I reviewed a program called Babysmash a while back and I have been using it (well my daughter has really been using it) ever since. In a nut shell Babysmash locks the screen and lets little ones type and move the mouse. They are greeted by sounds and images.
This is awesome on its own but recently I discovered that you can make Babysmash have a transparant window. This lets whatever is on the desktop show through. I started with using pictures of my daughter and she went on happily clicking away staring at herself.
You can find the option within the settings page – the second option from the bottom.
While using Babysmash and having it read the letters and numbers you are typing is pretty cool.
But how long do you really think this could hold the attention of a 16 month old? When she was 8 or 9 months old it would last 10 minutes or 15 minutes on a good day. As time went on she got distracted by other things much quicker (like piles of CD’s and DVD’s). I happened onto this magic combination by accident.
You see I was checking out websites for my daughter to listen to some music on and she came running over to the computer. I picked her up and launched Babysmash out of habit.
What I wound up with was a looping playback of kids music videos playing in the background. She was able to smash away at the keyboard and mouse and some very child friendly music and music videos played away. My daughter got very excited and sat here for almost 20 minutes this time!
That is huge for a little girl!
We experimented with the different shows and it turned out thatwas her favorite. But Pinky Dinky Doo and The Backyardigans also kept her mighty entertained!
When it was time to eat I had problems pulling her away from it. But that is a whole different story!
I went looking around thewebsite and it is chock full of free activities for kids as well as music and links to other kid friendly stuff. So if you have a baby, are about to have a baby or are thinking about having a baby store this site away and you will thank me!
If any of you out there have other good tech tips for keeping kids happy please put us on in the comments!