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$17.99 list($19.99)
1. Alphabet Express Preschool
$16.99 list($29.99)
2. JumpStart Advanced Preschool
$12.99 list($14.99)
3. Finding Nemo: Nemo's Underwater
$16.99 $15.99 list($29.99)
4. JumpStart Advanced Toddler
$12.88 list($19.99)
5. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
$8.99
6. Reader Rabbit Toddler
$6.99 list($9.99)
7. Thomas & Friends: The Great
$9.99
8. Pooh Preschool w/French and Spanish
$19.99 $17.90 list($29.99)
9. Educator's Choice Numbers and
$9.99 $4.98
10. Pooh Toddler w/French and Spanish
$21.04 $16.92 list($23.38)
11. Standard Deviants: Jibberboosh
list($19.99)
12. Rugrats Go Wild
list($29.99)
13. Sesame Street: Baby and Me
14. Davidson's Learning Center Series
$8.40 list($29.99)
15. JumpStart Toddlers and My Learning
$3.80
16. Sesame Street The Adventures of
$13.57 list($29.99)
17. Toddler Play And Learn (4 CD-ROM)
$3.98 list($19.95)
18. Richard Scarry's Best Reading
$15.95 list($19.99)
19. All Aboard! Toddler Adventures
$3.50
20. COSMI Caillou Magic Playhouse

1. Alphabet Express Preschool
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005A8OO
Catlog: Software
Publisher: School Zone
Sales Rank: 216
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

The 26 letters of the alphabet equal 26 opportunities to explore,listen, and learn in Alphabet Express Preschool. Add to this a handful ofadded-on games, imaginative short films, and freeform activities, and thisCD-ROM has both appeal and staying power.

As a trainload of critters chugs around the onscreen alphabet, kids click on aletter, and uppercase and lowercase versions fly, bounce, or pour onto the scenein a Sesame Street moment. The letters dissolve to a garden scene forG, an orchestra for O, and so forth. Click on the onion in theorchestra pit, and a kid's voice intones "Onion!" while the squirrel holding thething begins to cry piteously. There are similar scenes for every letter of thealphabet--though designers cheated a bit and combined X, Y, andZ. Kids can also paint different alphabet-emphasizing pictures, play asounding-out/letter-matching game, and look at instructions on how to write eachletter. A separate section of activities includes find-the-hidden-letter games,dot-to-dots that teach alphabetizing, and mazes that must be conquered bymatching objects to their beginning letter. Finally, and most delightfully,there's a movie theater where kids can watch a couple of priceless animatedshorts: one is a James Brown-esque ditty belted out by a chicken, listing the(alphabetized) items that make Hearty Chicken Alphabet Soup so special. Anchors,basketballs, and carburetors are a few of the secret ingredients.

The animation in Alphabet Express isn't smooth, but the audio is lush:O's orchestra section is replete with the dissonant sound of stringstuning up before the symphony; the tired old ABC song gets a hip-hop makeover; ahost of different (and non-annoying) kid and adult voices pronounce letters andguide visitors. Even if this weren't a strong CD-ROM, it'd be worth checkingout, just to learn the remaining ingredients in Hearty Chicken Alphabet Soup.(Ages 3 to 6) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent software for children learning the alphabet
This software is excellent. My four year old would spend hours working with it if I let her. It is most imaginative and clever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alphabet Express is fun!
My son who is just over two got this for Christmas and he loves it. There are so many different activities in it that he can be occupied for 20-30 minutes - amazing for a 2-year-old boy. His favorite thing is to "paint" the different pictures. They are so detailed and well animated and there are lots of colors - not just the typical 4 or 5 in some programs. He's not quite ready for some of the more advanced activities that ask you to match letters with pictures of objects that start with that letter. But this just means he'll have plenty to grow into. It's a really good choice. ... Read more


2. JumpStart Advanced Preschool
list price: $29.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008OE6P
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 70
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jumpstart Advanced toddler
We bought this as a Christmas present for our son that just turned 2. We were looking for an educational computer game for him and we already had Reader Rabbit Toddler (which he loves). When I first started Jumpstart Adv. Toddler I thought it was way too simple, then I discovered that most activities have 2 levels. Level 1 is pretty basic and doesn't require the kids to do a whole lot...my son was very bored with this. Level 2 is much better...in fact it is more advanced than Reader Rabbit. Most of the activities do not require toddlers to click on the mouse, but if you can click it goes faster. I was surprised by how fast my son figured out the activities. He can do most everything by himself, but he still needs me to help him navigate some. This package comes with 3 cd's - school time, song time and art time. THe song time cd has several fun songs that he just loves. Overall I really like this game and have found it to be very educational. As soon as my son has mastered clicking the mouse we will be getting the preschool version.

5-0 out of 5 stars JumpStart Study Helpers Math Booster
Knowledge Adventure's Jump Start Study Helpers Math Booster... is another real winner for all children in grades 1st-5th - like is partner - Knowledge Adventure's Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - this program has cute, fast paced, great music and sound three styles of arcade-like games to teach your children their math facts - no more boring math flash cards - learn math on a fast paced pinball machine, or arrange math facts for the the "burpers" or "smack" space ships and and space rocks to get correct answers to math problems - fast and fun - even for an old Grandma, me - all games are controled using the arrow keys and space bar excep to the outer space game where you shoot with a mouse - like the Spelling Bee it has over 800 pre-programmed math problems - all basic subjects are covered - addition, subtraction, muliplication, division, decimals and percentages in SIX different leveals - will auto advance at your child's own speed - on screen instructions for everything - also, like its partner, Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - you can program your child's "real" weekly math problems in to this program so they can learn their "real" weekly school math lessons in a fun arcade style of learning - you will love it for the small price tag - your children will love it for all of the fun they will have - and you will love it even more when your child brings home a A+ grade on their report card in Math. The [low price] is "right" - please buy it - once again this old Grandma is happy to be able to send my first grader, and my second grader back to school this year with this GREAT study tool. Knowledge Adventure can be very proud of these two programs ther Jump Start Study Helpers Math Booster and their Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - buy them both and enjoy!
A very pleased Grandmother,
Jacqueline Lee Wilson

4-0 out of 5 stars JumpStart Spanish a winner
My 5 year old loves her new JumpStart Spanish program. She has learned to count in spanish and her colors so far. Very fun games and rewards. She is really picking things up fast. We have not had any real computer problems, it has locked up once, but that has happened on other software as well. The sound works well. For the price I would recommend this as a beginning spanish program.

