Children's Discovery System

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The Mattel Children's Discovery System is an early electronic educational toy product released by Mattel in 1981. The Children's Discovery System was targeted toward children aged 6 to 11[1] and mimicked the look of a contemporary consumer-grade computer.


The Children's Discovery System used a 16-by-48 matrix LCD screen[2] and was powered by six size AA alkaline batteries.[3] The screen was much wider than it was tall, therefore only a grid of 8-by-2 text was possible, allowing for a maximum of 16 characters on-screen at any given moment.

The unit came preprogrammed with three modes: Art mode, Music mode and Type mode. The Discovery System came with a specially laid-out membrane keyboard to better accommodate the built-in modes and also made use of keyboard overlays for use with expansion modules. Also included with the unit was a large activity book with over 100 suggested learning activities specially-tailored for the Discovery System.[4]

Expansion module cartridges

  • Arcade I
  • Arcade II
  • Art
  • Computer Programming
  • Foods
  • Fractions I
  • Fractions II
  • Geography I
  • Math Quiz/Calculator
  • Memory Logic
  • Music
  • Nutrition
  • Presidents
  • Science I
  • Spelling Fun
  • US Cities
  • Words I
  • Words II


  1. ^ "Handheld Game Museum - Children's Discovery System (Mattel 1981 catalog)".
  2. ^ "The Great Game Database - Mattel Children's Discovery System". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11.
  3. ^ "Computer History Museum - The Children's Discovery System computerized learning system".
  4. ^ "Handheld Game Museum - Children's Discovery System (Mattel 1981 catalog)".

External links

  • The Great Game Database - Mattel Children's Discovery System
  • Digital Press - Game Listings: Mattel[dead link]
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