Computer Games & Game Systems - Older Discussions
Berkeley Parents Network >
The Arts, Books, Entertainment, & Media >
Computer Games & Game Systems - Older Discussions
see also: DS/GameBoy
Cool Software recommendations: We'd be grateful for any recommendations
for Windows-compatible software for a 4-year-old boy and his 6-year-old
sister. They've enjoyed the Jump Start series, the Fisher-Price Castle
(actually a little too challenging) and a few Dr. Suesses. Any ideas
would be appreciated. Thanks
Any of the Humongous software, Putt-Putt, Freddie Fish, Pajama Sam and
Spy Fox are very good and well loved. (Those are listed as easiest to
most difficult). Math Blaster, Tonka, Arthur's Reading Race are also
good. Haven't tried reading blaster yet.
My 4 year old daughter also very much enjoyed the Jumpstart series. We have
a ton of software and the only other ones that have kept her interest are
the Putt-Putt and Freddie Fish series. They are both similar in that they
have a main character that goes on somewhat of a treasure hunt to collect
items that are needed in order to 'Save the Zoo Animals' or 'Save
Putt-Putt's dog'. The items get used as the character navigates around
different scenes in the game. The content is very age appropriate for 4 to
6 year olds, no violence. They are challenging and spark some creative
thinking in terms of linking the items collected with how they'll be used in
My 4 year old son is in love with Tonka Construction. (He much prefers it to
any of the Jump Start etc. programs.) I have also seen Tonka Garage at the
store but haven't dared buy it. From my perspective some of the parts of
the program are difficult to maneuver- but he doesn't seem to mind. There
are several construction sites for them to build on or do repair work.
There is also a garage where they can build /repair their own heavy
equipment; as well as a section that tells all about each truck/machine.
My 6.5 year old is fond of the Humongous Games: Especially Freddie Fish,
Pajama Sam and Putt Putt. The Humongous games don't crash much and seem
to be technically sound, unlike the Tonka one we got recently which seems to
crash all the time, especially after you build a truck for a while. He doesn't
much like the Living Books, which my three year old does: Not enough activities,
I think. One game he was totally enchanted with for a while was The Smelly
Mystery... He played it a lot. Now he seems to like the shock wave games
on the web more. My three year old seems to really like Learn and Grow with
me Elmo (she refers to it as her software)
We have the Jump Start Series, but the sound is a little wierd on Windows
NT, which is what the faster machine we have runs, but I expect most people
don't run into that (very few games run on NT, actually) Ben thinks the Jump
Start Series are less fun than work, but YMMV.
Software for 9 year old
To the person looking for software for 9 y/o girl: I just got my 8 3/4 twin
boys "ClueFinders" from The Learning Company and they love it! It's set up
to grow with them which is really nice. The program actually gives them a
skills test when they start, so they start where they are comfortable and
move ahead as they go. It is very math and verbal oriented. It was $29.99,
with $15.00 mail in rebate so the actual price is closer to $15.00 if you
mail in the rebate. --Good luck. I got it at Toy R Us.
My children have enjoyed Treasure Math Storm a lot. Don't know if it's
advanced enough for your daughter. My daughter (now 12) also has enjoyed
playing Oregon Trail.
When my son was younger, he's 17 now, he loved a software product call
"The Incredible Machine". Now, I loved it too, so I don't see why a
girl would not enjoy it. It is very entertaining, and really sharpens
kids critical and analytical thinking skills. It requires that one
figures out how to solve various puzzles using things such as magnets,
balloons, arrows, candles, etc. It is (was) published by a company
called Sierra. Last time we looked (which has been awhile), there at
least 3 versions of the game out there: The Incredible Machine, More
Incredible Machine, and The even more Incredible Machine. I believe I
found them at Borders Bookstore (they were hard to find), however with
online shopping so convenient I am sure that they will be easy to find.
Software for 12 year old
Can anyone recommend a computer game/softward that is fun and entertaining
for a 12 year-old girl?
"Cal Alive: Exploring Biodiversity" is a really great educational title that
12 year olds enjoy. It was created right here on campus by UCB professors.
Another great title is "Bean There, Grown That" where kids grow beans while
learning about biology and ecology. A good site to check out about
children's software is www.childrenssoftware.com. This site reviews
thousands of titles. A great place to buy children's software is at
MicroKidz, on Telegraph Avenue (near Ashby). They have hundreds of
children's software titles, many which you can't find anywhere else.
Software for 12 year old. Try Amazon Trail (my favorite), which teaches
geography of South America, some history, and exposes the kids to another
culture. Also try Oregon Trail.
My kids both enjoy the Dr. Brain series. It has a zany sense of humor and
the puzzles are challenging and somewhere in between a game and a serious
From: Jane (Feb 1998)
My kids still talk about "Word Rescue", a shareware game we had on
an old 286 that died years ago. It's still available on the internet, at
From: Ginger (Feb 1998)
Bear Bytes in the student union building
has (or did a year ago) sharware games for $5 apiece - all sorts of
things and cheap enough so you don't have to pick a winner
everytime. I think most of them are vintage enough to run on a 286.
My six year old son wants either a nintendo or a sony play station for
Christmas. Does anyone have any preferences between the two, or any
recommendations for more thoughtful games for either?
My son Evan who is now 11 did some extensive research into both
64 bit game systems, and changed his mind several times.
He has had N64 for about a year now and loves it. Here's why:
Nintendo has fewer, but much better games,
but is more expensive at about $70 per game.
Diddi-Kong Racing is a great game, which even I have played
and enjoyed, though with much less skill than my son:-)
Play Station has many more games at about $20 each.
But my son says he really looked around, at FunCo Land
and asked his friends, and could only find one game he really wanted.
He just bought (reserved a month ahead), the new Zelda 64 game.
For this he has a T-shirt and will get a limited edition gold cartridge
when the game comes out. The whole family played Zelda (8bit) years
ago when it came out. The new one looks better of course.
I assume the game and the "world" will change also.
Evan has downloaded four sample movies from the internet.
Whatever you get, enjoy! --and be prepared to set time limits:-)
If the game is on the TV in the den, you can get your kids to stop
playing by watching YOUR favorite shows.
this page was last updated: Sep 29, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network