5-0 out of 5 stars My daughter simply loves it!!!!
My 2 year old loves this set of CDs. I found that it reinforces all the things we are teaching her.... shapes, colors, numbers the ABC. The duck that sings is very sweet to their ear. I found it sooo great I am buying it for my daughter's school so the other kids can benefit as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jump Start 4TH GRADE ADVANCED
I rented this software from the Library. It is a 3 disc program. My 3rd grader (almost 4th grader) loves the Ultimate Field Trips and Mystery Club volume 3. The fundamentals disc is a little too hard for her right now, so it is challenging. I played it because it looked fun and it was fun for me to play. I love the "mystery" tone of the software. I like these programs because there are fun games that do not get boring, and while your kids are playing the games, they are also learning a lot. I am going to purchase this software and the 3rd grade ADVANCED program so my child can review through the summer. ... Read more


3. Finding Nemo: Nemo's Underwater World of Fun
list price: $14.99
our price: $12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LZ1N
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 9
Average Customer Review: 3.23 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Anyone who enjoyed the hilarity of Pixar's Finding Nemo movie will be tempted to pick up one of the two games that star everyone's favorite clownfish. Both games feature original voice work by the outstanding Nemo cast, including the pitch-perfect Albert Brooks, Willem Dafoe, and Ellen DeGeneres. Each game also has a selection of cut-scenes from the movies, shown when tasks are well done. The difference between the two games is that Nemo's Underwater World of Fun was created (says the box) for children four and over, and is by far the simpler of the two Nemo titles.

In Nemo's Underwater World of Fun, players have six mini-games to choose from, along with a section where kids can make music by clicking on members of the Tank Gang (Bubbles, Jacques, and the rest). In a section that resembles an ocean-bound Frogger, Nemo must swim with the turtles, avoiding obstacles and collecting items. Other activities include a shark-run shell game and a very difficult Pong-like segment called "Feeding Frenzy," where Nemo has to bounce kelp balls off obstacles and walls to reach Bruce's mouth.

Both Nemo games have two big drawbacks. First, computer owners with less than state-of-the-art machines will experience stutter and delay when the movie segments appear (which will disappoint kids, so be sure to check the system requirements carefully). Also, each game only offers about one hour of original gameplay (kids who repeat sections will, obviously, play longer).

Of the two games, Nemo's Underwater World of Fun is the weaker,mainly because it doesn't follow the ups and downs of the plot that made the movie so enjoyable. The age requisite, too, seems arbitrary: neither game teaches any particular educational skills (other than pattern matching and hand-eye coordination). For anyone over five, the other game, called simply Finding Nemo is a better choice. But both are loaded with the movie's charms, including an appearance by our favorite character, the sea turtle named Crush. Does everybody have their exit buddy? Okay, dude, you're ready to play.--Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

Reviews (30)

2-0 out of 5 stars The other version? Poor Quality Control Problem....
This is yet another pc game that could have been so good...The problem? Like the other 3 disney pc games we have, we had to go on-line to reconfigure our computer!!! It seems to be the SOUND that creates problems.

We bought the version for older kids, after reading the reviews here. Guess what? The voices for Nemo and others cannot be understood. It's as if someone put an old record on the wrong speed...high speed....everyone talks like the chipmunks! What we heard of the music and graphics however looked real good.

We're running these programs on windows XP and unable to get the program to work right out of the package, which is a real drag to an intelligent 5 year old and his mom! Bottom line, you probably have to go on line and get help to make the program work. OR you may have luck calling them...

With the exception of MULAN (has a great majonng game for kids...but you have to go on-line and learn HOW TO MAKE THE program work and reconfigure/disable a sound card or something like that....)We've sworn off of Disney pc games, at least for now....they're not worth the trouble.

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading, disappointing, irritating waste of time!
The Nemo's Underwater World of Fun game disk enclosed in with the movie DVD, was a big disappointment. My young kids were very excited then very upset. Until I read user reviews here on AMAZON, I thought I had a malfunctioning game rather than a DEMO disk on which only 2 of the 6 activities were accessible, rendering the prizes unwinable and the main games unplayable. And one of the 2 accessible activities, the Tank Gang music maker, seems buggy! Neither the disk, its sleeve, nor the read-me file indicated that it was only a demo, so my exercise in futility began: I installed and reinstalled it. I called the Disney phone number only to find the voice menu options to be misdirected, and at Disney Interactive on-line found no help nor mention of the demo version. FINE DISNEY, so you don't want to give away a free game, but why waste your ad dollars on such a stunt? Guess what, I've not been enticed into buying the real game, just irritated into a resolution to spend NO money on Disney computer games! (It's not your fault THQ (the game designer) we still love you.) I'm Sooooo glad that wonderful PIXAR's contract with Disney is ending!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars My son likes it, I can't stand it
We bought this for our five-year-old, who loved the movie. Why is it that all Disney games turn into annoying (and cloying) lead-ins or promos for the movie? Why do we have to watch endless clips of it? The games seem kind of uneven (some way too hard, others too easy), and sometimes the software seems to get 'stuck' (we need to back out and repeat the objective to get it to work). I like THQ and their software in general, I've just noticed that anything Disney-related gets bogged down in their desire to "Plug the movie! Plug the products!" My son does like it when he plays it, but it's been used a LOT less than I had anticipated. Gets 3 stars for good graphic and audio quality, but I'd give the game itself a two.

1-0 out of 5 stars terrible
I bought the finding nemo software for my daughter today and I sincerely regret it. It is one of the worst games I have ever purchased. The games dont work. You get nowhere. I would advise everyone considering this game to just save your money. My daughter was excited to get it until we installed it and tryed playing it only to find out it is a lemon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very cute
I just loved the movie, so naturally I bought the game. My sis and I have had these little, ummm...."problems" with games for kids 4+. We can't win them!! The older kid's games are easier. But that's what makes this game fun. I still can't win the "Surfin' With Crush" level though. "Nemo's Underwater World of Fun" actually has a story to it. Nemo wants to prove to his dad that he can move around just as well as any other fish. So Marlin sets up a "Super Swim Challenge" game, that will test Nemo's swimming skills. It goes from there in that you have to help Nemo win a certain number of "trophies" in each game in order to get up to level 5 in the Super Swim Challenge. After that, you can help Nemo prove to Marlin how good a swimmer he is. I love the games you can play. "Dory's Memory Match", "Surfin' With Crush", and "Tank Gang Sing-alongs" are just a few. Hope you have fun playing! I'm sure the kids will. ... Read more


4. JumpStart Advanced Toddler
list price: $29.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008OE6X
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 378
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jumpstart Advanced toddler
We bought this as a Christmas present for our son that just turned 2. We were looking for an educational computer game for him and we already had Reader Rabbit Toddler (which he loves). When I first started Jumpstart Adv. Toddler I thought it was way too simple, then I discovered that most activities have 2 levels. Level 1 is pretty basic and doesn't require the kids to do a whole lot...my son was very bored with this. Level 2 is much better...in fact it is more advanced than Reader Rabbit. Most of the activities do not require toddlers to click on the mouse, but if you can click it goes faster. I was surprised by how fast my son figured out the activities. He can do most everything by himself, but he still needs me to help him navigate some. This package comes with 3 cd's - school time, song time and art time. THe song time cd has several fun songs that he just loves. Overall I really like this game and have found it to be very educational. As soon as my son has mastered clicking the mouse we will be getting the preschool version.

