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$18.97 list($19.99)
21. Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade
$19.49
22. Easy Bake Kitchen Playset
$8.99
23. Reader Rabbit Toddler
$18.99 $18.73 list($29.99)
24. Kelly Club Pet Parade
$29.20 list($19.99)
25. Strawberry Shortcake Amazing Cookie
$10.70 list($19.99)
26. Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
$129.95 list($39.99)
27. Thomas & Friends Railway Adventures
$19.99 $19.37
28. Toddler Bundle (Pooh Toddler,
$16.99 $10.40 list($19.99)
29. Brother Bear
$19.99
30. Max and the Magician
$18.99 $7.99 list($19.99)
31. Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate
$24.99 list($19.99)
32. Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics
list($14.99)
33. Bob The Builder: Bob's Castle
$7.80 list($19.99)
34. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes
$19.99 $19.84
35. Games Just For Girls 3
$14.99 list($29.99)
36. Reader Rabbit Toddler With Free
$3.89 list($24.99)
37. Reader Rabbit PreSchool
$9.99
38. Pooh Preschool w/French and Spanish
$6.40
39. Sesame Street Elmo's Art Workshop
$2.99
40. Mercer Mayer's Just Me and My

21. Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure Grades 3-5
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009VRFK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 401
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Solve real-world math challenges to make uniquely entertaining stores successful again
  • 15 math activities and 10 math missions; 3 complete grades of math
  • Arcade with 7 games to play; earn money to open your own arcade
  • 3 levels of play automatically adjust according to your child┬┐s progress
  • Automated personal education tutor; progress report

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great software
I bought this for my 8-year-old to spend more time practicing math. My son likes math and he likes playing this software. He asks to play it rather than needing to be prodded, as he was with the Math & Science Excelerator I bought for the same purpose. Even the neighborhood kids come to play it with him. I would also recommend it for kids having trouble with math as it puts the concepts into visual perspective, rather than just repeating equations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic math software
Our family loves this program! It has a lot of content, bright graphics, and even a simulation game when kids do enough activities, which means they can open up their own arcade, buy games for the arcade, and manage it. This software has tons of activities that are all quite good. In terms of education, there are so many math concepts that the program explores. Very kid friendly software. A+ all the way. ... Read more


22. Easy Bake Kitchen Playset

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002971T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 1178
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Amazon.com Review

If you've ever cooked under the heat of a 50-watt light bulb and struggled to cut the resulting tiny "cake" into six servings, you might be skeptical about Hasbro Interactive's ability to deliver a CD-ROM that could match the culinary experience of an actual Easy Bake Oven. Yet what this virtual bakery lacks in edible results, it remedies with a surprising, imaginative approach.

The most unique aspect of this playset is the strap-on kitchen. Once the white counter with pink and green appliances is installed over the keyboard, rookie cooks can crack eggs, whir the blender, and roll dough to initiate action onscreen. There's nothing to plug in here; it's all mechanical. You can't use your keyboard for anything but "cooking" while the kitchen is in place, but setup and takedown is only a matter of seconds. If you don't want a plastic kitchen sitting on your expensive keyboard, it's possible to "cook" using the mouse, but that method isn't nearly as fun.

Kitchen in place and disc installed, chefs visit the recipe box, and with help from a baking pal, whip up everything from banana bread to layer cakes. A game area includes a baking contest and a hide-and-seek that pits players against demonically giggling gingerbread men.

This virtual kitchen is at its best when the cook strays from the recipe. Overcook a cake and smoke curls up from the onscreen door, then your baking pal reassures you as a charred lump emerges from the oven. In one kitchen, anything goes; keep tipping the egg into the bowl and eventually a dinosaur egg goes in, then one with a purple yolk, then in goes Humpty Dumpty. Extra points go to the designers for creating a diverse cast of baking buddies. Boys who feel like baking might prefer to roll dough with Billy Batter instead of Sally Sprinkles.

Still prefer the textures and smells of real baking? Your kids can print recipes for what they've made onscreen. The 12 recipes range from decadent brownies to more Spartan fare, such as soft pretzels. Once they've practiced in the virtual kitchen, they can mess up your real kitchen cooking real goodies. --Anne Erickson ... Read more


23. 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
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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


24. Kelly Club Pet Parade
list price: $29.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068VBK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Sierra
Sales Rank: 117
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Join the Kelly Club bunch and use your imagination to magically bring their cutest plush pets to life with a pet parade. Kids ages 4 and older help Kelly and pals--Keeya, Chelsie, and Tommy--get their plush pets ready for the pageant. Teach each furry friend new tricks for the show, then groom them for the special parade. Choose parade costumes for Kelly and her friends. Design and decorate parade floats with dancing sparkles, flowers, and fireworks. Then, watch the parade come to life as the crowd cheers for the Kelly Club and their posh pets--Pokey Polar Bear, PJ Pony, Emi Elephant, and Butterscotch the Dog. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Game!!
I recently purchased this for my 3 year old daughter. She LOVES this game! The games are great. They get more challenging as you improve. Also dressing up Kelly and her friends is great fun. My daughter especially loves grooming the animals and getting them ready for the parade. You can decorate the floats, and you have many decorations to choose from. Although not that educational, it does help them improve on their hand/eye coordination. Very fun for a little girl! Definately a must have!

5-0 out of 5 stars I was voted "favorite aunt" by my 3-year-old niece!
Apparently this is about the best $... I have spent lately (aside from the Gameboy game I sent my nephew). My niece is mesmorized by this game, and it is keeping my sister busy building parades. My niece is a little too young to run this program by herself, but she has definitely figured out what button needs to be pushed to make the parade start! My sister also told me that she likes the fact that you can save multiple parades for those days when she just doesn't have time to help create a new one. This seems to be a winner!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cute computer game!
I recently got this game for my 2 girls, ages 5 and 3, and it is one of their absolute favorites! They love the "Strike up the band" song at the beginning and have it memorized. They love choosing outfits, grooming the animals, and decorating the floats. They ask to play this game all the time! I highly recommend this game for any girl!

