January 2020: We no longer carry this fun set of CDs.
We are maintaining this page for those who come across it in their church resources.
Charlie is a set of 3 Bible software programs for home and classroom use, each with 6 Bible stories.
Charlie CD 1 : Ages 4-7
Creation, Noah’s Ark, Jonah, 3 Wisemen, Parable of the Lost Coin, Fishes and Loaves.
Also known as “Charlie Church Mouse – Preschool.”
Charlie CD 2: Ages 5-9
Walls of Jericho, Ruth, David & Goliath, Daniel, Pearl of Great Price, Paul’s Journey to Rome. Also known as “Charlie Church Mouse Early Elementary.”
Charlie CD 3: Ages 5-8
Elisha & the Jars of Oil, Nehemiah Rebuilds the Wall, The Story of Queen Esther, The Birth of a Savior, The Prodigal Son, Zaccheus & the Big Tree. Also known as “Charlie Church Mouse Kindergarten.”
Toggle open my age range notes below…
There are six animated stories on each CD. Student click through the storybook scenes. Each story includes an interactive activity related to the story, such as, “help the Widow find her coin”. Follow-up activities are included (read more below).
Charlie offers up a question or life application comment at the end of each story. These can be discussed to mine more of the story’s meaning.
Charlie CDs include biblically-themed age-appropriate developmental learning activities in and around each of the stories. For example, they include sequencing skills, math skills, time-telling, rhyming/antonyms/synonyms, counting money, spelling, matching. The activities have adjustments for level of difficulty.
Each Charlie CD has onscreen Younger/Older, Easier/Harder options which control the level of difficulty in the activities. For example, the easier modes switch to easier arithmetic problems in David’s slingshot math game.
See a brief video clip of Charlie in action:
MORE ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES and AGE RANGE in CHARLIE
The Bible stories in the three Charlie CDs have a wide age range. It’s the accompanying learning games where the age range of each CD is important to consider. Each of the Charlie CD’s was purposely aimed by the developers at a slightly different age range. The age differences don’t show up in the stories, but in the learning activities. So…. if you are focused mostly on the stories, pick any of the three for age 4-8. If you are getting Charlie for a specific student or class, and ‘which stories’ doesn’t so much matter, pick the age range more carefully by reading my notes below. Of course, even within the same age group, students’ skills and abilities will vary widely. What may be suitable for your 2nd grader may also work for your advanced 5 year old. You know your students best.
Each of the three Charlie CDs has a slightly different age range.
Charlie #1 = Ages 4-7
Charlie #2 = Ages 5-9
Charlie #3 = Ages 5-8
In a classroom setting: Ages 4 & 5 with help will enjoy all three CDs, …but some of the learning activities in Charlie #2 and #3 will be a bit challenging for them, depending on their schooling. The average age range for Charlie #1 and Charlie #3 is ages 4-8, with Charlie #1 being a little more appropriate for younger children. It really depends on your children and whether or not an older child or adult will be there to help. Some 8 and 9 year olds will want more sophisticated software activities, some will spend hours with Charlie.
Charlie’s main claim to fame is it’s nicely animated story presentations. Each story also has fun activities related to the story. Some of the activities are of the “school skills” variety, meaning: counting/sorting/matching/arithmetic/phonics/rhyming. Keep reading for more details…
Charlie’s developers made some interesting changes as they developed the series. Charlie # 1’s learning activities are a little MORE related to the story. For example, in the Noah Story (Charlie 1), kids help put the animals on the Ark. But there’s also an “animal matching” game after the story. In the Parable of the Lost Coin (Charlie 1) you help look for the woman’s coin. But note that Charlie #1 is for younger children. Some of Charlie 1’s activities are too easy for 7 year olds.
In Charlie #2 and #3 the activities in the stories teach early elementary skills using a Bible theme from the story. For example, In Charlie 2’s Pearl of Great Price story, the activity is learning how to count money in a fun Bible story themed marketplace. In Charlie 2’s David and Goliath story, there’s a math game which you play with David’s slingshot. You can see a boat ‘spelling’ game in Paul’s Journey to Rome pictured ABOVE RIGHT on this page>
I don’t want to overplay the differences, but I do want to help you make the right choice for your students.
Comparing Charlie to Play & Learn Children’s Bible CD
Our other popular program for non-readers is Play & Learn Children’s Bible CD. While Play & Learn’s graphics are only 2-D and are not as fully animated as Charlie’s, Play & Learn Bible CD offers 50 Bible stories, 25 Bible puzzles and 25 Bible coloring pages, plus a Bible sing-a-long song page. Where Charlie gives you pages to print and then color, Play & Learn gives you a paint program to paint Bible pictures onscreen -but they cannot be printed.
Keep in mind, however, that Charlie works in Windows 7 & 8 & 10, whereas, Play and Learn doesn’t work in Windows 7 & 8 or 10 (64 bit). MOST churches and schools that have a lot of preschoolers and early elementary kids coming their labs find that BOTH Charlie and Play & Learn are good to own IF they have older XP laptops on hand.
Comparing Charlie to Awesome Bible Stories CD
Several of Charlie’s stories are also found in Sunday Software’s AWESOME BIBLE STORIES CD. If ready-made depth of Biblical content and a little more length and lesson-related activities are what you’re looking for, then Awesome CD is better. Awesome CD is also made for older kids.)
This isn’t a slap on Charlie. Charlie especially appeals to the younger kids and home use, or in situations where the child is sitting at the computer by themselves. Awesome Bible Stories CD are more like animated, interactive lesson with a much wider age range. Charlie is younger and more Christian school …Christian home oriented. Having said that, a lot of our Sunday School customers use Charlie in their labs.
Comparing Charlie’s Jonah story to Elijah-Jonah CD
There is no comparison. Elijah and Jonah CD presents the entire story of Jonah in a content-rich and humorous way. Charlie’s version of Jonah is fine for at-home youngsters. Elijah and Jonah CD is primarily designed for older kids.
Minimum: 1.1 ghz, 1 mb ram, 32 mb videoram.
Remember to have an up-to-date copy of Quicktime 7.7.9 installed on your computer.
Just had to let you know that I got the Charlie Church Mouse CD. Wow!! It had me laughing and giggling and having fun with them. I’m excited to use them. I had only gotten to a couple of the puzzles for creation and knew this was GOODD!!! Way Good! I had to come back in the afternoon to finish view all the programs.
-Wendy Sempf, Rochester Minnesota church computer lab teacher