5-0 out of 5 stars JumpStart Study Helpers Math Booster
Knowledge Adventure's Jump Start Study Helpers Math Booster... is another real winner for all children in grades 1st-5th - like is partner - Knowledge Adventure's Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - this program has cute, fast paced, great music and sound three styles of arcade-like games to teach your children their math facts - no more boring math flash cards - learn math on a fast paced pinball machine, or arrange math facts for the the "burpers" or "smack" space ships and and space rocks to get correct answers to math problems - fast and fun - even for an old Grandma, me - all games are controled using the arrow keys and space bar excep to the outer space game where you shoot with a mouse - like the Spelling Bee it has over 800 pre-programmed math problems - all basic subjects are covered - addition, subtraction, muliplication, division, decimals and percentages in SIX different leveals - will auto advance at your child's own speed - on screen instructions for everything - also, like its partner, Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - you can program your child's "real" weekly math problems in to this program so they can learn their "real" weekly school math lessons in a fun arcade style of learning - you will love it for the small price tag - your children will love it for all of the fun they will have - and you will love it even more when your child brings home a A+ grade on their report card in Math. The [low price] is "right" - please buy it - once again this old Grandma is happy to be able to send my first grader, and my second grader back to school this year with this GREAT study tool. Knowledge Adventure can be very proud of these two programs ther Jump Start Study Helpers Math Booster and their Jump Start Study Helpers Spelling Bee - buy them both and enjoy!
A very pleased Grandmother,
Jacqueline Lee Wilson

4-0 out of 5 stars JumpStart Spanish a winner
My 5 year old loves her new JumpStart Spanish program. She has learned to count in spanish and her colors so far. Very fun games and rewards. She is really picking things up fast. We have not had any real computer problems, it has locked up once, but that has happened on other software as well. The sound works well. For the price I would recommend this as a beginning spanish program.

5-0 out of 5 stars My daughter simply loves it!!!!
My 2 year old loves this set of CDs. I found that it reinforces all the things we are teaching her.... shapes, colors, numbers the ABC. The duck that sings is very sweet to their ear. I found it sooo great I am buying it for my daughter's school so the other kids can benefit as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jump Start 4TH GRADE ADVANCED
I rented this software from the Library. It is a 3 disc program. My 3rd grader (almost 4th grader) loves the Ultimate Field Trips and Mystery Club volume 3. The fundamentals disc is a little too hard for her right now, so it is challenging. I played it because it looked fun and it was fun for me to play. I love the "mystery" tone of the software. I like these programs because there are fun games that do not get boring, and while your kids are playing the games, they are also learning a lot. I am going to purchase this software and the 3rd grade ADVANCED program so my child can review through the summer. ... Read more


5. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000029714
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 132
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

If order is important to your child, Thomas the Tank Engine's world is probably a favorite place. In Thomas and Friends: The Great Festival Adventure, kids enter the tidy world of Thomas and Friends and immediately set about polishing engines, loading boxcars with the right items, and making sure passengers get onto the train in timely, proper fashion. All the while, Sir Topham Hatt encourages kids with phrases such as "I know I can trust you to be really useful." High praise in this place where practicality is paramount.

This CD-ROM could win an award for cinematography--the "camera" tracks, zooms, and swoops through the activities. Thomas, Percy, and everyone's favorites, the Troublesome Trucks, move about the Island of Sodor preparing for the upcoming festival. The seven activities are either of the counting/sorting/pattern-recognition variety or ones that work on basic hand-eye coordination and mouse control. Kids can go to the engine shed to polish, oil, and wrench the engines into prime working condition; unload Bulstrode the Barge and fit the packages into the boxcar with the matching label; or help round up cows that escaped from a farmer's pen. Each task has only three levels of difficulty, and they can be completed quickly by a kid with some computer savvy or an older child. Between these chores are short vignettes involving Thomas and his friends, making this CD-ROM feel familiar to fans of the television show.

While the age range for this program is "2 and up," don't assume that it'll keep your 5-year-old busy for very long. But if you have a helpful 3-year-old who needs to learn how to mouse and count, Thomas and Friends can put your child on the right track. --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars All aboard for fun with Thomas
In The Great Festival Adventure,Ride around the island of Sodor with Thomas, and his friends to get ready for the festival.There are seven games:One at the Shed,one at the Quarry,one at the Harbor,one in the Field,one at the Station,one at the Fair Ground,and one at the Band Stand at the Fair Ground. In the Shed, you'll help Thomas get cleaned up before he goes out to help his friends.

In the Quarry,there has been a rockslide and you have to fly Harrold over the rocks,pick them up put them in the right trucks for James to tow away.

At the Station,Annie and Clarabelle need your help to figure out which passengers go and which stay.

At the Harbor,Well the Harbor game is pretty much the same as the Quarry game.

At the Fair Ground,help Harrold put together stalls and rides.

At the Field, help Terrence chase cows into their pen.

And at the Band Stand,listen to music and make music with the musicians.

Tip:Skip around after you complete the game.

I loved theis game.It was alot of fun.If you like Thomas get this game now!

3-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful graphics, great audio
I bought this software when my son was around 18mnths old. He is a total Thomas fan so he is always asking to play it. He loves to sit and watch Thomas and his friends travel around the island of sodor. He is currently 2yrs old and wants to play it every day. It really is a great piece to have my only complaint would be that he is now starting to get bored with the activities. It doesn't allow children who can not use the mouse to interact with it's games , which is important to keep them content. It also doesn't give you much else to do once you've mastered the five step program. It's the pictures, sound and graphics that keeps them coming back not the content and tools to learning. I would still recommend it don't be too disappointed. It would be nice if they came out with a game that the children could actually drive the train and interact with it choosing what destination to go to as well as being able to stop, start, pull forward and back up the train. something to think about.

2-0 out of 5 stars good graphics, poor entertainment value
While there are some stunning sequences of Thomas & Friends zooming around the island, the interactive sections of this offering do not really cut it.

To begin with, they are mouse intensive, so a toddler who has not yet mastered the mouse will be left watching an adult manipulate the elements involved. Secondly, they are not all that inventive, and some of them downright illogical - when you are presented with a platform full of passengers to load on a train, why should you only be getting the number suggested by the game on board? My son keeps asking me "what about the others" - they just magically disappear off the platform.

Other activities in the game seem a little contrived - clicking on band members and trains simply to hear them make a sound grows old pretty fast, especially when it's done only by moving a mouse. If there had been a "hit a key, see who plays" feature, it would have been a little more enjoyable. Likewise the intitial section where you prepare the engines in the engine shed - putting a drop of oil on a yellow dot, then tightening an imaginary bolt on a yellow dot, then putting coal on a yellow dot - all a little tame.

For real entertainment value I would recommend Reader Rabbit's toddler, which is 100 percent "keyboardable" and offers challenges that can keep a toddler interested for quite some time.

A final word of warning: the game claims to be able to run on a 133Mhz or better PC with 2Mb of video Ram. there is no way that would happen, at least not to the enjoyment of anyone with the patience and attention span of a two year old. The game is slow and clunky, even on a 233Mhz it drags and the sound struggles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful graphics but limited
This software was put together beautifully. The graphics are top notch as is the audio. My 3 year old enjoyed this software for the 8-10 times he played it. It would have been nice to have different levels that the kids could progress to instead of the same game and the same 3 trains in the car wash and other games over and over again. This software is fun and it is part of our library so that we can pull it out every few weeks. I would have preferred something that held his interest for a longer period of time. A nice touch is the ability to print out pictures of the trains either in color or black and white for your kids to color. This part continues to be a hit. Despite my reservations regarding different levels, I still recommend this software.

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding graphics & sound, a bit light in gameplay
Thomas, his friends, and the island of Sodor look absolutely fantastic in this game's high quality 3-D graphics. The stereo sound effects are also top-notch. (In fact, graphics and sound are probably much better than they really needed to be for a preschool-age game!) On the downside, the game itself is a bit lacking in terms of things to do, especially for older preschoolers. The activities range from the super-easy (i.e. click on the sponge and then wipe the dirt off Thomas) to the mildly challenging (i.e. put the large rock in the large freight car, the medium-sized rock in the medium-sized car, etc). There aren't a lot of activities, and they don't change with repeated playings. It's probably a great game for kids brand new to the computer and/or for Thomas fans, but more experienced computer-kids will lose interest after a couple of rounds. ... Read more


6. Reader Rabbit Toddler

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068NNK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Riverdeep
Sales Rank: 105
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Toddlers ages 1 to 3 experience the joy of learning with Reader Rabbit and friends. From hide-and-seek to peek-a-boo games or playing with onscreen blocks, drawing crayons, and more, this title's delightful characters come to life onscreen and create an enchanting learning environment for toddlers. No mouse clicking or other computer skills are required; toddlers strike any key to move the activities along. Plus, a new Dreamship activity filled with funny sounds and silly animations promises to amuse even the tiniest of tots.

Reader Rabbit Toddler 2002 is part of the award-winning Reader Rabbit children's educational software series. Toddlers discover a world of fun characters, interesting shapes, and colorful graphics in the CD-ROM's 20 interactive play areas. They'll also delight in this title's memorable sing-along tunes and fun printable activities.

To ensure that you're never without Reader Rabbit, Reader Rabbit Toddler 2002 comes with a special bonus CD-ROM, Reader Rabbit's Dreamship Tales. Bursting with added activities, videos, tunes, and more than 100 printable games and activities, it's a great way to keep the fun going after you've turned off the computer. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars No regrets on this purchase!
I bought this software based on others' reviews here. What a great buy! Our son turned 2 last month. We have an old iMac we gave him, and we thought we'd buy him Reader Rabbit to introduce him to computer use since he's taken an unhealthy interest in ours. The software installed easily, and by default makes itself start up when the computer turns on to save children from having to navigate program menus. The first time we sat our son in front of it he laughed and squealed and couldn't get enough of it. Since the software can be operated without a keyboard, we removed it (he was banging on it pretty hard), and he just navigates his way through everything with just the mouse. His favorite games are the Bubble Castle and the Fingerplay Theatre. Our son is behind in his language skills, and at the end of the first day (thanks to bubble castle) he could count to five! The best part though is the overwhelming cuteness of Fingerplay Theatre. He clicks a song, such as Twinkle-twinkle, and follows the rabbit's hand motions on the screen and then goes wild at the end clapping his hands and screaming YAY. I really could go on and on here, but let me summarize by saying after one week of Reader Rabbit, he knows more about colors, counting, alphabet and songs than he's learned in months of baby einstein videos. Best twenty bucks I've ever spent. Two technical shortcomings, but I'm reaching: There should be a "sleep" mode when he walks away from it and leaves it on, and possibly a way to disable the exit star (he sometimes clicks it by accident and inadvertently leaves the program).

4-0 out of 5 stars Best toddler software I've found
We've tried Pooh Toddler, Little Bear, JumpStart and a handful of other toddler geared software and Reader Rabbit has been the favorite of both myself and my son. It's easy to skip the intros (which are short anyway) and get straight to the game; it works for a wide range of toddler skills; and it has activities appropriate to a toddler's attention span, namely short and colorful without being overly abrasive. Some of the games have more of a point than others ("can you find three matching animals?" vs. "pick a song!") but they can all be triggered by 1) point and click 2) mouse over or 3) random key pounding. This has been great for my son (who didn't get the whole mouse thing until he was 2 1/2) and means that no game is too advanced to key pound your way through. There are about eight different games on the main disc; you can pick a song to sing, match animal babies to their parents, place shapes to complete a picture, and match letter sounds to pictures -- among other things. I really like that a lot of the short tasks are rewarded with a *short* song and animation piece -- not great art, but not annoying, either. And my son loves them.

I will warn that the alphabet and the shape game can be frustrating if they accidently pick up a letter/shape on mouse over because it then has to be placed with the mouse -- random key pounding won't unstick it. Also, my son was prone to accidently bringing up the menu through key pounding and I'd have to come and fix it.

Finally, I've had the old and new versions of RR Toddler; the new one has a second disc which my son had zero interest in. On the main disc there are a few asthetic changes and a dreamship game in a completely different section, which my son loves but which has no real education value and is a little harder to access. On the good side, the new Reader Rabbit *seems* to run just fine on Mac OS X so I don't have to run 9 to get it to work. Hooray! (BTW, Little Bear Toddler has the same point and click/mouse over/random keys function, but I don't think it's as fun. The games that *require* mouse skills in toddlers have gotten shoved in the closet.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST first software program
After trying several different software programs for toddlers (including JumpStart Toddlers), I really believe this is the only way to go for the first program. The games are controlled by keyboard and mouse, so children who don't yet understand mouse movement can make the game work. When using the mouse, simply rolling over the correct part of the screen will activate the game. There are a variety of games that will improve computer skills gradually. Even after learning to point, click, and drag, my son still loves this game. My only complaint about the game is that I wish the star "button" which takes you back to the main menu is at the bottom right corner of the screen and too close to other pieces on many games. The fact that you only have to pause over the star, not click it, to return to the main menu meant that, until his mouse skills improved, my son was constantly accidently exiting a game in progress. I'd move the star to the upper right or left corner. But that is my only complaint. This is a fantastic product.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reader Rabbit Toddler
After a bit of research, we bought this as the first computer software for our 1 year old daughter, and she just loves it. It keeps her occupied and laughing for long periods. First she was fascinated by the keyboard banging and the reactions she could cause. By 16 months she had mastered the concepts of mouse clicking and dragging objects and moving around. By 20 months she was an expert in all the games, starts and stops the program herself, and navigates to where she wants to play. This program is also educational as well as fun. She learned her numbers, colors, shapes, animal sounds, songs in large part through this software. While she is now 22 months and has moved on to a bit more advanced programs, she still goes back and enjoys playing these games quite frequently. This was a most excellent purchase. It was a very positive experience for her, not much frustration, in fact she kept pushing us away when we tried to help and show her things, she wanted to figure them out on her own. The computer has easily become her favorite toy, and the family has to fight with her just to get time of their own. I recommend this without hesitation, it is better by far than anything else I've seen for a baby/toddler starter program.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too easy!
We bought this game for our 2-1/2 yr old last week and found that the games are too simple, the long instructions are annoying and can't be turned off, and you can't operate it without the CD. All the games are very easy, more geared towards 1-1/2 to 2 yr olds. Activities include matching letters, popping bubbles, matching animals. Although they are good for teaching mouse control, they are not intellectually challenging and our daughter is already bored with them. ... Read more


7. Thomas & Friends: The Great Festival Adventure (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005Y4QA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 988
Average Customer Review: 3.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars XP issue
My son's had this game a while (I'm assuming it's the Hasbro Interactive branded game) and recently we upgraded his PC to XP.

