Software for Babies & Toddlers
A new feature
at EdutainingKids.com, our Buyer's Guides help make buying
choices easy for consumers. We test hundreds of children's
products and strive to keep up to date on the latest releases. Of
course, every family is unique. We can't please everyone. However,
we are able to select some special titles that are at the top of
our "edutainment" list--those that have that extra edge
in the categories of design, entertainment, education, and play
letter grades we give most products, reviews on this site often
come with a rating bar chart--a visual breakdown of how the
product rates in a number of categories. If you'd like to know
more about how software products are rated, click here.
As we test new
software and products, we will update these buyer's guides to
reflect current availability and up-to-date recommendations. These
guides are intended to help parents make sense of the overwhelming
choices available to them.
for Babies and Toddlers:
are entirely curious about that big screen that Mommy and Daddy
often sit in front of (most babies think the monitor is the
computer!) and others could care less. There is absolutely no rush
to get young children acquainted with the computer, but if your
toddler is clamoring for his or her turn with the mouse, there are
some excellent software programs that provide pleasant, error-free
introductions to the world of computer games.
designed-for-babies programs allow children to either tap the keys
on the keyboard in a random manner for an onscreen reaction, or
more deliberate swiping of the mouse without the need for clicking
(hotspots are activated when the cursor hovers over them).
If you have
skipped baby software and want to get your toddler (ages 18 months
and up) acquainted with the mechanics of the mouse, Reader Rabbit
Toddler is a great choice. At first, this program will be
"lapware", but when children become more familiar with
the mouse, they can have lots of independent fun with this
Why do we
recommend this product? Good replay
value, nice selection of activities, excellent activities for
older toddlers. Teaches children to swipe the mouse. A
standout activity involves coloring a picture by moving the mouse
back and forth, which is an ideal way for toddlers to understand
how the mouse works!
Who is it
for? Older toddlers; children who want to learn how to use the
bundles three CD-ROMs, two of which are decent toddler programs: Winnie the Pooh Toddler and
Mickey Mouse Toddler. Our complaint with each previously-released
title was that there wasn't quite enough activities, but this
bundle solves the problem nicely! Cute activities are featured,
and most are quite responsive. The third title in the
package, Rolie Polie Olie, is far out of a toddler's range of
capabilities. Some bundles
Why do we
recommend this product? Good
features allow children to play two ways (with the mouse and the
keyboard); nice educationally valuable activities; engaging
format; two programs for the price of one.
Who is it
for? Young and older toddlers, children who want to learn how to
use the mouse. Good as lapware and, later, for independent play.
Two toddler programs for the price of one makes the bundle an economical
way to add variety to a young child's software collection.
program as lapware. The activities are broken down into those that
require use of the mouse and those that require children to use
the keyboard. An adult has to be present in order to switch
between the different sets of activities, so this program is not
as good as Reader Rabbit Toddler for when children have mastered
the basics of the computer mouse.
Why do we
recommend this product? Good lapware, favorite characters, bright graphics, fun activities. Not
ideal for independent play.
Who is it
for? Families who intend to use the program as lapware. Best for
children ages 12-24 months.
Fun game that
is based on the Baby Einstein series of videos, and more
specifically, the Baby Newton video/DVD. This program is not
especially interactive, but it does provide a stimulating
environment for young children to become acquainted with the basic
concept of cause-and-effect on the computer (move the mouse or tap
the keyboard for a reaction onscreen).
over-stimulating. Best used in small doses. Not as interactive as other baby software, but certainly more interactive than the
videos on which the program is based. Very appealing graphics.
Who is it
for? Children who enjoy the Baby Einstein series of videos. Best
used as lapware for younger children.
program has changed so drastically with each new release over the
years, it's a little hard to follow. The latest version stars a
little teddy bear named Teddy. Children get him dressed for the
season, participate in music-making, and connect the dots. This
program is quite fun and creative; best used as lapware.
Pooh Baby is graphically rich, but not a very responsive
program for young children. Muppet Babies: Toyland Train is
a cute program, but it simply is not user-friendly for babies or
toddlers. By the time children can understand how to navigate the
game, they are too old for the learning content.