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Software Resources

Software for families to use together comes and goes, although perhaps not at such an alarming rate as do children’s picture books. A brief list compiled by Aisjah Hopkins from San Mateo Public Library is offered below.

GT Interactive Software at

The Smelly Mystery, Just Me and My Dad, Just Me and My Grandpa, all by Mercer Mayer
Magic Theater, from Knowledge Adventure, (818) 542-4200
You can create a movie using stamps, sounds and drawing tools, and record your story as you tell it. Kids really get into it, and parents enjoy helping their kids too! Includes a good sturdy microphone.

Living Books Interactive Animated Stories at or call TLC Multimedia Inc. at 1-617-761-3000 for customer service

Arthur’s Birthday, Arthur’s Teacher Trouble, both by Marc Brown
Humongous Entertainment, Dept 180, 13110 Ne 17th Place, Suite B101, Woodinville, WA 98072-9965

Learning Adventures: Blue’s Clues, Blue’s ABC Time Activities, Blue’s Birthday
Creative Wonders, 6493 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, CA 94555

Sesame Street Learning Series, excellent interactivity, very popular with kids.
Toddlers Deluxe, 3 CD’s
Elmo’s Preschool Deluxe, 2 CD’s
Davidson & Associates, Inc. at or mail to P.O. Box 2967, Torrance, CA 90509-2967

Spell it Deluxe is a program for ages 6 and up, but the whole family enjoys playing the spelling games, even the younger ones. They all work together to learn how to play the games, and then help each other with the spelling.

Kid Works, from Deluxe-Davidson
Kids can type their name and, with a parent’s help, can write a story, make pictures, and print out. Lots of four year olds, and some younger ones, like to type their ABC’s and numbers. They love being able to see the words appear as they type, as well as print out their work.

Forest Interactive Technologies at or call 1-800-544-3356
Publishes books for computer learning for elementary through high school. Some software is appropriate for younger folks at a good price. Request the catalog or view online. The material can be used as text for Introduction to Computers for Older Adults (average age is 68). It is clear and very easy to follow. Books come as "Flip Chart" which you can set up by your computer. Sections are tab divided and there is not too much information on a page.

Internet Flip Chart, Quick Start Series, ISBN 1-57868-447-1, $30
Five or more books ($16 each) that you can mix and match to use with MS Word, Power Point, Access, Excel, Apple Works, Hyper Card. Very popular with our lab users. The books work for Mac and Windows, either Internet Explorer or Netscape. For fun!

Computer Crafts for Kids, by Margy and Ann Kuntz, Ziff-Davis, 1994, ISBN 1-56276-186-2
Although based on MS Word 6 Windows 3.1, these ideas can be used for any word processor, and some of the crafts can be modified for younger kids. Bumper Sticker project using contact paper was favorite — nice way to use super large fonts!

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