Since Reader Rabbit, we've been waiting for a software
title designed for babies that we can recommend wholeheartedly.
Giggles: Shapes (Computer Funtime for Babies) is such a title.
For babies anxious to "play" on the computer, this title is just
right. It not only lets little ones play safely, its features make
it easy for them to learn what a computer mouse can do. The
mouse is a tricky thing to master, but it can be done—especially
with the colorful and sometimes hilarious rewards Giggles
software has to offer for children's clicking "efforts".
Kids can interact with the program's many activities by randomly
tapping the keyboard—without ever touching the mouse.
However, we always recommend using the mouse right away (unless, of
course, a toddler is completely resisting it)—and this program
encourages learning the ins and outs of the mouse as well.
The program's canine mascot is Flopsy. He talks to children only
at the main screen, so it's up to parents to name the shapes,
colors, and animals in the activities—a good thing, because it encourages parent-child
There are ten different presentations of shapes (main activities) in Giggles:
Shapes. Stars, triangles, squares, diamonds, and stars float,
spin, play peek-a-boo, dance, and even dive to children's clicks (or
taps). Each activity features an animal, such as a bespectacled
giraffe, a teddy bear, or a kitty, in addition to a wide array of
Fireworks of colorful shapes appear when kids click on the mousea
fabulous reward. In many activities, if kids move the mouse, the
animal moves along with it, which is another excellent way to teach
children about the mouse.
One of the program's best features is the musical soundtrack
selection. Parents can select no music at all, or such themes as
jazz, boogie, classical music, or lullaby. They can change the
musical selection at any time during an activity. The music truly
sets the tone so that caregivers can select "Baby Lullaby", for
example, when they're playing the game before nap or bedtime; and
they can choose "Baby Boogie" for a more lively time of day.
Four bonus activities include "Fun With Flopsy" (pictured above),
which is a positively hilarious "just for fun" activity that's sure
to tickle little ones. A click of the mouse (or a tap on the
keyboard) gets Flopsy wiggling and freezing in a crazy pose. Fun
stuff! Other activities include animals popping up randomly at the
farm, dancing animals, and a Shapes music video in which children
click in order to change the background color.
The program is colorful, interactive, engaging, and humorous. The
thought and care that went into producing Giggles is evident
throughout. We're looking forward to new titles in the line (this is
the first). For now, we are having a great time with Shapes, and
recommend it wholeheartedly to families with small children.
Available as a download or in "traditional" box format.
For more information or to buy:
Reviewed: March 2006