5-0 out of 5 stars Both my kids love this game!
I got this for my 3 1/2 yr old for Christmas, and both her and her 7 yr old sister LOVE it! They have played it for hours. The graphics are very good and it has lots of cute and entertaining games! I highly recommend this one! It's worth the money!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kelly Club Review
I think this is a great product.I just got it yesterday,it's so much fun.If you like to play with pets,you should buy this game. ... Read more


25. Strawberry Shortcake Amazing Cookie Party
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009VRGB
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 263
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Interactive treasure hunt and cookie-making extravaganza including cookie recipes
  • 4 deliciously-fun activities hold more surprises each time they're played
  • 3 levels accommodate a wide range of dexterity and mental aptitude
  • Kids can play independently--the software provides help when a child needs it
  • Builds strategic thinking, listening, and spatial reasoning skills

Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Licensing Company
Very little educational value in this title. My daughter was bored after about 15 minutes. The whole underlying game is poorly planned and very disjointed. It was slapped together quickly to cash in on the name. The background music was the best part.
For this price, perhaps it will kill a rainy afternoon and get your kid smiling. But don't expect much after that.
I would highly recommend the I Spy series (only two now). They are much more engaging and kids get a sense of accomplishment AND learn in the process.
Oh and if you have a mac, forget it. We couuldn't get past the start menu. We have PCs in the house - it was fine on them. But don't waste your energy if you are mac only.

5-0 out of 5 stars Glad to own it!
We've gave this to our 4 year old daughter for Valentine's day and she loves it! She figured out how to play the games right away. The graphics are great and it was berry easy to install on our PC:) We also have Bob the Builder-Bob Builds a Park, Rolie Polie Olie-The Search for Spot and Dora the Explorer-Backpack Adventure on CD-ROM. This was a great educational and fun CD-ROM to add to our collection of computer games. Oh, what fun to be a little girl:)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cute, fun, and educational
We bought this for our 5 year old daughter for her birthday. So far, my daughter, son(6), and niece(6) have all been glued to it! It's cute with big colorful graphics. The kids all figured out how to play right away! We have a box full of software, but I think this one is going to be a favorite.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great game!!
This is a great game. It took a little while to figure out the object of the game but once I did it's great. It would have been easier if I would have read the instructions first instead of trial and error. My five year old daughter loves the graphics. She plays it all by herself and is already good at it. (we just got it today.) It's a really cute game.

I read in another review that it's not such a great game. The woman mentioned she had a 2 year old. Well, the box says for 4 to 6 years old. It's definitely not for a 2 year old.

I had no problem installing the game and I just dragged the shortcut onto the desktop. I'm glad I bought it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Shortcake fell short...
I had some trouble installing the software could not get shortcut to work kept wanting to reinstall. The games are not intuitively obvious so it took some time for an adult to figure out the object of the game to explain it to my 2 year old. Some I still don't get. The graphics are great beautiful colors all the characters are there so my little one loved watching the pictures. Small Children will need an adult to play with them. ... Read more


26. Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006BN8F
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 109
Average Customer Review: 2.73 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Nearly any fan of Dora the Explorer's TV show will enjoy this structured "adventure" in which players help the program's intrepid heroine achieve the noble goal of returning her library books on time. While not exactly suspenseful, the program is ideal for children ages 3 to 5 who are just learning how to use a computer. Over a soundtrack of catchy Latin music, the player helps Dora and her perky friends overcome a series of seven obstacles, and collects sticker prizes along the way. The program is unlikely to hold the attention of more computer-savvy kids as it is very predictable, structured, and slow paced. But its emphasis on teamwork, and opportunities to practice color, shape, and number recognition--not to mention learn a little Spanish--make it worthwhile.

Only a minute or so into the program most adults will find Dora's incessant cheerfulness a bit old as she shouts out a steady stream of encouragement. But for kids, this aspect may not be so hard to take. Dora's pack of friends from the TV show all appear in the program, along with the Fiesta Trio, a dancing frog-snail-and-bug band.

The seven games that make up the plot of the program emphasize basic skills and concepts. They include locating Dora's books by color, sorting through her backpack for objects, and solving simple pattern-recognition problems. There are three levels of difficulty--each varies according to how much Spanish is used and how advanced the number and pattern problems are. One drawback is that if a child gets stuck there is no way to ask for specific help or hints. A useful feature, however, is the ability to stop and start the program where the player left off, and save individual programs for up to three different players.

While kids used to more fast-paced programs may quickly get bored, young children--especially those who are already fans of the TV show--will have fun developing their mouse skills and putting their problem-solving abilities to the test. --Molly Masland ... Read more

Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars My 2 year old LOVES it. Great fun!
My oldest daughter loves Dora and took to this game immediately. She loves to sit on my lap and play and our father-daughter time is often spent on the computer. She can't get enough.

The 3 levels offer a nice change for children that are getting bored with the game. Some puzzles she plays at level 1 where some puzzles she plays at level 3.

The game is VERY educational and fun and it follows the same format as the cartoon does. She'll turn 3 soon and she still loves it.

I'd also recommend Dora's Backpack Adventure (they make a trip to the library), Little People Discovery Airport, Winnie the Pooh (where Pooh gathers all the friends for Eyores birthday party) and Mickey Mouse (where Mickey and Minnie stop off at Goofy's gas station / Daisey's diner).

2-0 out of 5 stars Average at best game; Dora only redeeming feature.
Do not buy this game if you are used to the better quality games Humongous software has produced for NickJR characters in the past: Humongous was sold to Infogames, and well, if this title is indicative, much was lost.

This game is saved only by the appearance of Dora. I really feel the two star rating is generous. My daughter is Dora crazy, and even she shows little to no interest in this game (and she loves edutainment computer games).

The program is not well executed, and there is little asttention to detail. One my daughter noticed was that at the begining of the game Dora collects 5 books to return to the liebrary. When she returns the books at the end of the journey, the colors of the books which come out of the backpack don't match the ones put in, prompting my daughter to ask "what happened to the books we put in Dora's backpack...

1-0 out of 5 stars Dora the Explorer takes you a short and boring journey
My 4 year-old daughter completed this game in less than a half-hour. The short-length of the game actually caused her too cry! I was shocked at the lack of depth in the game given that it weighed in at over 250MB for the install.

She's crying as I type this. "I don't like this game!"

