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Education Games

Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids? 338

First time accepted submitter pseudorand writes "I have a 3 year old that I've so far kept away from TV and computers. I met a gamer who has a 1 year old that plays xbox (probably better than I do). I believe kids should experience the real world first, but computers will obviously be a basic job still for the foreseeable future and I'm afraid I'm letting my kid fall behind. I'd like to responsibly introduce my son to computers so he can start developing hard-eye coordination, typing skills and learning UI concepts. What's the best (Linux, of course) game to get a kid started with? Shoot-em-up's are obviously out, but I'm more concerned with something that will help him understand how to interact with a mouse, keyboard and screen and hold his attention rather than something 'educational' because there's plenty of (probably more effective) ways to teach math, reading, etc. that don't involve a computer. So far I've tried Tux Racer, which held his attention for 10 minutes or so. He doesn't quite get pressing multiple keys simultaneously yet."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids?

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  • GCompris (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dozy Lizard ( 1708728 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:15PM (#41653103)
    For a 3 yr old, GCompris is hard to beat.
  • SnapMaps (Score:4, Informative)

    by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:16PM (#41653109) Homepage Journal
    My kids know three languages I2/3 of 3 kids have 3 fluent, the third has 2 fluent and is starting 3rd). But that's nothing compared to their geography. The Snap Maps game was awesome, I play it myself. []
  • Several Options (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:16PM (#41653115)

    Have you looked into Edubuntu (, Qimo ( or Foresight Linux Kids Edition ( While they aren't games, they are distributions designed for kids with pre-installed applications and games for ages 3 and up.

  • Ri-li (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dennis Sheil ( 1706056 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:20PM (#41653151)

    Ri-li [] is a game very young children might enjoy. It has a toy train running around the track, and there's not much to do - just click the button to switch the train tracks if you think it might crash. It has lots of motion and train noises, and is simple. I have heard from more than one parent that their child really enjoys playing it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:22PM (#41653161)

    I started the grandkids off with the Childsplay and Gcompris educational games collections as well at Tux Math and Paint They all are in the OpenSuse repositories or could fool with Quimo as a live CD or as a dedicated install.

    I found that having two mice connected was a big help in getting them started so I could show them what to do without having to take their mouse away.

  • Sesame Street (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:32PM (#41653229)

    Try Sesame Street Games []. They're mostly flash games, but they should work. My kid started playing them when he was 2, liked them a lot, and learned to use a mouse from playing them.

  • TuxPaint (Score:5, Informative)

    by mathew42 ( 2475458 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:36PM (#41653253)

    I recommend TuxPaint []:

    Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (for example, preschool and K-6). Tux Paint is used in schools around the world as a computer literacy drawing activity. It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program. Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative.

    My kids have had great fun using the program, especially with the special effects tools and sound effects. Rather than a structured environment it encourages free play. You can add in your own photos as stamps or just use the extensive collection.

  • Re:GCompris (Score:5, Informative)

    by HoldmyCauls ( 239328 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @09:08PM (#41653445) Journal

    Seconded. Married to a teacher who is now running daycare for some friends' kids so she can stay home with ours. I'm a tech for local catholic schools whose teachers and staff can't deal with Linux though I myself have been a user for more than a decade.

    We have acquired some older P4 machines and I have one slightly newer one that I set up as an Edubuntu LTSP server. The older ones NetBoot from it.

    Point is, my 3-yr-old and her friends between 3 and 4 love Gcompris, and my wife thinks it's incredible. Connect-the-dots, memory, typing blaster and even a simple mouse-learning game where one wipes translucent bricks away to reveal a fun animal picture. It gets used for maybe an hour total per day, so it's a fun reward for good behavior and a pastime while the babies need feeding or lunch prepared or laundry done, not a mindless zombie creator. Compare the activities with what's playing on the Disney or nick channels and you can easily see which is better for a developing mind. Most activities are nearly if not entirely on par with the sensory and craft activities my wife plans with the kids, though visits to the rec center are a nice break from monotony, and they also attend a nursery school 2 days a week. Nice days are also used well with play on the swings and trampoline. I'm just saying by way of comparison for the benefit of those commenters who will say, "why stick your kid in front of a screen?" As though life is binary.

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @09:14PM (#41653477)

    How about [] ?

    My kids loved it when they were around 3-4 years old.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @06:44AM (#41655939) Homepage

    I found that kids like the lighter beers, at least that is what I liked when I was 12-14. And it's perfectly normal to let a 12 year old drink a little beer and a little wine. Only a wierd society would keep it from kids and young adults until they are 21.

    I grew up German, there was wine at the table for all of us. and I cultivated a love of Apfelwein at an early age thanks to dad and grandpa. It's also why when my friends were all drinking the crap from budwiser and getting drunk at 16, I was enjoying a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and smart enough to not drink 24 of them and then puke all over the place.

    Why do the radical puritans still control the laws here in the USA?

  • Re:GCompris (Score:3, Informative)

    by xarma ( 916256 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:04AM (#41657189)
    As the author of GCompris, I have to agree. By the way, a little link would help : []

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter