So, we were rearranging things in our life and doing minor (video card and memory) upgrades on our computers and decided it was time that our three-year-old son, Tre, had his own computer. I'm sure this isn't a decision that most people would agree with... why on earth does a three-year-old need his own computer?
Well, for one, our family (my parents included, but not Rich's) are very technologically inclined. We've had a computer in my family as long as I can remember, and I believe I had my own computer from the time I was about eight. Also, Rich and I chose to spend a great deal of our recreation time playing on the computer (either actually playing computer games or surfing, working on personal projects, or otherwise tinkering). So, Tre was wanting to participate, which was causing some friction as we discussed who's copmuter he was going to use at any given instant. Add to that fact the fact that I work from home doing transcription (of course, on my computer) and it just seemed to make sense for him to have his own computer.
So, I dug out my collection of kid's games, installed them all on his computer, and let him go. He's had his computer for about a week now, and he's already increasing in so many skills! His ability to double click has improved dramatically. But beyond that his games have him recognizing letters and numbers, working with matching shapes (as in a "color by picture" portion of his current favorite game). He's learning basic categories of food, transportation, and animals. And all while he's having an absolute blast and doing just what he wants to do. Of course, I have to help him some, especially as his favorite game is directed toward first graders, who (from the content) apparently are expected to be doing some reading, but it constantly surprises me just how much he can do on his own without my help.
And, also a surprise to me, he's asked for a way to "type with me," so his current second favorite activity (after the first grade game) is to open up Notepad and type while I'm typing. Anyway, it's been a lot of fun watching him explore this new (to him) world of computing and being able to "let go" because I'm not worried about him messing up my computer or Rich's. After all, if he completely hoses his install, I can just install everything again, no real loss. :)