31 Top Kids' Software Titles

31 Top Kids' Software Titles

Veteran software analyst Desmond Loyola (above) - along with Quincy Loyola, Grace Robinson, Lola Robinson, and Ruby Robinson - logged long hours testing children's software for this article.


Summer's here. Your kids are filled with excitement. And you? If you haven't scheduled much for them to do - or even if you have - you're probably looking at hours and hours of time you need to fill to keep them occupied, without turning them into video game junkies or TV zombies. We faced the same dilemma, so we went in search of the top Mac software for kids up to about age 10. (Why not older, you ask? Two reasons: Our in-house group of kid testers tops out at 10, and once kids reach fifth grade or so, they'll probably be ready to use the same Mac apps and games that you do.)


We focused on four areas: educational apps, games, graphics and multimedia, and music. Our kid testers, who range in age from 2 to 10, applied themselves mightily to the task of putting these apps through their paces. We didn't keep them up past their bedtimes, or bribe them with anything we wouldn't let them have anyway. They had so much fun with most of these apps, that was reward enough.


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GAMES: Time to Play


For older kids, there's a huge world of Mac games out there. (If you like a game and it's got a rating you're comfortable with, kids 11 and up will probably like it too.) But if you'd rather have your 10-and-under youngsters play games meant for their age group, check out these titles. It's a good thing we introduced the games after the learning apps…it would have been impossible to tear them away from the purely fun stuff.


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Your li'l one's keyboard pounding will reward her with an array of colorful goodies.


Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby


When your baby is having a mashing good time on your Mac, arms and hands flailing away at your keyboard, you might as well have Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby installed. The software reacts to your child's keyboard pounding based on a variety of themes that you select. Parents will find their kids more entertaining than the software, and the kids will like the pictures that fly across the screen. Leveractive offers three different Giggles packages: Shapes, My Animal Friends, and ABC's & 123's.


COMPANY: Leveractive
CONTACT: www.giggles.net
PRICE: $19.99
AGE RANGE: 6 months to 2 years
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.1 or later
Nothing complex, just good ol' fashioned keyboard pounding for babies. Nice graphics. Good variety of "games."
Might be annoying to parents. Not for delicate keyboards.



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Once your kids get the hang of these games, they're well on their way to Halo.


Lua Lua


There's no meandering storyline in Lua Lua: It cuts right to the games. Lua Lua packages seven games with colorful graphics and, shall we say, energetic music - as in, parents will be annoyed by it after 15 minutes. The games involve matching, pattern recognition, and puzzle solving, but Lua Lua doesn't provide any instructions at the beginning of each game, and the feedback for a correct or incorrect move is so subtle that your kid won't know if a move is right or wrong. Once your kids are familiar with its nuances, however, they can play unsupervised, at least until they get bored and want to move on to the next thing.


COMPANY: Phelios
CONTACT: www.phelios.com
PRICE: $19.95
AGE RANGE: 3 to 7
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later
Good variety of games. Game updates and added games are free. Universal binary.
Lacks tangible feedback. No direction offered at beginning of games. May not hold your kids' attention for long.



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Kids click the letter that the bear says.


Didi & Ditto Kindergarten


Here's a kids' game done right. The artwork and animation are of a quality rarely seen in kids' software, and there's a good mix of fun puzzles that your child can do solo or with your help. Our testers had fun pointing and clicking around the landscape to find a puzzle or trigger amusing skits, jokes, or riddles from a colorful array of characters (though parents may tire of all the pointing and clicking). The inspired puzzles emphasize a variety of skills - your child should be able to recognize letters and numbers to play - but aren't too difficult for kindergartners and some preschoolers.


CONTACT: www.kutoka.com
PRICE: $26.95
AGE RANGE: 4 to 6
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later
Top-notch graphics and animation. Wide variety of interesting and challenging games. Positive reinforcement builds confidence.
Hunting for the sweet spots to click on to play a game can be frustrating.








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tsk ler thank you (:


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You are absoluterly right it helps you to develop the interest in the children so that they can learn while they think that they are playing, and also very helpful to judge the abiluities of the studenst so that you can know where you should workout on the speciefic child. Regards,David Patterson http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk


Mike R.

What a great article. As a parent, I'm sometimes hard-pressed to find good Mac software for my 5 and 8 year olds. These are very good reviews of what's out there.



It is good that someone writes articles which really matters something.

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