I know the day will come all too soon when my son will be using his computer—by then perhaps a nanochip embedded directly into his cerebral cortex: the iLobe—to perform functions that will blow my crusted, hopelessly-behind-the-times mind, and when it comes time to needing help with his homework he’ll take one look at me and roll his eyes, because Mama still uses a physical keyboard instead of the latest basal-ganglia-implantation, GOD HOW LAME.
For now, though, Riley’s main interest in technology has to do with what sorts of interesting things might be happening on my Macbook screen, especially if they involve pictures of him (he LOVES Flickr). I don’t let him actually play on my computer, because my computer cost money and he’s, you know, TWO, but I do enjoy sitting with him and looking at stuff together.
I’ve found that looking at websites together is a good activity for those boring stretches of time when the prospect of reading “Eight Silly Monkeys” one more time threatens to make my head explode, Scanners-style. Plus, it helps assuage my guilt for trying to sneak in some work while he’s coloring or whatever—my rule is 1) it’s okay to do some work if he’s otherwise occupied, but 2) if he starts clambering up to see my laptop, I switch from TextEdit to a toddler-friendly site. Win!
Here are some sites I’ve found to be entertaining (for him, anyway), at least marginally cute, and not too heavily slimed with advertising:
• Boobah. Boobah! Oh, Boobah, you are so crazy and LSD-like and sort of horrifying, yet Riley loves you so. Specifically the page you get when you click on the little Boobah characters, where they dance around and you can control the music via the hallucinatory bubbles at the top.
• Noggin. Riley has kind of a Maisy Obsession going on these days, so we’ve visited the Maisy page on Noggin a few times. There’s lots of stuff on the site, probably more interesting to your kid if he/she is into the various Noggin shows.
• Starfall. This site is awesome, I’ve had great success with Riley getting totally into the alphabet page.
• The Singing Horses. Remember when this made the rounds a few years ago? I liked it then, and now that it entertains my toddler, it’s even COOLER.
• Kneebouncers. Some cute, basic sorts of games here, just fun for clicking around and making stuff happen.
Have you found any good websites for little kids? I mean, if your own child doesn’t have the iLobe yet. (Dinosaur.)