I firmly believe that young kids definitely can have a more meaningful experience on the computer when they play with their parents. In this regard, I am failing. Every morning my son wakes up about 1/2 hour before I'm ready to open my eyes, gets on the computer, and starts surfing from game site to game site. So far, he seems to have been keeping it clean (aside from the one, really disturbing game where you have to help a robot with his love life), and he's found some great stuff.
The more I watch him explore, the more I appreciate the problem solving and critical thinking skills that are employed in playing these games. These games are challenging, fun and highly addictive. As we continue to develop new games for clients, we should try to think about what we like about casual games and try to apply those thoughts to our creations.
Here's the game that inspired this posting:
Tom and Jerry's Trap-o-matic
A fun game that actually isn't terribly challenging to build, but works well. It requires some understanding of spatial relations to play.