Shelly is an adorable, teacher-like snail who slithers across the computer screen to teach children about the parts of the computer. When she introduces the keyboard, she asks kids to type letters that flash on the screen. She also explains the function of the computer screen and the hard drive, and then demonstrates how to put a CD-ROM in the drive. When showing kids how to use a computer mouse, she has them practice “one click” and “two clicks.”
Once kids have mastered the basic computer skills, Shelly takes kids on an interactive storybook adventure involving Goldilocks and the three bears. The storybook features beautiful hand-drawn scenes that animate as the words of the story are read aloud and highlighted. Every couple of pages, the story stops to let kids play within the pages of the book. Kids type letters shown on the bottom of the page and either single- or double-click on objects. All of these actions trigger charming animations—butterflies flutter and Papa Bear’s chair grows larger, for instance. By playing within the pages of the book, kids earn stars needed to unlock an activities center.
In the activities center, kids play seven games that further reinforce clicking with a mouse and learning to use the keyboard. They also practice other age-appropriate learning skills including memory, listening, letter recognition, and pattern discrimination.
Shelly’s My First Computer Game is special because it introduces preschoolers to the computer environment while teaching them how to play in that environment. It makes it easy for even the youngest kids to pick up computers thanks to Shelly and the supportive, no-fail environment she creates for kids to practice their computer skills.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.