November 22, 2006

Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby Software

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Anderson recently discovered the computer keyboard. Whenever we try to use the computer while he is sitting on our laps, he reaches out to pound on the keyboard. His enthusiasm for this is only matched by his desire to play with the mouse. Of course, after letting him pound away on the keyboard for a few minutes, we discovered that this probably wasn't the best idea. With a few keystrokes, he could delete files, reboot the computer, even send inappropriate emails to the rest of our family!

So, when I heard about Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby Software, I was intrigued. Would it let Andy safely play on the computer while stimulating him at the same time? We were able to see for ourselves after we were sent a copy by the creators, Leveractive. For this review, we used a PC running Windows XP. The software is also compatible with Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows NT, and Mac OS X 10.1 and higher.

The installation of the software was very easy. Just stick the CD in, and Windows automatically starts the install process. After typing in the included software license key we were ready to go. (One caveat, we were unable to quit the installation process without typing in the software license key, so make sure you have it handy before you start). There is also a screensaver on a second bonus CD included in the package.

After installing, we started the software right up. In both Shapes and My Animal Friends you're presented with 14 different activities such as Diving Diamonds, Flopsy's Funny Farm, Groundhog Day, and Little Quackers. Anderson loved watching these activities. The colors are high contrast and the shapes fill the screen. Typically he would pound the keyboard a few times, then get distracted by all the movement on the screen. He'd stare at it, transfixed for a few seconds and then pound the keyboard again. Even after just a few minutes, he started to understand that he was causing all the commotion on the screen.

There are also more than 50 songs included in Shapes and more than 60 in My Animal Friends. By default, there is no music playing, but you can choose things like My First Classical, Jazzy Baby, Baby Funtime, Baby Boogie, and Lullaby Baby. The music is all very nice. Most of the songs I wouldn't mind listening to even without the game.

This software is a great way to introduce your child to computers. When it's running, you don't have to worry about your child accidentally deleting files. I was never able to figure out any way to exit, other than through the main menu of the program itself. This is probably the most important feature of the software that I can think of. Even the infamous control-alt-delete sequence does nothing in this software.

I cannot recommend this software highly enough. Anderson loves to play with it, and I only feel safe letting him pound away on the keyboard when this is running. There are enough activities included in the program that he won't get bored with any of them for a long time. So, go out and buy it for your little one today!

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Posted by Peter at November 22, 2006 10:32 AM
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