Of course the game didn't work, but by selecting Properties on the game icon you can move to a Compatibility tab and run the game in 98/ME mode - Works fine like that.

Ryan's 7 now and the game is simple, but he still enjoys it from time to time, for its attractive graphics and Ringo's familiar naration.

I'd recommend this to anyone with a youngster interested in Thomas. Before we had this Ryan never went near the PC, now he's computer literate above his age (not entirely due to this game, but it piqued his interest).

1-0 out of 5 stars Dishonest, misleading system requirements
Who runs Windows 98 or ME anymore? Nobody. This software will not run on ANY NT-based OS, including 2000 and XP. I've tried.(..)

For Atari to continue selling this (I don't care who they bought it from) is criminal.

Do not buy this title unless you're running a 9x-based machine. Better yet, don't buy it at all or anything from Atari until they sell software that will run on operating systems that are not five years out of date.(..)

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work
I've got a dual boot 98/2000 system. It obviously wouldn't work under 2000 but neither would it run under 98. The furthest I've got is the end of the intro movie and it hangs. I went as far as reformatting the OS drive and reinstalling 98 and 2000 so they were both clean but it still doesn't work. Working for a games developer myself I know how little work is involved in ensuring a game is compatable with new OS's and more recent versions of DirectX. Releasing a patch wouldn't be too painful. But then Developers have a different agenda to Publishers. Don't let the Atari monika fool you. This is the same old Infogrames under a new name to try to disguise their past from newbies. Despite the fact this game is still appearing in the shops they won't support it. I don't know what their excuse is. The BBC has at least put in writing why they refuse to upgrade their games past win98/directX 7. Because (apparently) most game players don't use Win 2k or XP. Most game players use 98/ME. Excuse me? Any games player who knows anything about getting the best from their gaming experience will be using 2k/XP, certainly not 98 or the abomination that is ME.

In short ... if you've recently bought a computer for your child, don't expect this or other games in the series from the BBc or Infogrames/Atari to work without a considerable amount of effort.

3-0 out of 5 stars For small children
My son is almost 3 and this game is much to easy for him. Of course it being Thomas he still likes it, but the other games are much better. If your child is familer with the computer at all and over 2 1/2 dont' buy this, but for a first game it would be great!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not for a 2 yr. old
We gave this game to my 2 yr old, who loves trains. The game looks and plays well, my 4 1/2 enjoyed it, but my 2 yr old was unable to play it, due to the dependance of pointing-and-clicking. Once the kids master hand-eye-mouse control, then they should enjoy it. ... Read more


8. Pooh Preschool w/French and Spanish (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008WQ9F
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Sales Rank: 295
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Celebrate Eeyore's birthday with Winnie, Tigger, and friends
  • Develop multilingual skills with Spanish and French games
  • 20 fundamental learning skills including numbers, letters, colors, and more
  • Printable workbooks and flashcards for learning away from the computer
  • For kids ages 2 to 5

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars my son loves this cd-rom
we've had this cd-rom for over a year now and my son still plays with it often. he's easily bored, so that says a lot. this cd-rom offers many activities and one can change the levels for a more challenging interaction. it also contains cute songs and is visually beatiful. this is a great product!

4-0 out of 5 stars Pooh fan
I bought this game for my just turned 2 year old because she is a big Pooh fan. Some of the activities are a little hard for her but there are enough levels to keep her occupied. It seems like a great value because she will be able to use it for a few years and the price is so low. ... Read more


9. Educator's Choice Numbers and Letters Excelerator Toddler & Preschool
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NRU3
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 669
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Teachers agree: learning is easy when you're having fun. That's the spark behind Numbers and Letters Excelerator Ages 2-5, a four-CD-ROM set of premium software titles combining amusement and education in one motivationally interactive package.

Stuffed with more than 20 individual lessons and more than 50 activities, this educational suite for children delivers endless hours of exciting learning adventure, while promising the acquisition and retention of fundamental spelling and counting skills. Whether on sing-along safari with the gang from the PBS hit "Zoboomafoo" or honing their number recognition and phonics ability, first-time readers will grow with confidence as they immerse themselves in these challenging activities, which adjust to a child's rising proficiency level.

Included in the bundle are: Chatter Buddies Ready for Speech: Making the R, S, and L Sounds (in which the Chatter Buddies cast focuses on three of the most commonly erred sounds that affect reading readiness in preschoolers and toddlers: R, S, and L), Letters & Numbers (featuring 11 sing-along karaoke songs and 15 interactive games and activities), Zoboomafoo Animal Kids (help Zoboomafoo collect googleberries while playing 10 different games at three skill levels), and Buddy Brush and the Painted Circus (a disc filled with zany activities, magical matching games, and imaginative coloring exercises). ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good value for the money
My daughter enjoyed this program. She learned a lot of different words. The animations are clever and she enjoyed completing the spaceship to get Quixel home.
This is a good program to build a foreign language vocabulary.

1-0 out of 5 stars Beware!
I thought this would be good for my students until I tried it out myself. First I tried the Italian. When I discovered that they translated "potato chips" as "microchips", I was surprised. In telling time, they expressed the correct feminine plural but displayed the incorrect masculine singular "il due" for 2:00. Now for the French...I learned that "potato chips" were "eclats" as in "paint chips". Wrong chips both times folks - and good luck in a restaurant! I stopped there. It's a shame they never got a native speaker to check it before releasing this as an educational item. They did get native speakers to read aloud the vocab lists however. That's the one-star part. ... Read more


10. Pooh Toddler w/French and Spanish (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008WQ9E
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Sales Rank: 949
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11. Standard Deviants: Jibberboosh (2pc)
list price: $23.38
our price: $21.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008DKNZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 57344
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12. Rugrats Go Wild
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LZ1L
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 2291
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Amazon.com Product Description

When the Rugrats set sail on the trip of a lifetime but end up on Island Uninhabited, there's only one family that can help them out: the Wild Thornberrys. Based on the upcoming Rugrats Go Wild feature film, this thrilling adventure has the babies trekking treacherous rainforest paths, taking on bug-eating plants, and staring down dangerous animals while solving "wild" puzzles to salvage their family vacation. ... Read more


13. Sesame Street: Baby and Me
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00001QHZE
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 3773
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Yes, it's possible your baby may try to teethe on the mouse at first. And you can pretty much count on your child occasionally bringing her or his fists down on the keyboard with a smashing degree of force. Yet once your kid begins participating in the muppet-happy fun and learning opportunities packaged into Sesame Street Baby & Me, you'll surely risk a little wear and tear on your hardware. A joint project between the tech and design wizards at the Learning Company and the wise educators and artists at the Children's Television Network, this CD is an impressive example of what an adaptive medium the interactive CD can be.

