Last week we visited the new Cambrian branch library in San Jose. The kids area is really great. There are plenty of great chairs and reading areas. Lots of books displayed in different ways for the kids to easily access. A staircase with beautifully designed bugs and fruits that the kids love to look at. A play area tunnel for the little ones to twirl brightly colored pegs and a funny mirror. An internet cafe (oh, right, that's for me!). The kids quickly discovered a pair of computers with kids games loaded on them. They made themselves comfortable and before you could say "apple" they were double clicking their way around and typing their letters and numbers. We have known for a while of their jealousy of our computers, but who knew that once in their hands they could be so adept?
Inspired, we bought a used iMac off of Craigslist for about $300. Outfitted with a cute Crayola kids keyboard and mouse that glows different colors and has an aquarium feature in it (wowie), it is just right for the kids. One trip to IKEA and we were set with a computer desk and chair for under $70. A total of $400 later (well, maybe $420 since we have bought one Sesame Street game so far) and those kids are clicking and typing the keys. Lily especially knows her way around a mouse - being able to click on the Elmo to start the game and navigate her way to exactly which part of the game she likes to do. Lily likes to mow the lawn with Elmo, Ben loves to "color," Ava...well, she likes to pound the keys on whatever happens to be up at the time (Peek-A-Boo Elmo!).
In this entry to computer-heaven with the kids, we're going to stick with this Sesame Street game and maybe check out some free websites with games, like Curious George, Nick Jr shows that we like such as Backyardigans, Dora and Diego, and Fisher Price. I've been looking at a Jump Start as well - we have some workbooks made by the same company that we go from the Scholastic Book Club. I know once I step into an Apple store, I will be tempted by all kinds of cool games, but we'll try to show restraint. Its a slippery slope to the online world, after all, and we don't want to go *too* fast there with the kids. For now, let's mow the lawn kids!