Preparing mac for a 4-year old - all ideas wanted!
December 12, 2009 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Making mac kid friendly - Easy stuff [for someone only aged 4] on G4 mac laptop. How do I keep her internet childsafe in the best way (or should I leave it out?)? Do you know good/fun programs or games I should invest in? What did you do?

I'm gifting my older Mac laptop to my daughter for Xmas. I want her to be able to handle it herself, and with the kids keyboard and the sturdy small usb mouse I found, I have the physical covered. I think? Now for the software! I want her to be able to upload her images to the web (she has a homepage). Should I simply use flickr (since iPhoto now comes with that neat upload button)? What games and programs are there for a 4-year old that I should get? How do I make the internet kid-safe, or should I leave the internet and images upload for later in life? At her pre-school she often uses their sturdy old computer which only has approved simple teaching games on it, and has proven with it that she has respect for computers and is very good at turning all periphials (it has speakers and such) on and off in the right order. I think she's ready for her own at home - I just don't know what to fill it with. All ideas welcome!
posted by dabitch to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: ...oh and ps - I haven't bought the mouse/keyboards yet so if you have good/better suggestions for those too I'm game. Keyboard needs Swedish keys and the above does a version of that. Mouse should be on the smaller side, but kid-fun looking so she feels it's her computer.
posted by dabitch at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: Bumpercar, bumpercar, bumpercar.
posted by unixrat at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: Awesome, I had never heard of that. Thank you!
posted by dabitch at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2009

Unless you can whitelist certain sites, and restrict all others, I wouldn't let her on the net unless you are SITTING BY HER SIDE supervising.
posted by HuronBob at 2:13 PM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: If you're running Mac OS X 10.5 (since it is a G4, you can't do 10.6), but the parental controls features can help you lock down the apps/sites etc she can have access to... Macworld article on Parental Controls in Leopard. I think on Tiger or earlier versions, the controls weren't so robust. Parental controls lets you whitelist certain sites for any app the accesses the interwebs.
posted by birdherder at 2:18 PM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: I'd like to mark you all good answers but I suddenly realized it might stop people from giving more answers, so I'll do that later. Huronbob, If I can't make the machine "internet safe", I'll simply not connect it to the net when I'm not there, but parental controls and bumpercar looks promising.
Are there any good (read simple and educational) games for her age?
posted by dabitch at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: My kids got a kick out of Reader Rabbit at that age, and I think you can get it for Mac too.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:37 PM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: Parental controls have worked very well for us in Tiger (10.4.11) on a G4, using the whitelist for Safari. It's built in to the system; control it by setting up accounts within System Preferences.
posted by Ery at 5:27 PM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: Snood is a great game for all ages.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:04 PM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: Than you all, you've been super helpful.
posted by dabitch at 7:46 AM on December 13, 2009

Response by poster: She's gotten her gift, the addition of Hello Kitty keyboard made for hands-over-mouth oooh-ing and the Hello Kitty mouse made her jump up and down with joy. I've installed lots of things for her - but for any other parents looking at this for ideas, Tux paint and KidZui are by far the most popular.
posted by dabitch at 6:33 AM on December 26, 2009

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