Graciously hosted by popular Henson muppets such as Elmo, Zoe, and Big Bird, this parent-child program bubbles along gently and merrily from games of "Peek-a-Boo" to "Do What I Do" to "Silly Songs." Transitions from screen to screen and activity to activity are handled slowly and calmly, just as a baby needs. ("Are you saying bye bye?" Big Bird asks. "Okay, bye bye.") While the parent navigates, the child discovers the power of the mouse (to "rake up" screens full of autumn leaves, or "unwrap" presents) as well as the effects of the keyboard buttons (to make Elmo pop up in "Peek-a-Boo" or advance to new letter pictures in an alphabet game).

The only disappointment in this CD is the absence of any nod to urban culture or childhood emotional education that the Sesame Street television show handles so beautifully. Indoors and out, all the scenes have a rather bland and homogenized look. As well, there are only one or two moments that display CTW-style wit (Elmo's relationship to the doe-eyed Baby Natasha is the best). Here's hoping they crank up the playfulness, emotional sensitivity, and world culture references in version 2. (Ages 1 to 3). --Jean Lenihan ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Toddler Game for 12+ Months
My daughter loves this game and plays it almost every day. She started when she was about 12 months old and was able to do a lot of the activities.

The games are divided into mouse-based and keyboard-based games. What's nice about the mouse games is that she can wiggle the mouse around and get positive feedback. The mouse games consist of unwrapping presents and simple coloring games (just moving the mouse colors things in.)

All of the original Sesame Street characters and actors perform the voices in this great game. There are sing-along songs, letters shapes and numbers, and lots of other educational activities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
I was astounded with watching my little 2 year old run the mouse, with such ease too! This program is great for getting little ones comfortable with the computer. The games are fun, especially, "Open the Present"! My daughter is ready to go on to more difficult programs thanks to "Baby and Me"!

1-0 out of 5 stars too expensive by Reader Rabbit Toddler instead
My 20 month old son who really loves playing with his Reader Rabbit Toddler CD was not at all enthused by this one. I think it is really expensive and nothing outstandingly. You are better of buying Reader Rabbit Toddler, which has similar games like coloring, songs and animal sounds and also really cheap. Please try Reader Rabbit Toddler before you buy this one. I think it is not worth the investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy for ages 1-3 to use!
This is a great game for young toddlers. It is very easy for them to use. It helps ages 1-3 learn to use the mouse. The games talks to the children with a lot of encouragment. My 2 year old plays it all day. He just recently scratched up the disk...even though on a family of six budget, I am actually putting forth the money to get another one. It's that good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun playing with Elmo and friends
My 2 year old LOVES this program and it has given her great confidence on the computer. She operates the whole game by herself and happily uses the mouse, keyboard and switches from one activity to the other. Highly recommended!!! ... Read more


14. Davidson's Learning Center Series Toddler Ages 1 1/2-3

Asin: B00002SA25
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Sales Rank: 2630
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Children enter a magical new world of learning
  • Bold, bright images are combined with fun and catchy songs
  • Encourages language development, curiosity, and confidence
  • Stimulate your child's mind with beginning vocabulary
  • Includes letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and visual differences

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars It COULD be good...
But this CD-ROM kept crashing my otherwise-stable machine. Anyone with small children knows that frustration is easily felt by little ones, and I finally had to stop using the game because my 2 year-old was getting too upset when the game crashed. Also, the suggested ages - 1 1/2 to 3 - may be incorrect. Only one game is well suited to little ones (Shapes & Colors) because the child can simply hit any key. The others require more sophisticated motor skills and understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the cutest games you can
My granddaughter has grown playing this game from watching the screen on my lap, until she was 2 1/2 she learned how to actually pop in the CD and clicking on all the cute links herself. ... Read more


15. JumpStart Toddlers and My Learning Scrapbook
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004THQH
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 440
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Toddlers explore a bright garden world where they can make snails count and critters with instruments play the Blue Danube Waltz. Their playmate is an engaging duckling named DeeDee, who's visiting her grandmother. DeeDee's gran has a heck of a fun place: there's a Treehouse of Shapes, a Numbers Pond, a Garden of Colors, a Musical Waterfall, a forest full of Peek-a-Boo Animals, and ABC Toadstools in the garden. Go inside and there's Gran, all set to play Picture Playtime. All seven activities can be initiated and played with a sweep of the mouse or by hitting random keys--no clicking required. Parents should plan on guiding younger toddlers around this program. DeeDee's explanations are no substitute for seeing Daddy do it.

JumpStart Toddlers sneaks the learning in everywhere. While you're counting in the Numbers Pond, sweeping the feather cursor over a lily pad makes a letter of the alphabet pop out, and DeeDee cheerfully interrupts her counting to utter "A!"(or whatever the letter is). Letters also appear like subliminal advertising behind the Musical Waterfall. Music is everywhere on this CD-ROM as well; each activity has a corresponding song, belted out in DeeDee Duckling's Broadway best.

We occasionally find JumpStart's characters a bit cloying, but whoever designed DeeDee gave her some of the very same qualities that make toddlers so endearing. DeeDee fidgets, rubs her nose gleefully, and chews on the ends of her bonnet ribbons.

The Learning Scrapbook that comes packaged with this CD-ROM is simply a series of printable templates that parents can use to build a baby scrapbook in that cutesy JumpStart graphic style. (Ages 18 months to 3 years) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars What are you thinking?
Ok.. I do not own this title. I am looking for something to buy for my 18 month old since he's bored with jumpstart baby. I have a major issue with most of these reviews --- MANY people say that a big problem with this software is that it requires the parents to be there and do it. DUH. These are toddlers - little kids! Of course a parent should be sitting right there helping out!!! My son loves moving the mouse around because I taught him how to do it, not some software. (white curser on black blackground did the trick, btw). I have no intention of plopping my baby down in front of the computer and walking away. It's just like watching the TV - a parent (or other adult) needs to be sitting right there explaining stuff and interacting with him. I don't understand how you can give a bad rating simply because it requires an adult to interact with the child. If there's something wrong or bad with the software, I want to hear it. But saying it's bad because it forces a parent to spend time with the kid is not a good reason for a bad rating!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great start for beginning computer users
At around 2 years old my son began showing interest in computers. His dad is an IT Administrator so our son was around computers all the time. Also, he was (and still is not) interested in learning the traditional way (through books, play, etc.), but rather through computers. We were NOT disappointed with this piece of software! Through this program my son has learned most of the alphabet, shapes, numbers and colors. We have had this one for about six months and he has not lost interest in it.

However, there are some things that I was not pleased with. First, this product is recommended for children 18 months-3 years. It would probably be more suited for children 2 1/2 to 4 simply because it requires basic knowledge of how to use a mouse and the program does NOT teach this skill. Also, the concepts it teaches (letters, numbers, shapes, colors, music, animals, memory skills, etc.) are more geared toward the preschool crowd. Second, the layout is "busy" and it is hard to see all of the different entrance areas (even for me an adult). Finally, another minor complaint (it is very minor) is that the duck's voice can get annoying after 15 minutes or so for me, but my son enjoys it so this is tolerable.

Overall, I highly recommend this software, however, for children over the age of two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaches Mouse Skills
Regardless of what other reviewers said this is THE ONLY SOFTWARE WE HAVE FOUND THAT TEACHES MOUSE SKILLS. We bought this software along with toddler verisons of Reader Rabbit, Winne the Pooh, and Sesame Street when our oldest child was about two. For over a year she was frustrated with not being able to make the games do what she wanted. Then one day we helped her 'find the animals under the leaves'. The game responds to mouse movement so clearly that in less than an hour she had it down. Now she can use the mouse to do what she wants in all her computer games with little assistance. Unfortunately, the kids stepped on and broke our Jump Start Toddler CD. We have been trying to teach mouse skills to our younger children using the other games we have, but the games just aren't cutting it. We'll be getting another copy of Jump Start Toddler soon.

My advice is to buy it at 18 months. Play the 'find the animal' game once every 3 weeks. When your child is able to understand how the mouse works, they're ready to play more often and try the other games on this software. Then get the preschool versions of Jumpstart and/or Reader Rabbit ready for the day they get bored with the toddler games.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
Jump Start Baby was fantastic so when my twins became toddlers I decided to buy Jump Start Toddlers. The graphics and sound quality are fine the but usability is not easy and very erratic. Take the counting game for example. 10 fish are displayed on the screen and it is supposed to count from one to ten so the child can learn to count. What happens is if the keyboard is clicked (which it is all the time) it goes on to the next group of fish to count. So basically your child is just hearing the number 1. This also happens with the colors. The flowers change color and as soon as the keyboard is clicked it goes on to the next color to change cutting Dee off in mid sentence. I think the product would be really good if this feature were fixed. We have stopped using this product.

2-0 out of 5 stars Diappointing
This game is very disappointing. There is actually very little to do and see. It requires a parents help to point and click the mouse and has very little interaction. Other CD's capture my 21/2 year olds attention for 3x as long. It is rather expensive and keeps a young childs attention for only 10-15 minutes. I read several other reviews saying it would be better for older kids - but my 5 year old daughter complains the CD is boring with nothing to do. I suggest Reader Rabbit or Fisher Price Little People instead. ... Read more


16. Sesame Street The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S5BE
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 1384
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Amazon.com Review

Yay! Elmo is on an adventure in Grouchland, tracking down his best friend--his blanket! It's slipped out of his hands down Oscar's trash can, and he--like Alice following the White Rabbit--has to meet interesting characters and finish several missions in order to be reunited with it.

This software holds vibrant primary colors, sweet Sesame Street songs, and lessons on values that everyone can agree with. Parents will appreciate the conflict resolution skills that Grouchland builds, but kids will just love Elmo singing and dancing.

Installation was simple, and once in the program, frankly, we wished every navigation system was this intuitive. The program distinguishes the elements you can click on by having them sparkle when you move your cursor over them. And, no matter where the child is in the game, there's a green arrow that can lead them to the next spot. Throw in the Sesame Street humor (Elmo visits the Bad Humor sardine-ice-cream cart), and it's clear why this one is a winner.

A particular stand-out feature of this software: there's no wrong answer. When building a bridge to get Elmo across a mine shaft (yes, Oscar's got a mine shaft in his trash can), kids can choose from a series of different options, but none will be rejected. When he climbs a mountain at the end of the adventure, some of the ledges he needs to get to are occupied by sheep, but there are always plenty more to pick from.

One note of caution: Elmo in Grouchland has only a few scenes. We would have preferred that the gameplay go on and on, although we can also see the reward for young players in winning the game--getting Elmo his blanket--within a session or two.

Grouchland's core is its terrific messages within the storyline--much like the television show on which it's based. Elmo meets some sweet junkyard weirdos, for example, and they all wind up singing that "Beauty is where you find it." Elmo enchants through scenes like this, with his high-pitched voice calling to reunite with his beloved blanket. --Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more


17. Toddler Play And Learn (4 CD-ROM)
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LPYZ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 3816
Average Customer Review: 1.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Do you feel it's important that your 3-year-old learn the wordbuttocks? Some software designer out there does. Mediocre to miserablebest describes the range of options within this four CD-ROM suite of toddlers'software. Some of the programs have one or two decent elements, but the goodbits are drowned in a sea of puzzling design, technical glitches, and surrealelements that would be hilarious if they weren't being marketed at your child.Here's a breakdown of the madness:

BabyWOW! is the first CD-ROM. This selection mimics DK Learning's style withphotographic images, and a noncluttered format that takes on the basics likecolors, words, shapes, and counting. The problem with BabyWOW! is that on somesystems the program lurks on the lower right side of the screen,half-inaccessible, even with the correct settings. The technical support pagementioned in an installation guide (www.support@babywow.com) didn't exist whenwe searched for it, a BabyWOW Web site offered no hints, and there was notroubleshooting guide on the disc itself. Once we found a system that allowed usto access most of the program's introductory screen, we found a benigneducational program with 10 activities that can take place in eight differentlanguages. BabyWOW! manages counting to 10, and labeling images of cheese, sand,and trains accurately. However, the program fails in the colors department--itwill tell your child with some authority that the brownish color on the screenis in fact red. Parental guidance is suggested.

The second CD-ROM is Buddy Brush and the Painted Playhouse. Buddy is amop-headed, nonspeaking paintbrush that inhabits a clickable playhouse. The bestthing about Buddy Brush is its musicality. The original score is playable on aregular CD player, and the harp flourishes, woodwind trills, and guitar twangswill engage young ears. The worst thing about Buddy Brush is that his playhouseis random yet boring. Exploring the house by using the mouse yields changeablepictures, couches with patterns kids can manipulate, musical instruments, andthe ubiquitous click-and-paint scenes. Buddy Brush's creators probably made thisprogram devoid of spoken or written words to facilitate freeform exploration,but the playhouse contains dead ends and repetition. The escape key was the onlyway out we could find once we tired of painting with our six color choices.

The third selection in this set is the CD-ROM equivalent of Styrofoam shippingpeanuts. This filler is promisingly entitled The Elephant on Aisle Four. Itappears to be a home page for a singer named Lisa Atkinson. Here you and youreager kid will find a printable maze and two printable pictures to color--wow!Plus a few MP3 clips: a poem and two kids' songs that have absolutely nothing todo with elephants. The marketing material that describes this CD-ROM lists songsgalore, but we didn't find them. Instead we found a link to a catalog, and wedidn't want our toddler to go shopping so we moved on.

And we found buttocks. Imagine Pokémon going educational and you've thefourth CD-ROM. Smiletown is from a company called Gakugei in Japan. A handful ofcute critters--including a yellow thing that looks like an earlessPikachu--guide kids through 12 activities with names like ABC Dance, Number Fun, and Lotsof Words. In Body Parts, kids are told that characters are hurt on certainparts, and they must identify and click on said part, after which a healingBand-Aid is applied. Sure enough, someone needs a Band-Aid on the bottom, and abright computer voice intones "buttocks!" when the proper spot is clicked.Smiletown is a surreal little place: the graphic for choosing English as one ofthe four possible languages is a backward American flag. Phrases like "Let's goto the disco!" abound. A cute squirrel fishes a jellyfish from a pond and kidsmust decide if it's a car, a doll, a hamburger, a yo-yo, or a jellyfish.

Toddler Play & Learn is a great way to teach your child where his or herbuttocks are. That's about it. (Ages 2 to 4) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
I bought this as the first software for my 2 year old. I can't even figure out how to use it. As the others have said, don't waste your money. There are no instructions with the materials.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
I was extremely dissappointed by this software. My 2 year old son loves the computer and he loves to play games, however he just did not "get" these games. The box says it's supposed to be educational, but I just don't see how. I would not recommend this software to anyone with a toddler.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it!
I thought that this package was basically a waste of money. My son has a minor speech problem, so we were able to use one of the disks for having him practice his speech. Other than that....it stunk.

3-0 out of 5 stars IT ISN'T THAT BAD!
The Bad you've already read in the other reviews. Here are the good points:
1. The musical CD included, "The Elephant in Aisle 4," is fun, enjoyable and addictive. It won't drive you crazy listening to it dozens of times, and is worth the money. It was the first children's CD among many that my 2 year old son started singing along with.
2. If you have two young children close in age, 2 and 4 in my case, you have some cheap options in software (... for 4 CDs). My two year old simply likes to be on the computer and doesn't have to be dazzled. He can manipulate BabyWow by himself.
3. Buddy the Paintbrush to me is hard to manipulate and is like getting stuck in a loopy maze. Having said that, my husband was rather fascinated by how well my 4 year old daughter has learned to mix the colors, and she can manipulate the software.
4. Smiletown is odd and surreal. It is also quite popular with my 4 year old. Regarding "buttocks", I could have done without it, but it's just another anatomical term that you're going to have to explain eventually anyway. Four years is not too tender an age to learn the correct terminology.
BOTTOM LINE: There is better software, but this quartet does deliver a decent bang for the buck.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly bad software
Out of the four CD you receive, we are only pleased with the first CD. The others are either hard to figure out what you are supposed to do or it just brings you to other websites. not worth any money to purchase this CD. My daughter loves playing games on the computer and she never wants to play this one. ... Read more


18. Richard Scarry's Best Reading Ever
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S6RU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Ingram Micro
Sales Rank: 599
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Lowly the worm and Huckle the cat guide pre-readers through Busytown, aplace that truly deserves its name; the myriad letter games, phonics exercises,and object-identifying tasks will keep beginning readers busy for a longtime.

Lowly and Huckle gather stories for a newly built Storymobile by visiting thefarm, campground, beach, market, and school. In each of these spots, there arethree chores they can help out with, tasks such as finding marshmallows to roaston the campfire by clicking objects that begin with a certain letter, orstacking hay bales in the barn by deciding whether spoken words rhyme or not;completing each chore yields a story to help fill the Storymobile. Activitiesrun the gamut from simply matching letters to reading and writing stories. Mostof the activities favor beginning readers, coaxing them gently along withfamiliar Richard Scarry characters in everyday settings. (Though Scarry'sillustration style is consistent throughout, the animation is somewhatcrude.)

The stories that kids can "win" are a great motivator; this age group seems tolove having a big goal. Considering the abundance of activities, five areas withpoint-and-click identifying games, and a spot where kids can write their ownstories, this CD-ROM deserves its self-aggrandizing title, especially if theuser is a fan of Scarry's brand of whimsy. (Ages 4 to 7) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Give Your Kids a Great Jump on Reading
There are a lot of CD-ROMs out there, but this one is engaging and fun for our 3.5 year old son. The fundamentals for reading and even math are well established: rhyming words, matching letters, sequencing of events, identifying words that begin or end with the same sound, observing and categorizing objects. Another child in his pre-school is already reading due in part to this software and Clifford Reading CD-ROM by Scholastic. Richard Scary stories are one of our child's favorites and the stories here do not disappoint. The only thing that prevents me from awarding fives stars is that during the reading of a story, each individual word should be highlighted. One tip: I found this at Zany Brainy for half the price here.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Way to Learn
This, like all the other Richard Scarry titles we own, keeps my son engaged for a long time. There are activities at different levels so it does not get boring fast and the characters are darling. If you like Huckle and Lowly you'll love this program. ... Read more


19. All Aboard! Toddler Adventures
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089UBY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Encore Software
Sales Rank: 2227
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Four colorful and creative learning titles bring favorite characters to your child's desktop. Designed for toddlers 1 1/2 to 3 years of age, All Aboard Toddler Adventure's four interactive titles include Disney's Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too Animated Storybook, Blue's Clues: Blue's Reading Time Activities, Little Bear: Rainy Day Favorites, and Playhouse Disney's Rolie Polie Olie: The Search for Spot. Kids listen to stories and music with Pooh and Tigger, help Blue and friends write and produce the Big News Gazette, adventure through 40 printable activities with Little Bear, and create a robotic musical score with Disney's Rolie Polie Olie. Along the way, fun friends--like Tigger, Mr. Pepper and Mrs. Salt, and Spot--join the fun, as kids build age-appropriate vocabulary, word-recognition, reading, and memory skills. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars just ok software
After my daughter fell in love with the computer using reader rabbit toddler, this software package is disappointing. It is slow moving and requires skills for the advanced toddler or preschooler...ie reading words. I am hoping she can grow into in and then get some use out of it. We have only tried the Blues clues ( that one is where they need to read words), and the winnie the pooh which is really slow moving, not much in the way of a game...more like a story telling. ... Read more


20. COSMI Caillou Magic Playhouse ( Windows )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006LPCDS
Catlog: Video Games
Publisher: Cosmi
Sales Rank: 10389
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Features

  • Kids will play with Caillou as they find and collect hidden treasures in every room
  • Fun printable activities - Print out pages to color, connect the dots or make popsicle puppets
  • Teaches early spelling, phonics, colors, pattern recognition, memory and listening skills
  • Ages 2 to 6

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