Clicking around (anytime)

January 27, 2009

A couple of days ago S. and I were in my office. I was doing tax prep, alternating between my desk and the filing cabinets three paces away; S. was doing puzzles and minding his own business. During a particularly engrossing search of the filing cabinet, I suddenly heard the theme song to one of his favorite cartoons, Peep and the Big Wide World, playing on the computer. He’d used the browser to navigate to the page (not such a huge feat in and of itself; there’s an icon for it in the bookmark bar), then clicked to find the page with the theme song. And then he clicked play. At age 2 1/2. Next thing I know he’ll have 47000 friends on Facebook.

We have been letting him learn to use the mouse with games like JumpStart Toddlers on an old computer that’s not even hooked up to the Internet. Apparently he’s up to speed and then some! Lucky for me, all the toolbar favorites are kid-safe.  In fact, it’s a little embarassing to admit that they’re entirely comprised of:

  1. Noggin, the early childhood component of Nick Jr., where Jack’s Big Music Show stashes its videos. Pinky Dinky Doo is another of S.’s current favorites.
  2. Nick Jr., where Dora and Wubzy are two favorite characters of both boys, though the games are more in line with M.’s skill level.
  3. Peep and the Big Wide World, where the educational games are cleverly designed and fairly simple, and each day a different 10-minute episode is featured.
  4. Pigeon Presents, the Mo Willems homepage (yes, we were among the hundreds thronging the St. Louis County Library headquarters last Friday to see him — what a racket that man has going!)
  5. PBS Kids, the home of Clifford. M. has mostly grown out of the Big Red Dog stage; S. is just arriving in it, so we’ll be using that link often for at least a couple more years.  They also like Caillou, Martha Speaks, Curious George and Arthur games.

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