Keeping the Kids Busy: Their Own Computer

The summer holidays are a time when most mums struggle to get a balance. Do you let your kids chill out totally with DVDs and computer games or drag them out for sports and day trips? There has to be a happy medium with a bit of activity and a bit of downtime, and if your children can learn something while playing computer games it is a bonus.

With this in mind, I set my two to test out the VTech Media Desktop. As you can see from the picture, right, it is an impressive looking little machine. According to the press release, “it helps to progress Key Stage 1 school learning. VTech Media Desktop includes 60 fun educational activities in English, Maths, Science, French and Social Studies, and some activities even touch on Key Stage 2.”

D is 7 and J is 3, and the VTech Media Desktop is said to suit 6 years +. I expected Daisy to enjoy it, but she commented, “It is a bit boring”. I suspect this may be because the games are all in black and white: compared to what she is normally used to on the CBBC website or her Nintendo DS, for example, they seem quite basic. J, however, was enthralled. He loved the motor skills games in particular even if the French was beyond him. And his dad appreciated that it kept them away from the family computer.

This computer can be linked to the Internet via a PC, where you can download an additional 14 games and activities.  It can support an external MP3 so children can listen away to their favourite music. And if you’re interested to see how your kids are getting on, it’s simple to upload their progress on to a PC. The VTech Media Desktop costs around £74.99 which seems fairly pricy for the basic black and white screen.

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