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Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:10 pm
by weekend hacker
Hi all,

I've got a wee little kid running around the house most of the time(we're talking a 1 year old and a couple of months) and although she can't really talk or do math or do anything but walk around and giggle in an extremely cute way, I'm considering beginning the hacker training early.

She likes to pretend she's doing stuff on the laptop sometimes, which usually just results in random settings being changed and my mum being confused(I told you, press that little antenna if the wifi is off!!) and considering she spends some time watching tv (some random baby tv channel... its retarded) I thought maybe she'd be better off and more entertained if I let her play some fun and possibly educational games.

Anyone know of real simple games that'll teach kids words and what not? Maybe just let her draw random crap? I'm guessing its too early for programming, those things don't start until age 5 or so. But there must be basic "omg I just draw a line on the screen and its fucking GREEN bitches!" type of things out there that have pretty much 0 functionality in the real world.
requirement: must run on arch linux.(see below)

Other then what to run on it, I've got an ancient laptop lying around that'll run arch, any ideas on a GUI which is pretty locked down and simple, so she can just start the select few things I install and thats about it? I'm thinking maybe just going with fluxbox with pypanel and nothing else but I'm open to ideas.

Greets weekend

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:04 pm
by tremor77
I got my kid this - http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11785429

He's 18 months now and has had it since day 1. He bangs on it a lot and it's pretty indestructable, it's also pretty simple, and, whenever he decides to stop being wild and just smashing stuff, i'm sure he'll learn on it someday.

For a whole line of "learning laptops" check out http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11785429

Also, they now have a ton of handhelds, iphone and ipad for kid style stuff.. if thats what you're into.

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:01 pm
by weekend hacker
I've looked into to those but its not really what I'm looking for.
I remember a friend of mine having something similar when I myself was tiny(but not that tiny) and being upset with how little those things can do(and how stupid parents are for buying it).

I have suitable hardware that is way more capable then the stuff designed for kids.
She doesn't really smash stuff and can't lift the laptop and since it lacks a battery it'll be stuck in 1 place.
(although throwing stuff down the stairs seems to be very fun, but somehow she manages to only throw stuff that won't break)

I just want fun simple software to put on it, like those games on the ipad etc that even babies seem to enjoy but on linux. Shes capable of moving the mouse pointer around and aware that she's the one doing it, so I'm sure if there was a white canvas and she can draw lines she'd be entertained for quite some time.
Or maybe eventualy some dora the explorer type deals, but again, for linux. That machine can't run windows :\

And if at some point she breaks it, I'm sure a valuable lesson will be learned about how not to treat computers.

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:32 pm
by 0phidian
Way to start her early, i wish someone had done that for me.

Games: gcompris, childsplay, tuxpaint, tuxtype, and tuxmath are educational games designed specifically for small children.
mypaint is a good drawing app for linux(though tuxpaint may be better suited for kids)
Maybe you could even let her play around with google earth, move the planet around, zoom in to places.

Fluxbox sounds like it would be perfect for what you want so id stick with it.

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:35 pm
by LoGiCaL__
Funny thing you mention the ipad. I know they're expensive but I have seen them work miracles with young children. Only thing is you have to be extra vigilant so it doesn't get thrown or have anything dropped on it. If it's just about drawing lines then why not just open a simple paint program, show the basics and have the child mimic?

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:02 pm
by mookalovesgloop
http://www.starfall.com

it's an absolutely free site that teaches kid's letters, letter sounds, all the way up to bona-fide reading....i've had my little one going there since she was about a year old....she'll be 3 next year and is *already* reading...i'm not just talking about hop on pop...i've had her read words from books i read over my shoulder...also make her youtube playlists...by doing this for my daughter she knows every nursery rhyme and can say/sing her abc and numbers up to 20 in english spanish and japanese...again i say--she'll BE three next year!!

hope this was helpful
peace and blessings
mooka

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:27 am
by weekend hacker
0phidian wrote:Way to start her early, i wish someone had done that for me.

Games: gcompris, childsplay, tuxpaint, tuxtype, and tuxmath are educational games designed specifically for small children.
mypaint is a good drawing app for linux(though tuxpaint may be better suited for kids)
Maybe you could even let her play around with google earth, move the planet around, zoom in to places.

Fluxbox sounds like it would be perfect for what you want so id stick with it.

^this is exactly what I'm looking for, looks awesome. And a lot of it has multi language support which is even better :D (she can't even speak her native language, so I'd rather not confuse her with english for another couple of years)

mookalovesgloop wrote:http://www.starfall.com<br><br>it's an absolutely free site that teaches kid's letters, letter sounds, all the way up to bona-fide reading....i've had my little one going there since she was about a year old....she'll be 3 next year and is *already* reading...i'm not just talking about hop on pop...i've had her read words from books i read over my shoulder...also make her youtube playlists...by doing this for my daughter she knows every nursery rhyme and can say/sing her abc and numbers up to 20 in english spanish and japanese...again i say--she'll BE three next year!!<br><br>hope this was helpful<br>peace and blessings<br>mooka


That also looks nice but it seems to only be in english so maybe not just yet.
Making youtube playlists seems like a very good idea too. But I am kind of wondering how I'll let her use the net without being exposed to the many many more evil sides of it...

But all this will keep me going for a while, thanks everyone.

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:56 pm
by centip3de
weekend hacker wrote:(she can't even speak her native language, so I'd rather not confuse her with english for another couple of years)


I would rethink that if I were you, studies have shown that kids brain's are pretty badass at learning languages. If you can immerse her in English for probably about an hour a day, and then in her native language for the remaining 23 hours, she should be fluent in both before you know it!

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:40 pm
by pretentious
centip3de wrote:
weekend hacker wrote:(she can't even speak her native language, so I'd rather not confuse her with english for another couple of years)


I would rethink that if I were you, studies have shown that kids brain's are pretty badass at learning languages. If you can immerse her in English for probably about an hour a day, and then in her native language for the remaining 23 hours, she should be fluent in both before you know it!

Yeah apparently young children can pick up 2 languages effortlessly and the second language doesn't even impeede on the developmental speed of the first one. don't know about specifics but i herd it in a yale psych lecture so it must be pretty legit and well established.

Re: Request: games, apps and desktop environment for tiny kids

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:17 pm
by patchw0rkm0mmy
edubuntu is designed for children and comes preloaded with all the software for kids.