The current selection of kids’ software is pretty uninspiring. The interest in getting computers and Internet connections into classrooms arose from the belief that there would be rich content that would engage kids and trigger their creativity and desire to learn. For the most part, I don’t see it happening. And since the entire computer game industry is in the doldrums, it shouldn’t be surprising that kids’ games are mostly uninspired retreads as well.

Lego Software has released several games that are just magnificent, though. Not educational, but great fun. The best of the bunch is LEGO Racers, which can be picked up at Costco right now for $7.99, or ordered from Amazon for $9.99. It’s far more fun than any of the grown-up car racing games. Grab one for any child between 5 and 12, and I’ll bet you steal some time with it for yourself. (Check the hardware and software requirements – if you got your system in the last couple of years, you’re probably okay.) A sequel is due soon. Lego Island was another winner (and now down to $6.99), and the new sequel LEGO Island 2 is overflowing with things to look at and do, games to play, places to go. Not all the Lego titles have been great (Lego Creator and Legoland were not as special), but on the whole it’s a very impressive lineup.