Do you have a toddler that is always trying to play on your computer? Or maybe you have a small child within that misses playing with blocks and balls and toy cars?
Either way, you will like this free program. SoupToys lets you place a wide variety of toys on your desktop, from blocks to cars to ramps to balls etc.
All of these objects are simulated to obey the laws of physics; you can fling them around or set them up to interact with each other, but what is more impressive is that all the toys behave as they should; magnets attract metal objects, basketballs bounce higher than soccer balls, care run and accelerate and careen over ramps, etc.
The program also features dozens of pre-made sets, instantly playable toys and objects arranged by a specific theme. You can join the Soup Toys community and download new ones or upload your own.
I first learned about this program when my friend Elioz Hefer emailed me about it. Here are some quotes from his email.
“Hello Samer. Lately I have received my new “freeware” little Jonathan 5 months old now … As a new father I have looked for ways to catch his attention – YouTube animated musical songs are wonderful, but still something with interaction was missing. So I was looking for a virtual toy so to speak, something which will be like small virtual cubes on my laptop to play with with him (by the way – I don’t know your parental status but you’ll be surprised how those 5 month olds really have developed their own taste and likes and dislikes… when he is bored he will kick my PC table and roar, and then if he sees something interesting he will be very much concentrated and quiet)…
With that in mind I have began my quest for such a virtual toy. I remembered your recommendation of the crayons physics toy, but still looked for something more realistic for him, and for free, and -viola – I have found it. It has the funny name “Soup Toys”. It is meant for the small aged or for those of us who still feel like that, but really after playing with it for sometime you can become addict for it. After Downloading it you’ll have a toy box (literally) on your desktop, integrated between your files and folders. The Box is full of them – balls , dolls, cannons, turning wheels – you name it… You can do with them whatever you like, and after short tutorial you learn it fast. But the object of the game it to build sort of Rudberg machines from your imagination.
P.S. the ToyBox comes with 100 prepared alignments of toys to play, destroy or rebuild as you like, but you can download thousands more from the site, built by others. It comes with audio sounds (different for each toy) and you can change the background for the playground other than your desktop (in case you don’t want the baby to destroy your folders while playing). Beware: if you pull out many toys your desktop will be messy!, but unlike the real world, there’s a magic button which wipes all the mess in a second just like Mary Poppins. Check it Out! And have fun. Elioz”.
The vedict: all I can say, in addition to the above, is that my 7 year old boy, 3 year old daughter, and myself think SoupToys are really cool! Check it out you will like it.
Version Tested: 18.104.22.168
Compatibility: Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 7.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 16 megs).