:: KIDS CORNER
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Jumpstart Phonics 2003
ISO | PC kids game | 607Mb
Kids begin play at Camp Readalot, where they are introduced to the main
game components. Here, they can choose to play any of the 5 games
available, or visit the clubhouse to review the merit badges they've
earned playing the games. There are 5 main games, each of which offer a
free-play and a directed-play activity. Difficulty leveling is
automatic, but can also be changed manually between three difficulty
levels from within any of the directed play activities. Progress reports
are also available.
The bees in Vowel Bees need help finding the correct hive that contains
their vowel sound. The bees will fill Pierre's honey pot if kids click
on the right hive. Level 1 features short vowel sounds, Level 2 - long
and short, Level 3 - vowel blends an digraphs. The free play activity
involves clicking on vowels made from vowels to hear the bees hum the
short vowel sounds.
Kisha the Squirrel has created some lovely painted carvings for the
totems in the Totem Pole game; choose the right consonant on the
paintings to match the consonant the totem poles want. Level 1 - match
consonant letters to the sounds the poles make, Level 2 - match the
right picture on the carving to the letter the poles ask for, Level 3 -
match the correct picture on the carving to the consonant blends the
poles ask for. The free-play activity is a game where kids click on
letters in a tree, which showers pictures beginning with those letters
into waiting baskets.
The River Raft game is a strongly phonics-based game where kids will
direct a raft to hook up with the correct letter on swimming turtles;
when successful, Casey the Cat will sound out the letters, in order, on
the turtles. Level 1 - choose a turtle with the letter that matches the
turtles hooked up to Casey's raft, Level 2 - find the correct letter to
complete the word Casey asks for, Level 3 - spell the word Casey wants.
The free-play game lets kids choose letters to spell simple three-letter
words, which are then sounded out.
Silly rhymes are found in the Shipwreck Rhymes game. The free-play
activity has swimming fish who'll recite poems, but the background
splashing noises make it difficult to hear them. The Shipwreck Rhymes
game asks if 2 words rhyme in Level 1, in Levels 2 & 3, kids will
choose a word that rhymes with the one in the clamshell.
The Storybook Cave is where sentences are read. In Level 1, choose the
right letter. In Levels 2 & 3, choose the correct word to finish the
sentence. The free-play activity features short stories read by Eleanor
the Elephant, which highlights the words as they're read.
Each game is well designed and does a great job of keeping a child's
attention. The combination of open-ended and directed play strikes a
perfect balance between the two, and the games themselves are fun to
play, especially the River Raft and Totem Pole games. The animation is
very bright and colorful, and the music is really catchy.
This program is an excellent mix of letter recognition and phonics, with
plenty of entertaining activities that are also very educational. There
is quite a lot of content here and kids will enjoy playing the games,
all the while they're soaking up beginning reading skills. Phonics are
an integral part of three of the activities, which is good, although it
would be better if all the activities reinforced phonics. Three
workbooks are included - the online manual states that workbooks can be
printed out, but that option doesn't appear to be available, instead the
workbooks are included in the box in print form. It would have been
nice if they could have been printed out from the program as well, to do
over again if wanted or if used with multiple children.
Processor: Pentium II 266 Mhz
Video Card: SVGA Video Card
Hard Drive: 100 MB HD
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:: KIDS CORNER
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