Since people enjoyed our last post on baby and toddler friendly websites, here's another one to add to your collection.
What it is: Alpha Baby is the computer program that saved our computer when out son turned about eight months old. It was about that time he started pulling up on everything including coffee tables, finding our computer, and wanting to bang on it. This meant that he would accidentally delete things, e-mail people, or post facebook statuses. Everytime we got near the computer to type when he was around, he wanted to have his hands all over it. It was frustrating.
Then we discovered Alpha Baby. I don't remember where my husband found out about it, but he went to their website and downloaded it. Now, whenever my youngest son, now just over a year, needs his banging on the computer fix, we just click on our Alpha Baby icon that we downloaded and the screen becomes black. He can then type away and all the letters and numbers that he types come up on the screen in bright baby-pleasing colors. In addition, there is accompanying sound where the letters are said and little dings and other noises accompany the appearance of the shapes, but the sound can be turned off anytime you want. The space bar also produces a lovely variety of shapes when pressed.
The great thing is that he can't mess anything up! He can type away and you don't have to worry about him getting out of the program or causing trouble. When you're done you simply type "quit" on the keyboard and you exit out of the program. There's also a way to insert pictures into the mix so that your own pictures come up when the space bar is pressed as well as shapes.
What we liked: We liked giving our kids the opportunity to type on the computer in a way that wasn't hazardous to any of our programs! In addition, the kids are actually learning something as they play when the letters, numbers, and shapes come up on the screen and are reinforced verbally. To top it all off, it's a FREE program that you simply have to download off the internet.
What we would change: If you do put this program on your computer, you may never get your computer back! Our kids were both always very reluctant to stop playing once it was time to put the Alpha Baby away. Another negative is that the website says it's only available for Macs. However, my husband says there is a version out for PC's as well now. I will add that link as soon as I get it from him.