Terrapin Resources

You are about to enter an exciting world with your children. They are not too young to explore computers, provided they are introduced in a manner that is appropriate for them.

The name Kinderlogo does not imply that children should be of Kindergarten age; in fact, Kinderlogo has been successfully used with children as old as 10. Older children are capable of creating more complex pictures, and children as young as four can benefit from exploring with the turtle.

Through Kinderlogo activities, children will learn their way around the computer keyboard. They will begin to recognize patterns in the world around them and explore cause and effect relationships. They will learn to plan ahead and, most importantly, they will have fun.

Considering the Young Learner

As you work with young children, keep in mind certain aspects of their development. Children as young as four years old are excited and easily captivated by the turtle, the icon they will move around the screen. Remember, however, that typical four-year-olds do have a short attention span.

We have discovered, however, that the attention span of young children miraculously increases as they use Kinderlogo. We worked with five preschool special needs children who were totally engrossed by the turtle’s actions, patiently taking turns for more than an hour. Their teacher commented for years on the attention span that was displayed that day.

If possible, be flexible in your time allotments. Allow the children to set the amount of time they spend at the computer. They will usually tell you when their attention span is waning. One four-year-old alerted us, “Well, I’ve had just about enough of this for today.”

At this point, it is best to allow them to move on to another activity. Don’t force them to stay at the computer after their interest has gone. Their enthusiasm will return at the next session if they are not kept at any activity that has lost meaning for them. Although you can’t control how long students spend in a computer lab, you will see their interest in Kinderlogo is recharged the next time they use Kinderlogo.

Don’t skip the non-computer activities, especially those that involve movement. Children need physical activity to improve their motor control and to relate the turtle movements to their own experiences.

Some people maintain that young children should be out experiencing life firsthand, that they should be playing with real live turtles, not screen images. We certainly don’t disagree. However, we feel that some well-planned time at the computer with Kinderlogo can develop learning in ways that differ greatly from other media.