GeoSafari Laptop

GeoSafari Laptop

This blast from the past educational tool is actually kind of rockin’.

We were offered a box of books for free from a fellow homeschooling family, which actually turned into two boxes of books—including an old GeoSafari Laptop! My daughter has a modern Vtech laptop that my parents bought her a couple of birthdays ago that she loves to play on, and it features animation, sounds, songs and interactive talking.

Yeah, this GeoSafari doesn’t do any of that.

It’s still pretty rockin’ though, once you figure out how to use the thing. It didn’t have the instructions so I spent a bit of time trying to figure it out. Then I realized that duh, it’s 2013 and I can Google it, so I did, and found the PDF version of the user’s guide. Nice! Don’t you love living in this year? I know we complain a lot about stupid things, but really it’s pretty boss to live when we do.

It was actually pretty easy once you read what each button is for. You just stick each card on top of the machine, then plug in the number of the game plus the number of players, the amount of time you want allocated to answer, and if you want your questions randomly or in order. Then you play by answering questions on the sheets, and if you get them right a high-pitched noise results. Low pitched noises sound when you get a wrong answer. Get them all right and you get the whole thing to light up.

There are tons of cards on this thing, from math and science to language arts and of course history and geography. It’s not just geography, though, so don’t let the name fool you. The cards all fit in the case even though I didn’t think they would—trust a child to figure that one out, which is what my daughter did.

I think the game itself was rather underwhelming for my seven-year-old, though, who is used to complete interaction and guides speaking to her, but it’s actually intended for ages eight and up, so maybe she’ll come to like it someday. In the meantime, her dad and I are having a blast with the thing! I beat the game at landmarks of North America (big feat there) while he only missed one on wonders of the world. We totally bombed the native American artifacts quiz, though, which makes me feel rather dubious about the junior archeologist program I’ve been doing with the kiddo…