* Prices may differ from that shown
I can imagine that for a young child of around 3 this would be the perfect way to introduce them to computers.
The keyboard is designed around the Leapfrog Scout puppy logo and is bright green and white in colour, making it visually attractive to young children. The mouse sits on Scout's 'paw' and is easy for young children to grip and use, giving them practice for whne they are old enough to use a real mouse. The mouse can be stored underneath the keyboard to ensure it does not get damage or misplaced. This also saves the battery power as the keyboard and mouse 'go to sleep' when not in use or moved. the whole console is made of durable, high quality plastic making it robust and less likely to break. Ours has been in the house, kept under the TV unit for nearly 2 years and is still in perfect condition.
the keyboard is a QWERTY keyboard with numbers 1 - 0 along the top line and the letters below. There is also arrow buttons to allow your child to move things on the screen with the keyboard if they do not wish to use the mouse and picture buttons which are used to provide noises, songs etc. There is also a pause button which allows you or your child to pause a game rather than stopping or losing it. All the buttons are durable plastic and lovely bright colours, making ir very visually appealing and easier to differentiate between the different buttons and what they are for. There is also a very handy hint button which allows your child to ask for help, this greatly limits any frustration and tantrums!!
The biggest bonus is that the keyboard is wireless and does not require plugging into a computer so your child does not have to sit right in front of the TV to use it, unlike some other children's computer consoles. My children found this a big attraction as they could sit on the couch or floor and play in a position that allowed them to comfortably see the TV and use the mouse or keyboard. The keyboard takes 4 x AA batteries, which have a great battery life. as long as you are careful not to touch the mouse or keyboard when it is not in use, as if they are touched it automatically switches the keyboard on.
The console part is small and easily plugs into the TV. It uses cartridges which go in the front of the console, there is also storage for up to 6 other games cartiridges. The console also works off batteries which cuts down on the amount of wires trailing over your living room, very handy if your child is accident prone and would be likely to trip on the wires and pull the computer down! This takes 4 x size C batteries. Again it has a good battery life and has an on/off switch so it is not easily put on by accident, limiting your chances of accidentally draining the batteries.
The console comes with a few built in games involving Scout, which help your child to learn numbers, colours, letters etc and practice using a 'real' computer. There are also many other games available featuring all your child's favourite characters, including Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora, Disney etc.
Unfortunately I can only offer my opinion on the Thomas the Tank Engine game as we have not purchased any other games. This game allows your child to practice mouse or keyboard control and encourges development of colour, number and letter recognition through play. The graphics are basic, as they are with the built in Scout game, however this should not be an issue for your typical toddler.
On the downside our son receievd this for his 4th Birthday and I think he was too old for it by then. He had already been using proper computers at nursery for a year prior to this and has been regularly playing the Wii. He also has a VTech Smile console and seem to prefer the joystick rather than the mouse control. I think if my son had received this at an earlier age he would have got far more enjoyment out of it. My daughter, who is 2 1/2 is now starting to use it, and although she cannot use it properly she has fun trying!
I would recommend this as a first computer for a 3 year old as it appears to be the best of its kind on the market today and the most realistic, however if your child already has experience of using a real pc or regularly plays with other educational consoles I wouldn't bother.
We bought the leapfrog my first computer for our eldest daughter at christmas and thought she would really enjoy playing with it and being able to learn her alphabet and numbers a little better. She was three last christmas and we thought it a suitable age range for her at the time.
We managed to get a good deal on it and bought several games at the same time which we thought would interest her. There is quite a big choice of games for the leapfrog first computer so we were happy that we would get use out of it even if we chose games which she perhaps wouldn't take to as well as others.
The design of the computer is great and definately child friendly with robust material and few small parts. The keyboard is wireless and takes batteries. Attached to the side of the keyboard is the mouse which my daughter absolutely loved. The games console plugs into the telly and takes cartridge like games which is all done in a way that once the right channel is set and the child has had a little experience, they will be able to do all of this by themselves.
The games we chose were a disney princess game, a winnie the pooh game and a nemo one. All of the games available seem to be well known childrens characters which catches their attention for longer. The games all promise to help with shapes, numbers and letters, but they do so in such a way that doesn't feel like learning. The games also allow the child to gain experience on computers (although it doesn't in any way feel like its promoting computer games or anything like that), and helps them coordinate use of the mouse and the keyboard with what they can see on screen.
One thing which I will say of this first computer is not to expect the graphics to be any superior than that available in the early 90s! Block graphics are not the best to look at but are perfect for young children who are none the wiser anyway.
I would definately recommend this first computer to parents who are perhaps unsure of what to buy children for birthdays or christmas. It will make the child feel grown up having their own computer and allows them to learn through play at the same time. My daughter learnt several of her
letters very quickly through this game at an age which I wouldn't have expected it of her so quickly.
Expect to pay £20 for the computer if you research well, and £3 per game.
Since my son was about a year old he's loved my laptop to the extent where if I'm working on it downstairs on the sofa he will clamber up on my lap just to try and press the buttons and use it. I think he likes seeing the screen change when he presses something. So for his 2nd birthday we decided it was about time we tried to get him something he can use himself even if he knows it's not the real thing. So we got him the LeapFrog ClickStart First Computer for about £30. It's actually intended for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years but we thought we'd start him early and see how he got on.
The computer itself uses pre-loaded games in order to teach your child skills such as counting numbers and looking at colours and shapes. I think when he's a bit older he will be able to learn keyboard skills as well, although at the moment he's just pressing buttons at random. The computer is in the shape of a dog and together with the keyboard and mouse the console attaches to the TV.
He loves this new toy we've got him and is already spening alot of time on it which is great and should aid his learning as well. There are five games that come with the computer but you can also get new games for around £10. The only problem is that this will eat up your batteries as with alot of toys. It takes four AA batteries for the keyboard and the console needs four batteries too.
The keyboard is a kid's version of the real thing and is good fun and colourful to stimulate your child and keep him or her interested. The keyboard as alluded to is shaped like a dog and thankfully seems to be quite sturdy and durable. The mouse is small enough and is used on a paw print shaped mouse mat.
The games that come with this computer come with are probably a bit much for my son at the moment but he will get into them. The games appear to have 2 levels of play and get more difficult the more they are played.
For me, even though my son can't use all the functions on this computer yet or the games he is still enjoying sitting there pressing the buttons and learning numbers and colours and shapes so is still helping his learning a great deal and he will grow into the rest. £30 isn't too much really for a toy that should last him for a good few years before he gets bored and hopefully keeps him off the real thing until he's old enough to use the laptop.
My daugther is 2 years 9 months old and has really started to show an interest in my lap top (oh dear!) and in letters. I was looking for something she could do by herself and that we could do together and ended up buying this. The games that come with it are good but they do get boring fairly quickly so I have ordered a couple of extra games for Christmas. My daughter can do quite a few of the games herself but she really can't get to grips with the mouse - I am sure she will given time. However the mouse is quite tricky even for me and my husband - I think the cord is a little short to be honest.
Overall a very good product - my daughter recognises loads more letters now and knows fairly quickly where some are on the keyboard. Be patient with the mouse and be prepared to order a few extra games in time.
Like most people this is bought in mid as a safe way to practice computer skills without the risk of damage to your main PC link. The games console connects to the TV via scart or the red/yellow/white leads. The console itself is battery powered. There is a power button in the corner which lights up red when switched on. The console itself does hold the games however they do just sit in the top and fall out if not picked up perfectly horizontally - I don't bother with this.
They keyboard is bright and vivid - I understand there is a pink one aswell as green, the former for girls, latter for boys, however my girl had green.
QWERTY keyboard, easy to use.
The console comes pre-loaded with simple word, number and paint games, and a game with a dog, where you feed and groom him etc. with immediate results - this is very popular. There ae two levels to the games especially good for mixed age siblings.
It is a robust product, quick and easy to get to grips with and captivates them - was very good in the winter to play with.
There is no on/off switch to the keyboard and the infra red light will keep flashing for quite a while in the back.
Games that you have to buy - some are sold individually, some in pairs, take care as to how you buy them or you will end up not being able to buy one as you already have it.
click start my first computer is absolutley fantastic for young children, it is suitable in my opinion for children aged 4 years and over.
The computer itself is in two pieces, you have a square piece that attaches to the tv either through your scart lead socket or through the red and yellow plugs, it is this piece that you put the game cartridge in to play the game and you can also store your games in the top of this but unlike others we have owned the games just sit in the top so will fall out easily if moved.
This runs on c type batteries so no risk of electric shock
The other part to the computer is the key board which is a lovely dog design, it is available in a variety of colours and me having two girls got the pink one, it runs on aa batteries and has no wires to connect it to the console part it is all done by infa redrays so can be used sitting away from the tv without wires trailing around the room.
it has a mouse just like a pc has but only has one button on it so isnt as confusing for children. the mouse pad just clips onto the side of the key board and can be put on either side for left or right handed people, it is easy to change around which is great for us having one left handed child and one right handed
The computer has a dog game built in to it that is great fun to play, there are loads of different learning zones in the game where you can earn bones to feed to the dog as a treat and can also play with the dog in one area where you can feed him, brush him and take him in the garden to play.
This is great for young children it teaches basic number skills aswell as basic addition and subtraction, letters in upper case and lower case aswell as spelling and also problem solving.
I payed £35 for the computer and £15 each for the additional games we brought to go with it, it is fairly new to the market so there are only currently a few games to this but hopefully there will be more soon.
My daughters have hours of fun playing this games console.
My husband and I both have regular laptops for grown ups and our 3 year old loves playing games on them so we bought him a Leapfrog Clickstart for Christmas.
We had intended on buying a childs laptop but many of them have poor screen displays and not 'qwerty' keyboards. We failed to see the point of buying a computer without a qwerty keyboard as he needs to know where the keys are on a real computer.
We have a 42 inch screen tv and were warned that the picture may not be good on such a large tv, but it is more than adequate. Having previously used a v smile baby on a 30 inch I can tell you that this is far superior.
The computer itself is in two parts. The first plugs into the tv, and holds the games cartridges. The other part is the keyboard (which is shaped like the dog Scout, who is a character on the built in games) You don't actually need any games as there are built in games on the computer. I have seen the Clickstart retailed from £33 - £50, so do shop around if you are buying.
We did get the Finding Nemo cartridge with the computer when we bought it as an instore offer. My son received other cartridges for Christmas presents (Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine and The Backyardigans) The games cartridges retail for about £15 but you can find them cheaper from other places.
On each games cartridge there are a variety of games and activities, over two difficulty levels. Games include mouse or keyboard skills, numeracy, literacy, languages and many other life skills too. My only disappointment with the range of activities is that they focus is weighted more towards mouse skills than keyboard skills.
The keyboard is suitable for both left and right handed children as the mouse pad can be moved to either side.
The Clickstart does not eat batteries either which surprised me. I had bought a lot to cover the Christmas period but we are still on the first lot having used the Clickstart for at least an hour everyday since Christmas. It does go into sleepmode which obviously helps
We bought the Leapfrog Click Start My First Computer for our eldest daughter last Christmas. The age range for the computer is 3 years+ and she was only just over 2 at the time but she's quite clever (not that I'm bias at all!) and was desperate for a computer like mummy and daddy have so we decided to get it for her! Luckily, my husband had also just won some Amazon vouchers so it was basically free - yay!
So what is it? The Click Start computer is a basic console that plugs in to your tv. It's made of two parts - the actual console that plugs straight in the television and the keyboard which works via infrared so is wireless which is great with young children. The console part has a slot in which to plug in the game cartridges and the keyboard is a normal QWERTY keyboard which is bright and colourful and made to look like 'Scout' the dog who appears in parts of the games. There is also a mouse with paw shaped mouse pad. The pad can be moved to the left or right depending if the child is left or right handed and easily clips on and off. Both the console part and keyboard require batteries although you can buy an adaptor for the console if you prefer. We considered buying the adaptor but it actually doesn't go through batteries as quickly as we expected so we haven't bothered to buy one yet.
When you switch the computer on the first time you can create a profile for your child (multiple profiles can be created so if you have more than one child they can have one each). Click Start then remembers the child's name, etc which occasionally appear within games and remembers which level they are on.
You then go to a main screen where there is a bright colourful screen with Scout (the dog) and 4 options that take you to different games. There is 'Inbox' which is a post card game where you find objects and use the letter keys; 'ABC Tree', a keyboard recognition game; 'Type Time', a typing game; and '123 Click' which is good for learning how to use the mouse. You can also click on Scout's kennel to go into his little world and explore all of the objects in his house and garden! Each of the games are educational but also very fun and each time you finish a game you are rewarded with a number of bones to feed Scout!
As well as these inbuilt games there are a variety of other game cartridges you can buy. These cost around £15 each but we've been lucky enough to get a couple for £3.49 from Tesco!!! So it definitely pays to shop around for these things! We have 'Animal Art Studio' which is a basic painting programme along with some other animal games; 'Dora: Friends Amigos' which is a selection of Dora the Explorer games including matching pairs, directions, patterns, and some Spanish and 'Thomas the Tank Engine' which has a variety of games featuring numbers, patterns, mouse movement, etc. There are also a few others available such as 'Finding Nemo', 'Toy Story', 'Disney Princess', 'Backyardigans', and 'Bob the Builder' so there is a great selection to choose from! However, you don't necessarily need to buy a lot of these extra games as the inbuilt ones are really good too and there's enough there to keep your little one busy for a long time!
So what's good? When we decided to buy our daughter a computer we had a look around at what was on offer. We chose this one as it seemed the most like an actual computer that you could get! The keyboard, although green and childlike, is like a proper keyboard and it does have a proper mouse too so we knew this would please our daughter! It has a proper QWERTY keyboard which I felt was important as this is the keyboards that children will eventually graduate on to anyway and the whole thing seemed really sturdy which is also important with young children! The choice of games is really good and they're all educational but still very appealing. You can also easily adjust the level of play from level 1 to level 2 - the level you set is saved on the child's profile and applies to all games, not just the inbuilt ones so each game cartridge you buy also has two levels of game play.
What's bad? Nothing really! It's nearly a year since our daughter was given the computer and she still plays with it a lot! To be fair, she goes through phases of not playing it much for a couple of weeks but then she seems to come back to it and it's her favourite thing again! And she has learnt a lot from playing the games e.g. she knows where all the letters are on the keyboard, can use the mouse really well, knows all about opposites, patterns, and even some Spanish! Not bad for just over 3 years old :o) So I really think she has benefited from having the Click Start computer and has also had a lot of fun using it.
Other Info: The Click Start My First Computer retails at anything from £30 - £50 depending where you buy it! So definitely shop around!! Games are around £15 but, again, can be variable and the console adaptor is around £5. When we bought it, Click Start was only available in green but is now also available in pink.
The LeapFrog ClickStart My First Computer introduces youngsters to the wonders of the PC and helps them learn basic computer skills as well as simultaneously teaching them core pre-school and nursery skills. Ideal for ages three through six, this interactive toy plugs right into the television and teaches youngsters how to use a mouse and keyboard.