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  1. #1

    Question What do you recommend for 4 year old girl to use computer?

    Hello,

    We have a 4 year old daughter, and up until now.. we've basically not let her touch the computers in the house.

    Now, however, she's expressed interest in learning to read and so I was wondering if there are some online sites that could help her. (Watch the story as it's being read, so she can follow along the words, etc...)

    (And yes, we read to her for at least an hour ever day, so we're doing our part as parents already, thanks.)

    So anyway... I found a bunch of "kid browsers" that seem decent.. but I'm wondering what the community here thinks and if there are any recommendations.

    The one I thought about getting is the "kidoz.net" site, which is very basic (not flashy with stuff everywhere) and blocks ads from the various sites it allows.

    Anyone have any thoughts or other sites their 4 year old is using for learning to read?

    (I don't care about the videos, as we already have a bit DVD collection she can watch when allowed. Nor do we care about the games, although some seem decent for learning things...)

    We just don't want to have her site and "stare" at the computer.. but actually learn to use it as a tool for learning.

    And no, I have no intention of giving her a full Windows/Mac interface and letting her figure things out on her own. She's four and isn't ready for an "on her own" activity just yet.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    They make an ubuntu learning edition called Edubuntu:

    http://edubuntu.org/

    Very cool stuff, and free
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  3. #3
    Get a netbook, they are cheap and easy to use. Don't they make small, cheap computer systems for kid? I thought I saw something at walmart...

  4. #4
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    You could try an eepc or other similar netbook.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan82 View Post
    Get a netbook, they are cheap and easy to use. Don't they make small, cheap computer systems for kid? I thought I saw something at walmart...
    I wouldn't buy one of those "kiddie computers" from walmart. Most of what they sell is crap. That's just my opinion though.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MrBox View Post
    I wouldn't buy one of those "kiddie computers" from walmart. Most of what they sell is crap. That's just my opinion though.
    Ah, I've never actually used one but you're probably right. They don't look like solid machines.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan82 View Post
    Get a netbook, they are cheap and easy to use. Don't they make small, cheap computer systems for kid? I thought I saw something at walmart...
    Yes, I've seen them too. They're about $199.

    Made 100% out of cheap China plastic and I'm pretty surey would shatter into a thousand pieces when my kid accidently drops it onto the floor.

    I'm basing this harsh judgement on the fact I saw no less then two of them on the display shelves at two different stores... both with big cracks in the casing and half the LCD display not working. Obviously someone had already dropped or banged them to try and "kid test" them.



    So I am planning to use a "regular" computer, but just need the software for it.
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  8. #8
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    Why not get her an iPad? Children absolutely love it! It's so easy to use, and the touch screen makes it perfect... stick it in a rugged case and you're good to go. There'a also thousands of apps aimed at small children, it really is the ideal solution for a child.

    I wouldn't really get all complicated here with an actual desktop / laptop / netbook... keep it simple to start with. :]
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  9. #9
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    If you're not looking to fork out for an ipad, you could get an android tablet.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mrzippy View Post
    Made 100% out of cheap China plastic and I'm pretty surey would shatter into a thousand pieces when my kid accidently drops it onto the floor.

    I'm basing this harsh judgement on the fact I saw no less then two of them on the display shelves at two different stores... both with big cracks in the casing and half the LCD display not working. Obviously someone had already dropped or banged them to try and "kid test" them.
    Hahaha, that makes for a great sales pitch - broken computer on display.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Why not get her an iPad? Children absolutely love it! It's so easy to use, and the touch screen makes it perfect... stick it in a rugged case and you're good to go. There'a also thousands of apps aimed at small children, it really is the ideal solution for a child.

    I wouldn't really get all complicated here with an actual desktop / laptop / netbook... keep it simple to start with. :]
    $550 is the cheapest price at the local computer shop. (I live in Canada.)

    That seems pretty spendy for a kids computer she could easily pick up and throw on the floor. (4 years olds are prone to idiotic tantrums of insane behaviour.)

    In all honesty, I already have an old computer I had laying around in a closet. It works fine (alebit a bit slow), and the only thing I'm looking for is software.

    It can run linux, windows XP, etc... so I'm not super concerned about OS.

    From what I have seen so far.. nothing really beats the kidsoz.net software for a 4 year old.

    I do like the edubuntu link someone above posted, but it's way to complex for a 4 year old. While sure, we'd love for her to become a computer programmer or whatever.. at this point, we just want something to replace watching videos of Dora on TV.



    I'm still open to ideas if anyone has links to good "pre-shchool kids" software.
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  12. #12
    I think you should avoid the usage of computer in that age. The kid should move and learn to use her body as much as possible.
    If you insist using a pc try finding special software for that age.

  13. #13
    Actually I wouldn't recommend a 4 year old to use computers. I suggest that you let her play with the other kids, teach her by hands on and most kids learn by experiencing everything around them. If you introduce computer at an early age you might regret it in the future.
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  14. #14
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    Why dont you buy a second hand computer for her ,, it will be cheap and she can learn on that without wasting much money llol..

