Sunday, June 29, 2008

Future builder?.....

We wanted to have family night last night and what do you do if you want to look at a movie not suitable for the younger set? Well, you find an alternative for them, that's what. We had decided that we wanted to watch American Gangster with Denzil Washington (review of this on another post) and figured it would be violent and also figured that my granddaughter, age almost 6, would not cooperate by going to bed so we could watch it. I remembered something that I hadn't thought of in 3 years. The old laptop!

Three years ago, I attempted to introduce this same granddaughter, at the tender age of 3, to computing. I loaded some very simple educational type games on an old laptop that had been given to me, took a deep breath to give me patience, and started my endeavor. She, being an extremely curious child, wanted to push every button on the laptop but was especially enchanted with the on/off button. No matter how many times I tried to discourage her from pushing that button, she would do it anyway and then the whole boot-up process would have to start over. After many times of this and after a failed attempt of hiding the button under duct tape, my patience packed its bags and left town on the first bus headed anywhere. I took the laptop and put in on the shelf in my closet and forgot about it.....until Saturday. Well, its worth a try, I surmised. Its been three years and she's matured a lot in that time. So I took the trusty laptop down, dusted it off and proceeded to the kitchen table.

Begging patience to stick around for a while, I booted up this lowly laptop and started to refresh my memory about just what was on it. Oh yes...now I remember. These are pretty lame games now. She already knows all this stuff. So I went to the shelf where I keep all my old computer programs and games. Searching through them I find some old games that I had purchased for her older brother when he was her age, kicking myself because I had given a lot of them away. This granddaughter, needless to say, was a "surprise" addition to our family.

I find an old game that my grandson dearly loved, Tonka Construction. He loved it so much he wanted to sleep with it. It revolved around Tonka trucks and how to build things. It was definitely something a boy would love and a girl would probably be bored to tears with, but I was desperate. So I loaded this game into the laptop, which took FOREVER. Remember, this machine is OLD. I introduced my granddaughter to the game, gave her minimal instruction and she set out. At first she wasn't too enthused (What? No Barbies, no Bratz?) but when she found out she could build a castle.....well, it was heaven-sent. She played with that game and laptop for four hours and this, my friends, is a RECORD for her to be involved with ANYTHING. She is my hyper, busy, always moving, always talking grandchild. She only screwed it up once by opening the tray which holds the CD Rom in the middle of the game and the computer went....ACK..what happened, where do I get my info from...where did it go....ACK, EEK...Blue Screen. Amazingly, after shutting the tray, everything came back like nothing had happened. Impressive for an old laptop using Win98.

She loves this building game and is basically teaching herself how to use the game and which trucks or equipment to use to do specific things. I'm not too sure what sort of educational help this can be.....maybe following instructions....but she's so into it right now, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't, one day, build her own house. Hey....stranger things have happened!

8 comments:

Mary said...

The game is teaching her to focus and maintain attention. In my opinion some hyper children are just bored and need something like these games to present a challenge. They are usually extremely bright children with fast minds.

Kelly Jene said...

It's amazing what they're young, supple minds can retain. I love it.

Go her!!

simonsays said...

You are such a clever, CLEVER woman. And she, obviously---has taken after her grandma.

Have a great week, Charlotte!!!


:)

The Real Mother Hen said...

You're a great grandma.
And cool too :)

Cheryl said...

You found the perfect solution! I almost forgot about all the great computer programs for kids. I always tried to get my daughter to do the educational ones, but, she'd rather play with My Little Pony or Barbie games.

SOUL: said...

just sayin hi

Anonymous Boxer said...

can she come help me?

:-)

ordinaryjanet said...

It makes me jealous that this stuff wasn't around when I was a kid!