Monday, October 13, 2008

Liam's pictures from old books. And Baby tv****

Its been so long since I started this post that I have forgotten what I intended saying! Plus, I am distracted by the same reasons that have been keeping me away lately. So, I am going to make this short and simple with this beautiful link for illustrations from old books for adults, not children! Liam Quin of Canada scans drawings and illustrations from books which are in public domain. You could use them as free clipart, or simply visit the site for the pleasure of looking at these drawings.

There is a fierce debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of tv programs for babies as young as three months. The proponents claim that the programs are so designed as to encourage the babies to observe and learn. The opponents believe that the act of watching the tv goes against what babies have been doing for countless centuries, and what they are programmed to do: explore the real world around them. I take no sides at this time. We don't own a tv set, but not for this reason - simply because we never felt the need to buy one. So, today's featured site doesn't come as an endorsement of 'baby' tv - it is simply another good site for children! Neither is this an indictment, for I rather think that some of the programs are quite useful for infants/toddlers.

Baby tv is a UK based network focusing totally on very young children. The website mentions copyright Elite Sports, but I am not sure about the manner in which the two are related.

The games page is attractively laid out in bright colours, with an intuitive interphase and voice overs. Click on any egg to get to the games related to that show/character. The entire game section is flash based, so initial loading may be a bit slow. However, the tortoise/turtle playing peek-a-boo keeps kids entertained. If you need to go back to the main game page, use the back tab in the game rather than your browser's.

The games are simple and easy with bold, clear illustrations, focusing on a child's problem solving ability for the most part. Computer skills required are mouse movement and clicking. The number of games is not large but sufficient. They do add new games now and then, but I haven't been there often enough to know the frequency. Here are three illustrations -

Some have a couple of levels, like the Baby game (the butterfly is called Baby) above. In the first level, children click on an animal which then fits into its silhouette, and the second requires children to choose the correct animal for the silhouette themselves.

The whosit whatsit game here starts off with only a bit of a figure showing, from which kids have to guess which figure it is. If they are unable to, a spotlight will roam over the hidden figure and finally reveal it fully.

There is of course, the ubiquitous matching game, but the one above is part jigsaw as well. Level 1 shows the complete picture, while level 2 requires kids to remember and logically figure out where the piece shown will fit.

The home page for games -

Please note that the old books is linked to Liam's pictures from old books, while his name is linked to his own page. Yes, he does a lot of things besides scanning old books :)

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