2-0 out of 5 stars Atari must really hate paying customers!!
Well I would give this more stars if Atari support weren't so terrible!! The only reason I give it 2 stars is because my daughter loves Dora and likes playing this game because there are plenty of activities to try and places to go. HOWEVER, Atari seems to want to force you (due to their prehistoric copy-protection scheme) to keep the CD-ROM in the drive at all times in order to play the game! How ridiculous! Even though I paid good money for this game and it installed on my hard drive, it does not let you run it from your hard drive. Atari told me that you need to have the CD-ROM in to play it and they "cannot help me get around the copy protection". Well I don't know about anyone else's toddlers, but my 2 year old just loves to open the CD-ROM and take discs out to play with. So this leaves me out of luck if the disc becomes scratched after she's done with it! I think Atari should trust their paying customers a little more and allow them to install the game FULLY to their hard drive... if for nothing else to protect their investment! I will never buy another game by Atari because of this. They have no regards for their paying customers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring!
I have a 3 year old, and after a week, she is already bored with this game. For $20, there should be more to do. It constantly repeats itself, and has no real direction. Very limited number of activities available, and really no variety. I would not recommend this game at all. I am currently reading reviews to find something much more interesting. ... Read more


27. Thomas & Friends Railway Adventures Playset
list price: $39.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JG3U
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 1869
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

With this playset, kids can actually drive Thomas the Tank Engine, toothis horn, switch tracks, link him to other trains, and engage in all manner ofUsefulness, the chief currency of the Island of Sodor. The Thomas-shaped plasticplayset straps easily over standard keyboards (not ergonomic ones or laptops). Ared throttle moves Thomas forward or backward along the track. A green leverswitches tracks to change direction. A yellow whistle noisily announces Thomas'sarrival and also helps him link and uncouple with other trains. Finally,Thomas's smiling face is a button that can be pushed to get hints and friendlypatter. These four simple controls make this an inspired CD-ROM that will suit awide range of ages. Toddlers will love simply throttling Thomas around thetracks, while older kids will enjoy games that encourage spatial skills,decision making, and problem solving.

The four main games are wonderful,involved exercises. They all involve Thomas being helpful: finding "ImportantSupplies"; locating the "Missing Mail Truck," then helping to sort its mail;rescuing stranded passengers in "All Aboard," then making sure they are properlyticketed and delivering them safely to their destinations; and rebuilding anavalanche-damaged track in "It's a Landslide!"

These games are somewhatcomplex: in the landslide game, kids must switch tracks, couple Thomas with theTroublesome Trucks, haul rocks up mountains, signal Harold the Helicopter tounload the rocks, then deliver the empty trucks to James for hauling away.Thomas's water supply must be watched and replenished during this strenuouswork. And after the rocks are in place, there's still work to do! Only afterkids go to another screen to collect flatbeds and track pieces from Cranky theCrane, then deliver those parts to the mountaintop, is the job done.Phew!

Also, if players abandon a game without completing it, they can't accessany of the four mini games (which are mazes and races), and Sir Topham Hatt willchide in his chipper manner: "There's still a lot of work to be done!" This isnot a CD-ROM for the lazy, and fortunately, the folks who made it didn't use anyshortcuts either. Older systems without a lot of storage space may have troubledigesting this graphics-heavy program, but for us the program chugged along likeThomas himself, and the action on the screen corresponded smoothly with whatevercontrol was being used on the playset. "Builds a work ethic" isn't one of thefeatures mentioned on the box, but this diligent program and playset could putyoungsters on the right track. (Ages 3 and older) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good game
I read all the reviews on this Thomas Computer game and dispite the bad ones I still purchased it for my four year old son who is crazy over anything "Thomas the Train". It has never locked up on me and I had no troubles at all installing it on top on my keyboard. (although you do have to get it perfectly in the right spot which can be a little tricky) Once installed it doesn't shift or fall off the keyboard and the program works just fine. My son loves this game. It is by far a favorite of his and he has quite a few computer games in his growing collection. He reaches for it time after time. My 6 year old daughter plays with it and she seems to like it as well so it's not just for the little boys out there! The graphics are real cute and they love driving the trains, dropping the passengers off at the station and doing the different jobs involving the railroad. I would say this is a good game for any child between the ages of 3 and 7. In my opinion, any child under 3 years of age are to young for computer games anyway and any child older then seven will find this game to be to babyish for them. One downfall to this game that I had read in another review which is true....it is hard to exit the game. You have to complete the job in order to do so which is a bit of a pain and a little time consuming. Other then that I rate this game 5 stars because ANY toy that can keep my kids entertained for more then 30 minutes and that is played with again and again and again.... I feel was a good purchase and money well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun for our 4 y.o. boy (and his dad)!
Our son loves this game so much (he received it for his birthday two days ago), we can hardly get him to do anything else! Even adults will enjoy assisting the child "drive" Thomas and complete the chores given to Thomas by Sir Topham Hat. Your child will see the stations, the other engines, listen to Thomas speak to him (or her), and even see Thomas from above at certain points (e.g., entering a station). Most views are from "inside" Thomas, and I think it's a particularly nice touch to see Thomas' firebox burning. Warning: The gamepiece only fits on regular keyboards, not ergonomic ones (i.e., those split-looking keyboards). I recommend this product highly if your child is a Thomas fan. PS - it will install on Windows XP, which I understand has been a problem for some other Thomas games.

1-0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing
We bought this for my five year old last year, and it was just a miserable experience from the beginning. The playset that straps onto the keyboard is not always cooperative, and once that issue is addressed, the software itself is difficult to follow for my son or for me! He became extremely frustrated after a few tries and it wound up being a very costly mistake. Avoid this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Thomas the Tank Engine Fan's Dream!
My sons are in love with Thomas. We have the wooden trains, the table, everything! But when we found this Railway Adventures Playset in bookstore for just ..., you can imagine how we felt when we got home and installed it on the pc!

I felt as though we'd hit the lottery or gotten over on the bookstore. This toy/pc game is so awesome. Your child will actually get to engineer Thomas all around the island of Sodor.

Even my husband and I have found each other dring Thomas. The picture/vdo quality is absolutely stunning, and having a real console to drive makes this game absolutely incredible. You also get to interact with many of the other Thomas characters.

This is a must by for Thomas fans or simply train lovers.

Latorial Faison, Poet & Author
...

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for thomas "FANATIC" kid
My 4 and half year old lives for Thomas and has for two years now. Nothing interest him more then Thomas and evey conversation leads back to Thomas or trains eventually. If you have a kid anything like mine then this is a must have!

There is nothing I can say negative about this toy. It introduces computer skills while allowing him to play with his favorate pal. I have been able to seg-way into other computer pre-school games with a more learning emphasis, by use of this fun toy. I like to play it myself.

The graphics are great. The instructions simple but the tasks are not. Your child will need help if he has no computer skills or isn't a good listner. But once he has done the task once, he be able to do it by himself again soon and with the log on screen, his adventure will be just a bit different each time.

Every time a child masters a tasks he is able to print out a certificate with his name on it.

Just great. Love it. The only problem I've had with my son is getting him off the game at bed time. There are tears and he says, "I miss Thomas." ... Read more


28. Toddler Bundle (Pooh Toddler, Mickey Toddler, and Book of Pooh)
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00029BQAW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney
Sales Rank: 1325
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Features

  • Winnie the Pooh Toddler brings children the fun of playing with Winnie The Pooh & friends
  • Mickey Mouse Toddler is a great way to learn while laughing with Mickey, Donald and other classic characters
  • Six different and exciting activities reinforce basic learning skills
  • Games like Who Likes To? build observation skills, while matching, opposites and flashcard games teach while they entertain
  • Fun singing games let children choose the correct endings while hearing fun music

29. Brother Bear
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008Z1LM
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Sales Rank: 326
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Explore Kenai's fully-interactive world in this real-time, 3-D game
  • Comical narration explains the transformation of Kenai into his rival the bear
  • Set in a lush environment
  • Game based upon Brother Bear's grand adventures
  • Play Kenai and Koda as bears; transform into a wolf, a crow, or an eagle

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Brother Bear an entertaining adaptation overall
Not having seen the movie, I can't comment on screen-to-PC authenticity, but KnowWonder's Brother Bear game is an entertaining romp through a variety of gorgeous, interactive environments (Aspen forest, Valley of Fire, Salmon Run and more) on Kenai's quest to become human again. The game is narrated by Rutt and Tuke, aka the SCTV McKenzie Brothers of moose (voiced by hosers Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, eh?), who explain the rough idea of Brother Bear: brothers Sitka, Denahi, and Kenai live in the Ice Age Pacific Northwest. When eldest brother Sitka is killed by a grizzly while protecting Kenai, Kenai tracks down the bear and kills it against the advice of the shaman. As punishment, he is transformed into a bear and must escape Denahi, who is now hunting him. Kenai befriends Koda, an orphaned grizzly cub, who helps him reach the place where the light touches the earth.

The game begins in the Apsen Forest in a training level, where Koda teaches Kenai the bear essentials: how to jump, climb, collect honeycomb to discover secret totems, and collect berries, salmon, and acorns to restore health. Interspersed between levels are arcade-style action games, such as racing to the top of the mountain, the Ice Run, and collecting the most salmon at the Salmon Run. These can be replayed to achieve a better score, or just to enjoy the action again.

Although there are no difficulty levels to choose from , the game increases in difficulty with each level. During each level Kenai must fight and escape Denahi. This is made difficult in the fact that once you enter the fights, there are no health power-ups, and if you die, you start right back out with as much or as little health as you had the first time. The saves are also automatic, and the game freezes up for a good 15-20 seconds every time it saves.

The claim that you can transform into an eagle, wolf or crow is deceiving: these are totems that you use in your quest, but you do not actually transform. The Eagle totem allows Kenai and Koda to fly to otherwise off-limits ledges and across barriers to collect bonus items (the Mystical Pinecone, which gives you an extra heart against the hunter) and to continue the game. The Wolf allows you to jump across super-wide chasms (you only use it once or twice), and the Crow allows you to see hidden objects or paths. There are also three totems that will aid you in your final fight against the Hunter: the Bear, the Sabertooth Tiger, and Golden Salmon. As a bonus, if you collect the six hidden totems, there is a hidden ending.

The 3D graphics are gorgeous: lush forest, snow-covered mountains, raging rapids and waterfalls, and volcanic craters. You can chase rabbits and butterflies for fun, fish for salmon in the river, and avoid grumpy chipmunks when collecting berries. The game did freeze up on my machine in a couple of spots (both in the Valley of Fire), but those were the only glitches I encountered. Brother Bear does require a 3D graphics card and a fair amount of memory to run smoothly (I ran it on an HP Pavillion with 256 MB RAM and an Nvidia TNT 64 MB graphics card).

Overall I feel that the game is too difficult for younger gamers (under six perhaps; the keyboard/mouse controls are rather tricky and very sensitive), but enjoyable for older kids.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for Toddlers
My 3yr old daughter loves the movie Brother Bear, so I bought the game. It is definitely geared more towards older children age 5 and up. Another drawback is the fact that you have to use the keyboard to maneuver the characters instead of the mouse. Obviously it is very difficult for a 3 year old to understand to push the space bar to jump, the contol button to move sideways, and the directional buttons to move, etc. Also, the game became stuck with 30 minutes of playing with her. I uninstalled the game and then reinstalled it and it got stuck again in the same place.

1-0 out of 5 stars System Requirements don't match Software Platform
I purchased this one because it specifically said that it was supported by the Windows 2000 platform. It is NOT! When you select the Systems Requirements, it does not list Windows 2000 but I took the platform listing as valid.

Now, I have purchased software that will not work and had to watch my girls' faces when their daddy (a network engineer) could not make it work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love This Game!
This is a beautiful game. Graphics are super. The whole family can enjoy the Brother Bear game. Makes a terrific holiday gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice game for children
This is a nice fun game for children. You get to explore Kenai's world in 3-D. There is narrating to help you along understand the story. You get to have the adventures in brother bear,you play as Kenai and Koda as bears, but you can transform into a wolf, eagle, or a crow. also the conrols are easy to leanr, and the game is very colorful. Overall a very nice and colorful game for youngsters.

I hope you enjoy this game. it will leave you smiling. :)
have a nice day! :) ... Read more


30. Max and the Magician
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005AR2A
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Viva Media
Sales Rank: 1265
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

If you haven't yet been charmed by the adventures of Max, then Maxand the Magician will surely charm you silly. It's a game with asurprisingly simple premise, and you can tell the creators put more thought intodelighting kids than they did into coming up with a complicated story line. Andthat's fine by us.

The plot is simple. Max, the dog with the precocious little boy's Englishaccent, is sent to deliver a package to Mervin the Magician by his Uncle Pong. However, when Max arrives at the castle, he discovers that Mervin has beentransformed into a toilet brush by the vindictive witch Hagabelle. It's your jobto find the pieces of the spell that are hidden around the castle--once puttogether, Mervin can turn back into his normal self.

Like most Max adventures, the immediate task is only a small part of the fununearthed in the program. As you move from room to room in the castle, clickingon various objects to find the spell pieces, you'll uncover some amazing things:cackling witches, a chest full of magic brooms, transforming walls, and aspell-casting machine. And pointing and clicking is made especially easy for kids. Forexample, when you move your cursor over a clickable object, the small Max iconturns into a hand; when the cursor is over an object on which you can cast aspell, a magic wand appears. The game also lends itself to repeat play--eachtime you play, the pieces to the spell are hidden in different places.

Once again, Tivola has created a great Max game for young kids. Though it movesslowly at times, it has an appropriate pace for kids of this age group, whoappreciate a simple task coupled with whimsy and a sense of discovery andaccomplishment. (Ages 3 to 7) --Ara Jane Olufson ... Read more


31. Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate Raider
list price: $19.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LV6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fisher-Price
Sales Rank: 206
Average Customer Review: 2.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars mediocre software for avid Rescue Heroes fans only
Meteors have hit the planet, resulting in a series of widely scattered emergencies that require the Rescue Heroes to intervene -- and they need your help!!

The graphics are good, the intro is exciting .... but after that the game is totally mediocre. Four activities have three levels of difficulty, but they are quite tedious no matter what level you play. (1) Move around a water maze to rescue people in a flooded movie studio, and shoot a life preserver over a moving line of floating objects. (2) Navigate a maze on a rock face as you rescue stranded climbers while avoiding vicious eagles and snakes. (3) Aim a hose at brush fires so you can find and rescue animals on an African preserve. (4) Snowboard down a ski slope without hitting the shrubbery so you can dig people out from under an avalanche.

The hype is here, but the games are very boring. Your child has little flexibility or independence when performing tasks, and those tasks probably use only 2% of your child's brain power. For example, in order to dig people out of the avalanche, you click on the snow cave over and over, it doesn't matter where, until the person trapped within tells you how great you are -- and every time it's the same person in the snow cave. Each game is rather mindless in this way. There is little reasoning required and no skills acquired.

This is lame software that has neither educational value nor excitement. When there are so many worthwhile children's software titles out there, don't waste your money or your child's time on this lazy stuff. It may be worthwhile for the truly avid Rescue Heroes fan, but even that is doubtful. This was our first Rescue Heroes title. It is also our last.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lava Landslide
I gave this game to my son as an early birthday present. He's almost four and loves the Rescue Heroes. The reviews I read were mixed so I decided to buy it anyway. I'm really glad I did. Sure it's challenging, but it's a good excuse for the parents to get involved. First I did the hard parts for him, to show him what needed to be done. Then I guided him through them and finally he ended up doing it all by himself. He was so proud when he accomplished the hard tasks that he couldn't do at first!

Unlike most computer games this one requires the use of the arrow keys instead of the mouse. Well, it's always nice to learn new skills.
I can't wait to give my son the two other RH games I baught for his birthday. I have no doubt he'll love them too.

1-0 out of 5 stars Inaginext Pirate Raider
I gave it a 1 because they did not have a 0, to give. I bought this game for my son and I try to install it and it tells me that it has encountered an error. I go to the web site and it tells me what to do with that error, but after I do what it told me it does the same error thing again. My son and I both got so frustrated and finally gave up. I am returning it to the place where I purchased it for a full refund. Good luck for those of you that also bought this Horrible Game.

1-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating game for my almost 5 yr. old
I agree with other reviews that the mouse clicking is very difficult. It's difficult to maneuver the men around. My son tried for a few minutes, became so frustrated, I finished the one mission, but couldn't get him to do any more. Would recommend the I Spy software - ages 6-10, but he loves it! Don't have to know how to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yeah Pirate Raider!
My 7-year-old LOVES this game. He'd play from sun up to sun down if I let him. I hear him cheering and clapping in the other room and he's having so much fun!
I'm VERY anti-violence, so when he got this game I was concerned. I was pleased to discover that although the ships sometimes fire on each other, no people are ever involved. This makes it so much more abstract and less about killing. When you capture forts, you fire on canons only and never see people. When you capture other ships, your knife is used only to chop up fruit that's thrown at you by skeletons. Once you capture their gold, you're on your way to fulfill another mission.
Frankly, this game is so much fun I have to admit to playing it myself! ... Read more


32. Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009VRFS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 910
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Join Clifford and his friends at the Birdwell Island carnival
  • Participate in lots of different activities and carnival games
  • 100+ interactive and printable stories
  • Win up to 18 different prizes that you can use to decorate a float for the big parade
  • 3 levels of play that automatically adjust to your child's progress

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars for the most resistant reader
My 4.5 yr old son would much rather play nintendo than try to learn phonics, thanks to the influence of two older sibs. He received this game yesterday and already has spent countless hours on it playing the games and inadvertantly learning phonics. This game uses letter groupings as well as phonics, which is the method my other kids used with great success. This game definately requires parent participation in the early stages, but it's been fun watching him become more and more independant in his reading skills even though he is not aware of it. Only complaint is that the reward system is limited, so beware if your child is reward-oriented.

3-0 out of 5 stars Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics
I bought this for my 3 year old daughter for Christmas this year. It was the first computer learning game she ever tried and it has been great in teaching her the basic mechanics for moving the cursor around the computer screen and using a mouse. But now, just 3 months later, I find that she is bored with the game. There are only a handful of games at the carnival to play. She seems more interested in decorating the float with the prizes she's won from these games instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars some reviews below refer to "Thinking Adventures"
Note: Some of the reviews here (the 3-star one entitled "very easily bored with it" for instance) refer to a different product--"Clifford's Thinking Adventures".

The Phonics title is a completely different game, released in July 2003. If the review says at the end "refers to an ALTERNATE VERSION" check the link--might be a review for the other game. ... Read more


33. Bob The Builder: Bob's Castle Adventure
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009ZLJU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 3122
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34. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes to the Rescue
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000067PF4
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 1947
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Introduce youngsters to the PC in a fun and entertaining way with Jay Jay the Jet Plane and his fleet of flying friends, the popular and familiar TV characters.

Your child can take part in exciting, interactive adventures, enter the land of make-believe, and embark on an exciting rescue mission to enable the Sparkleberry Tree on Pangabula Island (which has lost its shimmer) to survive, by discovering the magic ingredients to nurse it back to health.

All activities encourage children to have fun, to use their imaginations, to discover and learn about nature and ecosystems, and to sing songs. (Some of the activities also include printable sections.)

The package teaches youngsters to acquire knowledge of nature and science, learn about spelling and phonics, recognize letters and build words, practice patterns and sequencing, grasp logical reasoning and the art of following instructions, develop critical thinking and musical creativity, and practice early PC and mouse skills.

The manufacturers recommend the CD-ROM for children ages 3 to 7 years, but obviously adult help will be needed at the lower age level. The program is bright and bold, and will introduce preschoolers to the PC in a nonthreatening way. The accompanying documentation is comprehensive and simple to follow, and clear installation instructions are included. --Susan Naylor, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Typical cookie-cutter children's game
Like just about every other children's game (think JumpStart) this game is made in Macromedia's Director. And also, like just about every other children's game, it is low-budget, low-talent and low-resolution. The game forces itself into 800x600x16-bit @ 60Hz and after you exit the game, guess what? You're still in 800x600x16-bit @ 60Hz. Because the programming talent is nonexistent the game is rigidly linear, forcing you to watch the mind-numbing instructions before EVERY game no matter how many times you've played it previously. And, in what seems to be a trend among children's games, it requires Administrator privileges to not only install, but also RUN the game! I am not about to give my 28-month-old son those elevated permissions on the family computer. Not because I'm afraid of intentional mischief but because I'm afraid of the accidental damage he could do. The only things that save this title are the videos and cutscenes which feature plenty of time with the main characters and keep my son interested.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like the TV show, Jay Jay is still a hero!
A fun program that my nephew has enjoyed for weeks. The activities keep him coming back over and over and the theme of helping each other and conservation are messages that it is never too early to expose children to. Like the Jay Jay Earns his Wings program, this one is a winner. Where can you get the Sky Circus program I see listed as discontinued?

5-0 out of 5 stars My little ones love cd-rom!
Great activities for pre school kids. Highly recommend this cd-rom.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jay Jay is SuperSonic
My son loves Jay Jay and absolutely loves this game. He has played it already 3 times.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
My son absolutely LOVES Jay Jay the Jet Plane, but didn't get into this software at all. The games are boring and I could just see the disappointment in his face. I'm glad I didn't pay full price, and instead bought it on clearance at a local retailer. ... Read more


35. Games Just For Girls 3
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00032IYGW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Navarre(Software)
Sales Rank: 1251
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Hours of entertainment with 4 fun-filled games for little girls
  • Interactive adventures in Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
  • 8 exciting games with Care Bears Care-a-lot Jamboree
  • Fun activities in Strawberry Shortcake Amazing Cookie Party
  • Get creative with Disney Princess Fashion Boutique

36. Reader Rabbit Toddler With Free Reader Rabbit Pre-school Inside!
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000JLNZ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 448
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Reader Rabbit Toddler is part of a curriculum-based system that is designed to keep children learning all through their elementary school years. Simple, brightly colored graphics and classic sing-along songs make all these activities a sure hit with toddlers.

This pack gets kids off to a great start with an introduction to letters and numbers, matching and patterns, music, and mouse skills. In "Follow-Me Theater," children take a physically active role with finger plays and singing along, while in "Baby Animal Bingo," sounds are matched to help parent animals find their babies. The characters of Reader Rabbit and his sidekick, Matt the Mouse, are funny and friendly--and always ready to help if your child needs a hint.

Because these characters are in every unit--all the way to sixth grade--and the basic format for each level is similar, children can dive right in to the new curriculum skills without the distraction of different graphic styles or character guides. This pack includes the next step--Reader Rabbit Preschool--as a free bonus. You'll see quickly why this series is so often used in schools, and we're sure your toddler will love it as much as her future teachers already do. --Jill Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful
My grandson just turned 3. He loves this CD. It is easy for him to use because he doesn't need to click the mouse. It is still difficult for him to hold the mouse steady when he clicks. If the mouse moves, he doesn't get a response and then gets very frustrated. This CD eliminates that problem. The activities are great fun for him. He likes the coloring and the "bubble castle" best. I highly recommend this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Toddler is Great - PreSchool sucks
Imagine my surprise when I realized my 20-month old had suddenly developed pointing and clicking skills! We started him early with Reader Rabbit's Toddler (he was simply TOO interested in helping mommy "work"), and he was so delighted to be able to bang on the keys and watch stuff happen. By now (2 1/2) he can navigate through the entire program, and now amuses himself by interacting with the characters in ways the creators never imagined (he waits and waits until the mouse appears to tell him what to do, then scares her away with the pointer). Moving on, however, is a challenge - nothing quite lives up to this. We prefer Geoffrey Goes to the Fair and even JumpStart Preschool to RR Preschool, which requires endless busywork before getting rewards - even I don't have the patience!

4-0 out of 5 stars The BUNNY GAAAAAME!
What would you like to do right now?

The Bunny Game.

It's a nice day out, wouldn't you rather come outside with me and play

The Bunny Game!

Let's go to the park instead, sweety.

The BUNNY GAAAAAME!

This is my major complaint of the game. The scene above is not an every day battle or anything, and my be a result of my daughter's personality rather than any addictive qualitys of the game. However, when she has decided to play it, well, I had better sit down with her to play.

My daughter, who just turned 2, sees Mommy and Daddy cook, so she likes to cook. She sees Mommy and Daddy clean up the kitchen, so she likes to clean up the kitchen. She sees Mommy and Daddy use the computer.... so, having a game that lets her use the computer, I think, is mostly a good thing.

I think we got the game for her right around when she was the recommended 18 months old or so, and when we first started to play it with her we had to help her with most of the activities. I am not sure that she even really understood that she was controling the action. It was, I think, lots of pretty pictures and songs. The game is set up so that your budding computer expert doesn't have to click the mouse to make things happen; a child only has to move the mouse to play any of the games. Still, some of the games are harder than others. Some of the games will reward your toddler with a song for just ramdomly moving the mouse, while others will require a good deal of concentration, which is an asset of the game. Your 18m-3year old will be able to play the games. The hardest skill to master, and what casues the most frustration (for the toddler) is the screen where they choose which game to play.

Notice that I said that When we sit down to play the game. As I already said, your 18Month old will require help, and as you continue to help your child, they may come to expect it, and suddenly playing this game will become a bonding experience if you are that kind of parent, or a chore, if you are another kind of parent, or both if you are somewhere in between. I don't know if I want to leave a 2 year old incharge of $2000 worth of hardware, and what ever else I forgot to back up on the hard drive anyhow. 2 might be a better age to start them on this game, however, from both a cognative and a motor skills perspective. I am not sure that an 18 month understands what is expected of them by the game. You might be better off to surf Tele-Tubbie Websites with them if they want to use the computer with Daddy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent learning package for up to age 3.
My son received Reader Rabbit Toddler as a gift and we are sold on it's ability to help him learn while having fun. He loves to do all of the tasks and is learning colors, shapes and a host of other skills. The true test of a software program is the willingness to buy the next level - we are doing just that by upgrading to the Preschool program.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Preschoolers Loved It
With its easy point and click at the pictures approach, even very young preschoolers in my day care could navigate this program. They loved the variety of activities - coloring, nursery rhyme theater, matching animals to their mother, counting and more. I loved it too - it was a great educational tool that was fun for them to explore. ... Read more


37. Reader Rabbit PreSchool
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068NNN
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 320
Average Customer Review: 3.47 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) discover core learning skills in this delightful age-appropriate learning environment featuring Reader Rabbit and friends. Kids help Reader Rabbit bring back the sparkles, requiring a trip to the Land of Sparkalot to find out what is blocking Mount Brill, the source of sparkly stars. Explore six fun activities full of adventure and discovery. Along the way, Reader Rabbit and friends guide kids through prereading, counting, math, and language activities that will help your child shine like a star.

Reader Rabbit Preschool 2002 is part of the award-winning Reader Rabbit children's educational software series. Learning activities include Lighting Bug Matchup, Sparkle Rocket Math, and Create-a-Dancequake. Kids also enjoy this title's fun music, stories, movies, and characters, while the program's progress reports let parents see just where their child is advancing and where they might need some help.

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

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars good for preschoolers if you want them using the computer!
This program doesn't teach anything special that is not easily taught outside of a computer game. Success at the game will be had most quickly if the child already knows the skills needed to play the game (see below, i.e. already knows their basic shapes). If you want your child using the computer during the preschool years then this is a safe and good bet. If your child doesn't know everything this program covers already then they are sure to learn it quickly if they like the game and are not discouraged. There is much more to phonics than this program covers, of course.

We held off introducing our son to the computer until he was almost 4.5 years old. We strictly limit what he can do on the computer and he does not use it much, sometimes going 2 months or so without using it. We purchased this program when our oldest just turned 5, at which time he already could start up the computer, open a program, change CDs and close the entire system down all by himself. I thought it best to buy an easier Reader Rabbit game and see how he likes it rather than start off with the Kindergarten or the phonics Reader Rabbit. If you have a 3 or a 4 year old (or even a 2 year old) that you want using a computer game then this one is great (see section on phonics for a possible difficult part though).

Being unfamiliar with children's computer games I was surprised that much of this is almost like a video on television, there are songs that seem to be about 3 minutes long and very graphic and long introductions to the program every time it is started and before each game. The characters on screen tell the user what to do. I was disappointed it did not come with written instructions, as when my son needed help there was nothing I could turn to. Goodness knows I am not sitting with him all the time watching him play, so I miss the already-spoken instructions for the overall game. Instructions for the mini-games that they play can be repeated by simply clicking on a certain character on the screen.

I sat down to play it as a new user and we played for over an hour. I was annoyed that the instructions are not clear. Specifically, the program has the user doing a little job to earn a gem called a brillite. They wanted 5 yellow brillites to start. We did all the jobs but there was a missing brillite. There was no instruction as to how to get this missing brillite so we re-explored every area on the program's map and began repeating jobs because we didn't know what else to do. That began earning us different colored brillites. It is a little unclear to me as to how to win this game, they say to gather brillites but we really don't know how many of each and how to exactly get them except play in a random manner repeating the games. I'd much prefer them to say "repeat all the games to earn the blue brillites in order to earn the missing yellow brillite" or some other such informative instruction.

This is truly geared for preschool age (3 or 4) or for any age that already knows the 6 colors of the rainbow, circle, square, oval, triangle, diamond shapes, if they can count to 10 and follow oral directions. The hardest part of the game, which may be difficult for preschool aged children and may cause frustration, is the phonics portion. An object comes along on a raft and there are 3 sparkle shakers above it and the user must choose which sparkle shaker (with a letter on it) represents the first letter of the object. The first go round has the word written under the object (i.e. violin) but after that round is won the object comes out without a word. Shame on them for showing a giraffe and giving both a g and a j as options! Bad choice for beginners to phonics! The user will be told if they make an incorrect choice and they can narrow it down by process of elimination. The game with the train and matching the object shape is more of a fast paced game to improve hand and eye coordination and fast mouse-usage than a true matching game-if they pick the match right after the fast changes they are doomed. On the box it says this does drawing and coloring but that is a stretch: the kids are told to paint a certain shape a certain color and they simply click once on the proper color and click once on top of the shape and it is instantly colored in. There is nothing about drawing going on there! The only math here is counting up to 10 (it is advertised as having math on it).

There is nothing offensive or questionable about this game, the language is clean, etc.

This is a fun game for preschoolers (I found it too easy for my just turned 5 year old). It is very entertaining in that it has interludes in between games and songs with a few minutes of on screen entertainment. The songs are catchy. The graphics are very good compared to the old days of Space Invaders and such!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Program
I purchased this program to help my 3 year old son sharpen and develop his basic preschool skills. I found this program to have a good theme and my son was very interested in the character's various actions, songs and dances used to accompany the instruction. Skill levels can be chosen to pace the progression dependeing on the need of the child. The program is very user friendly to an adults helping their children. Progrmas are easily exited out of and information can be saved to log the progress of the children users. I recommend this software to parents who want to help their preschoolers get a head start on Kindergarten education.

2-0 out of 5 stars Skip this one
My son (now almost 4) is pretty academically bright and pretty good with a computer mouse. We bought this game for him just before he turned 3 last year. What a disappointment! Now, we are a big computer game family, and our son has played a few other titles which we have loved (Little People Discovery Airport, Ollo Saves the Fair, Putt-Putt, and a few others). We loved Reader Rabbit Toddler and Reader Rabbit Baby, which were designed very well. Unfortunately, Reader Rabbit Preschool did not stack up.

As usual, the game has a creative story behind it, and there is a goal that involves collecting things. These are wonderful motivators. However, the game skill levels seem either much to easy (matching bugs) or pretty advanced (counting out just the right number of bugs to fill a rocket, including addition and subtraction as the game increases in difficulty) for a "typical" preschooler. I should add that I used to teach preschool and kindergarten, so I have an idea of what is developmentally appropriate. This game ranges from boring to frustrating with very little in between. Some activities, such as the "painting" activity at the waterfall, require very very good mouse control, as the shapes tend to be very small, and the child must click in just the right areas.

I highly recommend skipping this game. Our son is now happily playing Reader Rabbit Kindergarten (the Summer Camp one)with very little trouble.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too much advertisement and lacks parental controls
I had previously purchased Reader Rabbit for baby and toddler and was thrilled with the product. However, I cannot say the same of the Reader Rabbit Preschool. This CD launches with a page that gives my [child] 6 choices of where to go. Only one is the educational program. The others are advertisements for Star Flyers, Clue Finders, Zoombinis, the Oregan Trail, and Carmen Sandiego. Each of these plays a short movie and gives my [child] the option of launching the internet to download more. I certainly do not want my child on the internet, and I did not purchase the CD so that the Learning Company could target my ...child with advertisement. I wanted him to learn something. It quickly became a fight to keep him in the educational portion of the CD. I called Broderbund, and after waiting 25 minutes to speak with a technician, was told that there was nothing that could be done. There are no parental controls. I asked to speak with a supervisor to discuss my concerns, and was told I could go to the web site and e-mail them. I would not recommend this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars They've got it almost right
This is the most educational of the programs I've found for the preschool set, but there are still disappointments. I wish they would do more with the alphabet - they need more variety of words, a combination of small letters and capitals. My three-year-old mastered the top level within a few weeks, simply because he memorized the words they were using, and then quickly grew bored. The musical numbers are cloying and irritating. But the rocket counting game is terrific -- a real help teaching small kids the meaning of numbers. Overall, I've yet to find better, but I hope the designers of the Reader Rabbit series keep trying. ... Read more


38. 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


39. Sesame Street Elmo's Art Workshop Ages 2-6

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S9XW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Creative Wonders
Sales Rank: 142
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Designed specifically for preschoolers, Elmo's Art Workshop provides hundreds of ways for children to create beautiful artwork and fun creative projects. Paint pictures and add your favorite Sesame Street characters. Create birthday cards, finger puppets, masks, posters, and more! Oversized buttons and helpful creative hints from Elmo ensure that every effort leads to a masterpiece. (Ages 2-6) ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hours of fun!
This has been a great game for my 3 year old daughter--she loves to draw and color and this game seems to tickle her creative interests. It has been an exceptional, inexpensive purchase and one she can play over and over with new challenges. I guess I'm writing this review because we have purchased some duds and it is always nice to see a ringing endorsement of something that really works! Hope this helps you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmo is a Winner
Of all the software, our five-year old likes this program the best. It's 'user friendly' and can entertain for a long period of time. Projects include Stickers (where the child can complete a picture using point and click), Costumes (dress up characters in outfits and outrageous accessories), and Coloring Book scenes with an 'automatic fill' feature. These can be painted or colored, rubber stamped, or personalized and can be printed out. Hours of fun. Wonderful graphics. The sticker pages include scenes for both boys and girls: outer space, picnics, birthday parties, snow scenes, beach, etc. I highly recommend this software.

5-0 out of 5 stars SS Art Workshop enhances a child's creativity.
Sesame Street Art Workshop (SSAW)is one of the best loved CD-ROMs in our collection. SSAW enhances a child's artistic ability by having activities a mouse click away that would otherwise be limited by the child's fine motor coordination. The strengths of the program are that it is easy to use by a pre-reading child and offers numerous activities including coloring, stamping, and free drawing. Some of the more clever pages include finger puppets and birthday cards. The weakness of the program is that it does not allow color mixing as, for example, the Madeleine Classroom Companion does. This is a great starter program for ages 2 on up and one you will not regret buying. ... Read more


40. Mercer Mayer's Just Me and My Dad

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000021YZT
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Humongous Entertainment
Sales Rank: 509
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Graced with the most adorable voice since the animated Linus, Mercer Mayer's Little Critter has become one of the most popular interactive storybook characters around. In this classic title, L.C. and his Dad head off on a multimedia camping trip that features dozens of clickable images, merry songs, and a 22-minute, Critter-made video.The staying power of this quiet, technically unremarkable CD-ROM lies in the consistent, reassuring message it delivers. On each page, there are both adorable clickables (dancing chipmunks, sunbathing mice) and surprising and/or spooky ones (volcanic eruptions, rearing sharks, burning logs that launch skyward like rockets). As well, Little Critter's own internal world is a mixture of eager joy (tents! hiking boots!) to huge, looming fear (of the legendary "Big Paw"). In the company of his dad for the weekend, however, Little Critter undergoes an important shift. By story's end, his fearfulness has been gently replaced by newfound confidence and acceptance. A must-have classic for all families. (Ages 3-8) --Jean Lenihan ... Read more

Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Just Me and My Dad
This item is rated for 3-7 years old. However with this age group it does not automatically run when placed in the CD Drive. This make it impossible for the younger this age group is to use on their own. It seems an auto run command should be used on software used for children to provide them with hassle free use of the product.
If it does't run what use is it no matter who the writer is. I have Windows 2000.

5-0 out of 5 stars doesn't work on XP
Just me and my Dad is an excellent children's book, and this software version does an excellent job of reading it. I bought it mainly to help my 5 year old son learn to read, and I find it very useful. However, it gave me tremendous frustration at first when I couldn't get it to run at all on my one year old Windows XP machine. I own many children's software, such as the Magic school bus series, Jump Start, Reader Rabbit, DK software, and other Living Book series such as the Cat in the Hat, and they all run well or at least partially on my machine. This one doesn't open AT ALL, and every trick I used that worked in the past failed. Luckily, I was able to borrow a friend's computer with Windows 98, and it runs beautifully. My son particularly likes the little movie on it. It is surprisingly well done and captivates his attention. Highly recommended for those who can downgrade.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grandma & Me at the Beach
Someone purchased this cd by Mercer Mayer for me. My grandson who is 3 years old today just loves this story. He also enjoys the stickers and playing in the sand. I have looked all over the place for other cds by Mercer Mayer along the same line. Everyone seems to have heard of them but do not know where to purchase them. Could you help me with this. How many cds does Mercer Mayer have besides Grandma & Me at the beach and Just me and my Dad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun!
My 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 year olds both love this one. A fun story with lots of funny hidden surprises. Only one complaint: the movie shows up too small. Otherwise it's perfect.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific interactive story!
Little Critter is a sweet, sometimes mischevious, well behaved little critter. In this story, Little Critter and his dad go camping. The software is easy to play with and each page is loaded with fun things to click on. It also contains the hidden animated image then will have your child laughing when he or she pushes the button. All of the Mercer Mayer software, Me and My Mom and Me and My Grandmom plus the books and even movies are terrific. This is a great piece of software to read with your child. Girls will also enjoy it. Highly recommended! ... Read more


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