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Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby: ABC's & 123's, Nursery Rhymes, Shapes, and My Animal Friends Review by Cindy West

Tim Leverett, Creator
Leveractive, LLC
1240 Stockbridge Road
Webster, NY 14580

I have a toddler who grabs the mouse of my computer anytime his chubby little hands can reach it. I often find him beating away at the keyboard trying to be just like parents or his big brother and sister. Too often he hears, "No, sweetie, you can't play with the computer right now." Much to his excitement, I loaded the Giggles Computer Funtime CDs into the computer and encouraged him to explore, press buttons, and touch the mouse.

The CDs are geared toward children between the ages of six and 24 months, with the exception of "Nursery Rhymes," which goes up to 36 months. You might be wondering how a baby is supposed to be able to play a computer game. Well, mostly, the games simply react to the touch of any key on the board or any move of the mouse. Mom or Dad sits with the child to change from one "game" to another.

You also might be wondering why a baby might be encouraged to sit in front of the computer. The company says that babies using these programs will not only enjoy some time with their parents but will also learn valuable lessons about cause and effect--not to mention learning bits and pieces of information like nursery rhyme tunes, shape names, and the concepts of letters and numbers.

The colorful, fun characters sing and talk to the babies and often do silly things to make babies laugh. My favorite is watching my son tap on the keyboard to make London Bridge fall down. He loves making it fall as the song goes on in the background.

Not only can Mom or Dad navigate between "games," but they can switch modes within many of them. In the London Bridge game, for instance, I can change the tune to blues-style, jazz, classical, or cartoony. I can ask Flopsy the dog to sing the words, or I can turn the music off completely. I can even bring up the words to the song on the screen if I'd like. Best of all, while I'm making changes, my son is still able to pound away, keeping his portion of the game going.

The illustrations on the screen are uncluttered, making it easy for baby to focus on the main thing at hand. All the movements are slow and smooth, too. In a world of fast-paced media, I certainly appreciate the age-appropriate movement across the screen. And the pictures and characters are just adorable in bright colors.

I'm not a big fan of sitting a baby in front of either the TV or the computer, but these CDs are a fun way to pass the time together--especially for my busy toddler who bounces from one thing to another all day. These are a nice break to the running and chasing!

Product review by: Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2008