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Thursday, September 23, 2010

KneeBouncers!


I can across a fantastic site while searching for games which my toddler can play online. This website called KneeBouncers. There are some fantastic games on the site which Jack can play on and learn how to use the laptop. It's fun and entertaining too! I enjoy watching him press the keys and laughing at the characters jumping around on screen! I haven't seen a similar site which has the same wide variety of educational games.

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Playing 'The Number Game'

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Playing "Choo-Choo"

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Playing "Flashing Lights"

Here is a little bit about how and why KneeBouncers came about. Taken from the "About Us" section on the site.

KneeBouncers was created out of necessity. As parents of two young children, my wife and I were constantly seeking balance. Maintaining order in our little part of the universe was (and still is) a vital key to survival. If one child had something of value, the next child would have something of equal value (or half of whatever the first child was holding). This system seemed to work for us.
Then, we had a third child, and our balance was suddenly thrown.
The first few months were typical with a newborn, and we made all the necessary adjustments to our sleep patterns and schedules. As our bundle of joy grew and was trying very hard to catch up with her older siblings, our defensive philosophy had to change. We went from “man-on-man” to “zone coverage”. This, too, seemed to work for us and for a weekend or two we actually felt the universe in balance once again.
Then the older two, (at the time 3 & 4 years old), discovered the internet.
They had a great time on all the major kid sites. They searched for Ernie, colored Clifford, and got hopelessly lost on the Disney site. (Note to Disney lawyers: the old Disney site broke a lot – the new one is much, much better). They were having a blast. Unfortunately the same could not be said for their little sister.
She wanted to play too, but was frustrated when she couldn’t get anything to work - she was 9 months old. Okay, admittedly I may have been the one frustrated, but everyone with a 9 month old out there understands.
I began to search for online baby games, and online toddler games at all the major sites and came up with nothing. Nada. The diddliest of squat for the little ones.
During this time, I had been creating some websites with my very good friend and flash master Kurt Dommermuth. We had just completed a number sites that were rich with interactivity. Kurt had a one year old daughter and we talked at length about the same frustrating futile search for online games for babies and toddlers.
Then I took a plane trip.
Somewhere at about 35,000 feet, between LA and Baltimore, KneeBouncers came to me. I grabbed my sketchbook, planned out five or six games and drew most of the characters. Once home in Maryland, I called Kurt and went over the idea with him. Since our discussion, Kurt had been thinking of ways to program a site with interactive games that did not rely on the use of a mouse.
Then we got to work.
I did the drawings and graphics and Kurt brought them to life with all the animation, music and sound effects. In 2002, we launched KneeBouncers.com and it was an overnight sensation – in our little part of the universe. Kurt’s little girl loved it. My little girl loved it. So I sent the link to my sister and brother and they told two friends and so on and so on…
Since then, the site has reached places neither of us had ever dreamed it would. We have received thank you notes from every continent (except Antarctica, apparently the little ones there are too busy trying to stay warm to play games).
KneeBouncers.com has been the site of the week for many media outlets including the BBC and BBC Canada. Parenting magazine, and countless parents blogging sites have recommendations for KneeBouncers. Teachers of children with special needs and autism have written to us delighted by the response their children have from playing on KneeBouncers.
Today, as proud parents (me of five and Kurt of two), we are excited to be launching a new phase of KneeBouncers. We have added new games, activities, coloring sheets to download, a store with KneeBouncers merchandise - from tee shirts to a Sly Cat plush toy - and a forum for parents to share their experiences. We welcome your thoughts and comments on the new site.
KneeBouncers was created for the ittiest of the bittiest. Our goal is to provide you and your family with a whole lot of thumping, bumping, crashing, bashing, smashing, splashing, popping, bopping, wiggling and especially giggling.
KneeBouncers.com. A whole lot of fun for the itty bitty ones!
We hope you enjoy it.
Jim Robinson
Chief KneeBouncer