I'm admittedly biased, but my son Joe is really bright. He is currently three and a half. A few weeks ago he asked if he could make letters on the computer. I opened up a word processing program and let him pound on the keyboard a bit. He's been doing this regularly.
About a week ago, I walked in and found this on the screen...
I asked him about it, and he said that he copied the letters from the label. (This is an old IBM ThinkPad) A few days later my wife walked in a found this...
When asked, he said he saw it written on mommy's laptop screen and typed it in from memory. Today, he typed in "Milk Duds" by copying the box from some Halloween candy. And right now he is going around the house finding objects with writing on them and typing in the writing.
My wife and I decided that Santa is going to bring him his own laptop. I have an old ThinkPad 600 that should be perfect, especially if I get a new battery for it.
He's currently playing on a laptop with CentOS running (a free derivative of RedHat Enterprise Linux). Is there any distribution particularly appropriate for young kids or should I build his machine with CentOS as well? Does anyone want to recommend a word processor for him? OpenOffice is a little heavy weight, and while he has been using vim successfully, that might not work well when he gets a little more independent.
Also, any recommendations for puzzle games? He likes playing snood, so similar games might be fun for him.