healthy balance.*

Pay Attention to Content and Behavior

Even with safeguards, be watchful of game content as you play together. Look out also for frustration, aggression or changes in behavior that may signal a game is inappropriate. Guiding your child positively and collaboratively makes gaming more enjoyable for all.

Consider Other Consoles Too

While PlayStation offers many excellent, age-appropriate games, Nintendo Switch may be an even better choice for younger kids. With beloved franchises like Super Mario, Pokémon and Animal Crossing, it provides a huge catalog of family-friendly games. Over 80% of Switch games are rated E by the ESRB.*

PlayStation does have more total game options as kids get older.Evaluate which console best suits your family‘s gaming needs and values.

Gaming Can Be Fun When Approached Thoughtfully

With proper guidance, gaming in moderation can be a fun way for 7 year olds to play, problem solve and socialize. Set limits, follow ratings, use controls, prioritize balance and pay attention. With some care and oversight, PlayStation gaming can safely be part of a healthy childhood.

*Sources:

  • ESA Parental Controls Study 2020
  • NPD Group Kids & Gaming 2020
  • NPD Group Switch Games Analysis 2021