Recommend some Children's Software

We finally got a computer solely for home use. The kids are all over this like the expensive new toy that it is. So what software from your personal home arsenal can you recommend? What would you avoid?

I’m looking for both educational and recreational. For reference the Olethlings[sup]TM[/sup] are 4 and 6 years old, so stuff in that age range would be best, but of course they do grow up so fast and others might pop in here for advice, so you don’t have to stick to that range.

My daughter has been playing at the computer almost since she could sit up. I can tell you that most of the products from Humongous Entertainment are excellent, and are fun for a wider range of ages than most. I suppose some of these might not be considered educational software, but I have found that most strictly educational titles don’t garner a lot of long term interest. My daughter did enjoy most of the Sesame Street educational series, but I haven’t seen any of their recent titles.

Most of the big name educational programs are very similar, so it really depends on what characters your kids like. Also, stay away from the Barbie software. Really dumb, slow, and boring.

Another title I would recommend, though its a bit old, is Orly’s Draw a Story. This is still probably one of the most fun drawing/painting programs for kids that I’ve seen.

My 5 year old’s favorites are:
Zoboomafoo - Animal Alphabet and Creature Quest
Bob the Builder

She’s enjoyed the Sesame Street titles, but all the ones’ I’ve tried have been horrendously bugged.

She also loves Nick Jr’s site, they have tons of games to play, with new ones all the time. Disney’s site is ok, and PBS has some decent stuff too.

My kids can spend hours playing My Disney Kitchen. Mostly my little ones play it (ages 4 and 6), but sometimes my 13-year-old gets a kick out of it. And, I must admit, I don’t mind giving it a whirl at times. :slight_smile:


My 5 year old son loves the Reader Rabbit series. This is the one he is currently playing. I have played this one with him, and it is challenging and fun. He also loves his Tonka software.

I second the vote for stuff from Humongous, great stuff plus a friend’s husband helped start the company, so I know your money is going to good people. :stuck_out_tongue:

Otherwise, my daughter loves:
Bob the Builder
Any of the Blues Clues games
Stanley Tiger Tales
Clifford is a bit too old for her yet (being 3) but should be great for your kids.
And I can’t rave enough about Jump Start Spanish!!! It’s awesome for kids and even adults wanting to leard a bit of Spanish.

Nick Jr and PBS Kids both have great websites to play around on. Everything from animated email cards and printable coloring pages to cool games and printable holiday cards. Awesome!

Candyland is a great game; easy for the kids but not a pushover, several different things to do, and its cheap you can get it for like 10 bucks at BB or Target. My kids liked it when they were that age and Andy (5) still plays it on occasion

My savvy 4yr old daughter likes Kid Pix, Blue’s Art Activities, and the Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight.

Glad I checked in to this thread - I like what I see at Humongous. and ORly’s too as I really like the kids to explore art on the computer. Music programs would be cool too.

We are into reader rabbit and jump start here and I tend to boycott disney and sesame street stuff.

I have two girls 6 and 3 and I think they might like tonka and lego cd roms.

The Disney titles are excellent; also those from the Learning Company (so far…).

My 6 1/2 year old daughter loves to play Zoo Tycoon. (I sneak in and play sometimes myself. It’s a lot of fun.)

Thanks for the replies thus far. On those that have commented thus far, would you mind to explain a little further. If you prefer one title over another, why is that so?

For example, I bought the Reader Rabbit 1st Grade Capers on Cloud Nine (which Monster linked to) with our new computer. My kids have both been having a great time with this, but this is the first one they’ve used (at home) so they don’t have a lot to compare to. I’ve noticed that the “challenges” seem to escalate quite quickly which might not be good for kids who are easily frustrated and that some of the solutions were not simple (I ended up giving hints). On the other hand she seems to learn a bit, particularly the spelling and math sections.

Also, do you always buy software or do you swap with other parents, borrow from the library, etc? Mrs. ShibbOleth is big on using the library as a resource. It only took my daughter 2 days (with some help, as mentioned) to solve the mystery in the Reader Rabbit software. I wonder how long it will hold her interest to go back and do the tasks.

Aside to MikeG: Interestingly I just was thinking the other day that Candyland would make a very cool kid’s computer game. Now I’ll have to check it out.