The LeapFrog Clickstart My First Computer is a great little introduction computer for kids ages three to six. It requires four AA batteries as well as four C batteries and connects to a television with a wireless keyboard and mouse through a plug and play console that connects to the television.
The main focus of the LeapFrog Clickstart My First Computer is to introduce little kids to the working functions of a personal computer through fun on screen learning activities as well as big and colorful keyboard buttons, directional arrows, a mouse and a mouse pad adjustable for left and right handed kids. It comes with four pre-programmed learning games and parents have the option of purchasing software cartridges for expanded capabilities.
Included and additional software aim to teach children phonics, letters, animal facts and counting while helping them navigate on screen commands with the cursor through the mouse and keyboard. Our friendly puppy Scout offers his guidance with the included software, and purchased software include characters like Dora the Explorer, Nemo and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Including us, most parents end up buying one of these to keep little hands off the family personal computers or laptops! At under $40, it is a better risk to lose one of these than an $800 home computer, so in that respect the cost is acceptable.
One of the things we really liked about the Clickstart My First Computer is the quality of the keyboard, console and mouse and mouse pad. It has a very clean and inviting look, attaches easily to the television, and its wireless capability offers convenient mobility for the children.
Moreover, the quality of the on screen graphics are pretty good and perfectly appropriate for kids. While it was a little clumsy for our three year old to get started, he finally got the hang of it and starting reading and listening to some pretend emails as well as playing some letter word games while earning treats for Scout.
The bigger complaint we have is that the content of the software is a bit watered down, especially when compared to the software that is included with the Leapster 2, as well as additionally purchased software.
There are two main considerations with this statement. The first is that while the Leapster 2 and accompanying software provides more content, it also costs considerably more, almost twice as much. The second is that the Leapster products are aimed at children 4 to 8, while LeapFrog Clickstart My First Computer is for kids ages 3 to 6. So the bottom line is that this is an introductory children’s computer that is less expensive than the Leapster line and aimed at a younger audience.
And it keeps our son’s interest and is starting to get the attention of his younger sister. And we decided to take advantage of the bigger television screen by purchasing creative software for the Clickstart such as the Animal Art Studio.
I think this should keep our home computer safe for a while, now we just need to worry about the family television!