At this time, we do not own any type of hand-held games. I have very mixed feelings about them. I do see how hand-held games are useful in cutting down whining, complaining, and sibling spats in the car, while waiting for the doctor, or in a huge line at a consignment sale (threw this one in, because I recently waited in a 2 hour checkout line this past weekend, and I might have budged on my video game rule if my kids had them!) While I have relaxed my own opinion of their use in moderation, I haven't been able to bring myself to actually purchase one for our family. Most of the time, we really do not have great difficulty in making our own fun and entertainment during these situations.
One of our favorite games is creating our own word problems. If we are out and about ,(and we have even sometimes played this at home) we try to figure out scenarios that could play out in word problems.
This is how you play: Scope out the environment around you and see if you can create a word problem. For instance, there are 5 people in this checkout line and 4 people in the next line. How many people are in both checkout lines? There are four female cashiers and 3 male cashiers - how many cashiers are there altogether? There are two gas stations on the right side of the street, and one gas station on the other side of the street- how many gas stations are there?
We have such great fun at this. It really gets their brains thinking (especially when they create the word problems) and it also seems to be improving their observation skills too!