programs for kids

Doug Eernisse Doug_Ee at um.cc.umich.edu
Tue Dec 21 12:53:13 EST 1993

In article <cupton.1106539532D at ra.uvic.ca> 
Chris Upton, cupton at sol.uvic.ca writes:
>Sorry this is a bit off topic, but I'm looking for a couple of MAC programs
>to keep 3 kids entertained over Xmas. Age range is 4-8. Also I'm looking for
>public domain programs that I can pull off an archive.
>Any recommendations, there's 100's around but it's hard to know what's suitable!
If the 8 year old is into world geography in the same way my 9 year old son
is, you would certainly be welcome to have a copy of (i.e., help us test) a 
"Geography Challenge" HyperCard stack that my son and I have come up with
in the last couple of weeks. He did the work, entering an accurate Excel spreadsheet
of the world's current countries, each with their capital, continent, and another
big city. I guess he picked up the typing skills at school, because he wasn't
into the typing tutors I tried on him a year ago. He has enjoyed using Excel
to make his own sports cards in the past, but sports were last Christmas' big
interest, he's a third grader now.

Geography Challenge presents multiple-choice style questions of three different
types, and the correct response percentage is tallied to a high scores record.
It is most fun to limit the possible countries asked about to one region
(Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Oceania) but you can do worldwide too.
We've been exploring different ways to play as a two person game, for example,
1 point per wrong answer, alternating turns, or 1 point for each right answer,
with each turn ending when the player misses. The interface for these isn't
implemented quite yet but should as soon as we decide what is most fun.
You can import/export the database in standard spreadsheet format too, so you 
can keep up with the rapidly changing political boundaries. With the import/export 
capability, it would be easy enough to modify the about 23K stack for a different
type of database of multiple choice questions. 

Let me know if you want to anonymous ftp a test version. My son still finds it 
on the boring side after awhile, but he doesn't miss all that often 8^), 
certainly much less often than me. The game doesn't have any graphics of the
globe, as we only have a Mac Plus at home, but some day it would be fun
to do a more elaborate graphical display of the countries as they are chosen.

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