  15. #15
    Wants to read = read lots of books to her

    Or if you really want a computer, I'd get either
    iPad
    Archos 70 to Archos 101 to Archos 9 PCTablet
    or any other tablet, maybe the Cruz E-Reader for less expensive option

  16. #16
    I would recommend not getting a computer to a 4 year old girl. There are many "physical" games for kids of her age.

  17. #17
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    Asus Netpal.

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  18. #18
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    Personally, I would get a computer as its harder to smash, and if you can get your hands on an old cheap crt then you've got a pretty robust system.

    Any damage will probably (through spills etc) happen with the keyboard and/or mouse so cheap ps/2 peripherals would be the best.

    Also, the BBC in the UK provide some free learning tools which I used for GCSe but they stretch back to KS1 (4-5 years old).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bitesize/

    Could just put it as the homepage, and keep broswer in full screen mode.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GASB View Post
    I would recommend not getting a computer to a 4 year old girl. There are many "physical" games for kids of her age.
    I think it is best to get children onto computing fairly early, although not to an excessive level. When balanced with physical activities, it will give them a major head start in secondary schools (in the UK) or whatever the equivelant system is in the USA.

    Some skills, such as typing speed and how to utilise seach engine queries are so fundamental nowadays.

  20. #20
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    She's too young. Wait 3-4 years and then introduce her to programming in basic or logo.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Website themes View Post
    She's too young. Wait 3-4 years and then introduce her to programming in basic or logo.
    haha... yeah infact dont teach her to swim, just throw her in the deep end when shes 8. Actually thinking about it, thats a crazy idea.



    CRT's are great for drawing on in wax crayon aswell, so many advntages that people don't remember

  22. #22
    There is a piece of Software called PeanutButter PC that is about $26 for the license and it will give them a kid friendly environment and you can control everything they do, Which programs they are allowed, movies,music, internet... I'd look into that.

  23. #23
    I'd look into tablet PCs, more flexibility and there are a ton of programs that should be quite fun and interesting in a touch environment.

    Try the Asus Eee Slate

  24. #24
    Personly i dont.

    i think when shes 6-8 you should let her use a computer.

  25. #25
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    4 is a little young, though if you're going to start off that early then these habits will be the hardest of all to break.

    For that reason, I'd suggest stripping down an install of XP to its bare bones and installing a simplistic browser such as Google Chrome. Using Chrome's home screen you can create a feature rich home of 9 websites instantly visible and available to click.
    On your desktop, you can have shortcuts to various installed software and links to websites (use a bit of software called "Fences" to provide a nice neat way of sorting it all into categories) and you're good to go.

    Ensure you monitor your child's net usage, whether it be physically sitting with her, putting the PC in a public place (not in her room) and filtering traffic (OpenDNS is great for this until she gets l33t enough to circumvent it).

    Furthermore, ensure you limit the time your child is allowed on the system each day/week; mainly due to her young age its important that computer usage habits are good from the word go as it can really spell trouble for the future.
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  26. #26
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    buy some language videos of other languages.

    as for a computer... ummm... something simple that is a leap-frog product line. toys "r" us usually sells them. there pretty cool products.

  27. #27
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    I let my 3 year old use my older daughters (7) computer from time to time. In this day and age I see no problem with children learning how to start working with them as early as possible (it is VERY locked down via router firewall though).

    One thing my children love, and I don't mind is Disney.com, they have a kids section with learning games that relate to the children shows they have.

    I also have some of the learning software from Disney, Jump Start, etc that both my children use and I think it's actually some pretty neat stuff to help them learn the computer as well as reading, spelling, math, etc.

    I normally just get the software from Walmart or similar, but I quick google search returned http://www.softwareforkids.com/ for a quick list of some of the ones I've used if you wanna search online for them.

    One thing I advise though, is if you use websites to do this, for a 4 year old...i would lock all internet traffic via your firewall and only allow sites you want her to get to. We both know that a 4 year old can't type and that porn sites like to use mispellings in domain names...don't let that happen

  28. #28
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    You can allow her but before that i think you should use software for blocking some websites and some particular words contains websites

  29. #29
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    Get her to learn typing.. I remember when I was young i was trained to type in a typing game..quite fun

    As for computer wise, My advice is only allow her to play education games that suit to her age and nothing else, as she still far too young to differentiate between what's right and wrong

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelbob View Post
    Actually I wouldn't recommend a 4 year old to use computers. I suggest that you let her play with the other kids, teach her by hands on and most kids learn by experiencing everything around them. If you introduce computer at an early age you might regret it in the future.
    Agreed, computer can wait.

  31. #31
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    You could get her an IPAD. That way when she tries to pick it up and eat it she will say "I thought it was an apple"? LOL
    Last edited by pipcaster; 04-16-2011 at 04:09 PM. Reason: spelling

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