Childtopia adds functionality to Classmates (and more)

A couple weeks ago I wrote about using the Classmate PC with very young kids. I concluded that the Classmate was definitely better suited to the K-6 (and even secondary school) set than it was to much younger kids.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about using the Classmate PC with very young kids. I concluded that the Classmate was definitely better suited to the K-6 (and even secondary school) set than it was to much younger kids. This isn't actually a bad thing since there simply isn't much in the way of content for these kids anyway; many people would suggest that kids under 5 shouldn't be doing much with computers anyway.

However, as a side note to the article, an Intel representative suggested that I check out Childtopia. In particular, classmate.childtopia.com is part of Intel's Classmate ecosystem and has content optimized for the convertible Classmate. The site consists of Flash-based educational games, as well as educational worksheets that can be downloaded and printed.

The games themselves include drawing activities, basic letter and number formation (optimized for the touchscreen with a diagram suggesting that kids "prepare their Classmate" by converting it to a tablet), and listening/reading comprehension. A screen shot of the home page is below, showing the available activities.

Childtopia software is also available on CD-ROM; this would have distinct benefits as the Flash games tend to load slowly, even over a fairly speedy connection. However, the Flash games are free, look great on netbook screens, and don't need an optical drive (which most netbooks lack).

Whether or not you have a Classmate, however, these games are worth checking out if you have young kids poking around the Web or need some supplements in class during computer time.