Come and Join Nax and Oyo the Frog with this wonderful new media product, the Baby Keyboard, from Berchet. Intended for use with very young children, (the manufacturer recommends 12-36 months, but it can be used with older siblings too) it has been produced with input from professional toy makers and multimedia specialists, and introduces the fascinating world of the computer.
Intended for use under parental supervision, the package is accompanied by an excellent illustrated pamphlet, which should be read completely before use. It is written in simple, straightforward language and is easy to understand. Especially useful are the little tips to prevent errors, with explanations on what to do if, indeed, they do occur.
The learning aid consists of a brightly coloured, robust and child-friendly plastic keyboard (which is easy to fix over a conventional keyboard) with 10 large colourful and attractive keys, which are so designed to make young children aware of the cause-and-effect relationship between the keyboard and what happens on screen. This is done by playing games. Particularly useful is a key called the "Family Key", which, when pressed, gives information regarding descriptions of games, suggestions for playing it and some ideas for further play. It also allows the parent to dictate the length of play without the player's knowledge, in increments of 5 minutes, and is a way of stopping the game without annoying or upsetting the child.
Accompanying the keyboard are three CD-ROMs, which are very easy to install. The first enables young players to discover shapes and colours each time a key is pressed, and there are games for each of the 5 coloured keys. The second CD is slightly more difficult and enables your toddlers to use animals and familiar objects to recognise sounds and express emotions. The last CD is aimed at the older age range, and therefore the games are more complex. Use of the mouse is introduced as a compliment to the keyboard, but clicking, as yet, is not necessary. This is an excellent product that has been well thought out in every aspect--it really does make learning fun. (One to three years) --Susan Naylor
Also available from the Berchet Multimedia range: