Teaching Techonology for Toddlers



My wife and I recently found out that we are expecting. Excited, a little panicked, but mostly thrilled about the idea of adding another member to our family, I began thinking about how much our everyday lives are going to be changed by this new arrival. I thought about how much work and time I spend doing things on my MacBook.

I then began to wonder what kind of impression that would make on a ‘little one’, to see their father staring at this weird looking, square shaped apparatus all day long. My thoughts then drifted into wondering what kinds of products are available on the Mac for young children to begin learning different skills on the computer. I came across some of these interesting products:

KidsMouse for Mac
License: Shareware ($10.00) Version 1.6
For: Mac OS 9.x/X/ 10.1-10.4 Size: 1,620 KB
Program’s Home Page Publisher: WhiteRoom-Web

“Education software suitable for infant learning with mouse operation. This software collects eight kinds of learning games such as ABC Puzzle, The space recognition, Paint, Memory, Number, Color Ball, Easy Puzzle, Crayon, Seesaw, Number Puzzle, and Shape Puzzle. All games can only be operated by a clicking and drag-and-drop of mouse in a simple, intuitive way. Children may play alone, or against parents, siblings, or friends.”

License: 14-Day Trial Version 2.9.4
For: Mac OS 8.x/9.x/X 10.1 Size: 3,970 KB
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Paxton Cat Software

“Your 2 to 6 year old will learn the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, the names and sounds of musical instruments, and simple mouse skills. Letters are displayed in upper and lower case in with amusing animations. The 18 exciting games and the 10 musical instruments are played by mouse-over. You can choose the level of difficulty for mouse-over, the phonics, and the volume for the background music Version 2.9.4 includes additional mouse over games.”

License: Freeware Version 1.4
For: Mac OS X 10.1+ Size: 378 K
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Laura Dickey

“My kids love to play with the computer. Unfortunately, they also have the habit of renaming my hard drive to “axlfkaj”. So, I wrote AlphaBaby so they could safely use the Mac without inflicting too much damage! AlphaBaby lets even infants and toddlers have fun playing with the computer. Every time a key is pressed or the mouse is clicked, a letter or shape is drawn. Sounds can be played every time something is drawn. Your own sounds and pictures can also be used. AlphaBaby helps kids to learn letters, plus provides a safe environment for kids to have fun “typing” on the keyboard! Both an application and screen saver version of AlphaBaby are provided.”

Baby Safe
License: 5-Day Trial Version 1.05
For: Mac OS X Size: 7,060 K
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Ricardo Batista

“Baby Safe provides a safe, interactive environment for your baby to play with the computer, while at the same time preventing your baby from causing chaos on your computer. Most screen savers ask for your password once you move the mouse or touch a key, which is not fun when you have a baby eager to play with the computer. With Baby Safe your toddler can have some fun and learn the numbers and the alphabet while your work is protected. Once a special word such as byebye, quit, adios or exit is typed, the screen saver can exit. You may need to use your password to get back to the computer as it was before the screen saver was activated.”

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