Software For Picky Children That Can Make The Learning Process Fun
Children love computers. If you are a parent of young children, you’ve probably seen living proof of that and long since given up trying to discourage them from constantly wanting to be on the machine.
If you could, you would want to show them the big and beautiful world out there that they should prefer to a lighted rectangle on the desk – but there just is no way.
Instead of trying to win their resentment with tearing them away from their best friend the computer, perhaps you could find better ways of making use of the box of tricks for what it can do for them. The computer has your child’s attention.
Why not try to find a way into your child’s world of wonders and possibilities? Why not try bringing in for the children software that truly knows how to speak to their minds?
Let’s start with a game that should help your (young) child explore his or her creativity. The World of Goo is a construction game. The name is suggestive, but here goes. The idea of the game is that the child is asked to construct structures to achieve a solution to a problem – such as crossing a gorge.
The child is given discrete parts to build with though and he or she can only put them together with, you guessed it, blobs of goo. There are all kinds of goo, each one with its own particular temperament and your child needs to keep track of which kind of goo does what.
It helps children understand how things get together and how to keep track of building something that isn’t held together very well.
Next up is something for slightly older children – actually, to children software like this should be useful until they are out of high school. It is actually a package that helps children explore the principles of engineering.
The surprising thing is, they’ve really turned it into a game to teach your child about trajectories, force, statics and water flow.
All you need to do is get your child playing “Time Engineers” and he or she should do the rest. The program transports them to periods in history when civilizations constructed great and lasting structures or machines – the pyramids, irrigation projects in Africa, war machines for the medieval wars in Europe and the second world war.
The visual effects are great. It will help your child suspend disbelief and really take the lesson seriously. When your child is transported back in time five millennia to build a pyramid in Egypt for instance, he or she is first confronted with the science involved, which is laid out in a whole booklet that has to read. If children won’t be tricked into all the reading, they can always try the trial and error method.
You always wanted to get your children to learn a language, but they probably kept complaining about how boring French or Spanish was. With finicky children, software could possibly be a better approach.
Consider the Hooked on Spanish software package that is designed for children under seven. The basic yellow level language kit has a CD, flash cards, little booklets and a workbook – all of them in a cute little (large, actually) carton.
Your child’s language teachers are a friendly boy named Wesley, his cat and his friends. All of them together get into several situations where they need to use standard Spanish phrases, words and numbers.
It’s kind of like the old episodes of Sesame Street that teach Spanish. Whatever children learn through these amusing little lessons, they can practice in the workbook.
All said, with a little exploration, you could probably find real educational software gems lining the shelves of your local bookstore – or Amazon. With enough imaginative titles to choose from, you could probably take the edge off your child’s complaints about how you take all the fun out of computer time.