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Technology

It's Baby's First Video Game, No Joystick Required

Published: May 4, 2006

Living up to its name, Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby transforms a Mac or PC into a busy box. A baby sitting in your lap can bash, mouth or click the keyboard with few worries, other than a bit of drool.

Available for $20 as a download or CD from www.giggles.net, the program starts with a menu for adults offering 10 exploration zones.

There's a farm where pressing any key makes an animal pop up on the screen, or a backyard scene where pressing any key makes a rabbit dance. When a child stops pressing, the action stops, too, helping children feel in control of a noisy, silly experience. A control panel lets parents toggle among five musical styles, from classical to bluegrass, and a screen saver mode makes some select games available whenever the computer is on.

Unlike many technology products for babies, this one makes no claims of creating an Einstein. What this program does is create an informal setting where a child can sit in a lap and freely explore what used to be forbidden territory: a parent's computer. Just don't be surprised when you find a raisin pressed into your numerical keypad.

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