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$16.99 $4.35 list($19.99)
21. Jumpstart Phonics
$11.45 list($19.99)
22. JumpStart Spanish
$3.50 list($24.99)
23. ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures:
$16.99 $9.95 list($19.99)
24. JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling
$4.99 $4.90 list($9.99)
25. Educator's Choice Phonics Excelerator
$10.49 list($19.99)
26. I Spy School Days
$88.68 list($29.99)
27. Reader Rabbit Learn To Read Success
list($34.99)
28. Encarta Deluxe Encyclopedia 2004
$3.95 list($9.99)
29. Math Blaster Ages 7-8 (Jewel Case)
$79.99 list($19.99)
30. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$11.10 list($19.99)
31. JumpStart Typing
$16.99 $3.00 list($9.99)
32. Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
33. Oregon Trail II - Anniversary
$3.95 list($9.99)
34. Clue Finders Grade 4 Advanced
35. Magic School Bus Explores the
$19.99 $17.97 list($29.99)
36. Educator's Choice Math and Science
$10.99 list($19.99)
37. ClueFinders Toy Store and Zoombinis
$79.99 list($19.99)
38. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$9.99 list($69.95)
39. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$17.95 list($19.99)
40. Adventure Workshop 5: Preschool-1st

21. Jumpstart Phonics
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000083JY9
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 188
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


22. JumpStart Spanish
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00001XDVZ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 650
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

You've probably heard that children have a much higher propensity and retention rate for language learning than adults. Some studies say that if you learn multiple languages at a very young age, you have a much better chance of remembering them over the long term. Programs like JumpStart Spanish are designed especially for children in preschool, kindergarten, and the first grade to make the most of this aptitude.

JumpStart Spanish is easy to install, and it installs Apple QuickTime for the animation features of the program. As JumpStart Spanish can also be used for learning English, learners choose the language they want to learn and the language in which they want their lessons conducted. Once finished, JumpStart Spanish starts itself and students are introduced to the spunky animated rabbit who serves as guide through the lessons.

The main page of this program is a "clubhouse" that includes doorways into the fun, colorful, and musical lessons contained in the program. Kids can click on different rooms in a dollhouse, for example, and then learn the words for all the articles inside. Children can also click on the television and watch different conversational videotapes that teach them how to say "What time is it?" and other useful phrases.

JumpStart Spanish will teach this vocabulary and these phrases in both English and Spanish, helping children recognize words they already know and what they sound like in this new language. Children can learn at their own pace and, when ready, increase the difficulty level of the lessons.

JumpStart Spanish uses music, friendly cartoon characters, and familiar items and situations to relate to small children and teach them a new language. Moreover, if you're not happy with JumpStart Spanish, Knowledge Adventure offers a 90-day 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. So, if you're looking to turn your child on to foreign language and make it fun and alive, JumpStart Spanish is an excellent choice. --Kendra Hayden ... Read more

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Spanish learning program
My son has been using Spanish Jumpstart from 2 1/2 until 3 1/4 and likes it a lot. It has captured his attention for many hours of fun and learning. I like the diversity,as there are many different activities. His favorite part changed over the months, and he especially loved the mouse that dances with the De Colores song and the monster that has funny things happen to its body parts. I wish there were a sequel or it were even more diverse, as he has gotten bored with it now. It would be nice if there were more than three songs, more conversations between characters to watch, and more interactive games. It is a well designed program, and very user friendly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good beginner game
My daughter has this software and she loves it. It basically teaches the names of objects we see and use each day. It also teaches some basic phrases like, "My name is...., and What time is it...etc.". It doesn't get into any type of grammer or sentence structures. You can set it so the directions are given in English or other different languages. You can also switch the game and have it all play in English first, then switch it to SPanish. My daughter is 3-1/2 and she can do this herself, so that should say how easy it is for a preschooler to use. It uses songs and music to learn the days of the week, months of the year, numbers, etc. I would definitely recommend this for both English-speaking children who want to learn Spanish, and for Spanish-speaking children whose parents want a good learning game in their own language to help speech development and learning the basics in their own language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Effective Program
We bought this as an introduction to spanish for our 3yr. old son. I loved the price and was relieved to find such a good program cheaper than the programs advertised on T.V. It teaches vocabulary, games, and cultural information as well. The progress report helps me to know what area he needs help with. I also love how you can earn fish for the fish tank by completing activities. The only down side it that is it too easy for my son to change the levels therefore he'll play the game before learning the vocabulary. I love this product and think it is wonderful!!A must have for all preschool parents and homeschoolers.

5-0 out of 5 stars My kids love it!
I have three kids, ages 2,3 and 8 that literally fight over who gets to play this game. My 2 year old boy would sit and play this game for hours if I would let him, it really captures his attention with the bright, colorful graphics, and catchy songs. My daughter who is 8, gets ready for school extra early just so she and her 3 year old sister will have time to play this game. Not only is it fun for them, they have really picked up alot of Spanish words from playing it. I only wish they would make a Spanish 2!

4-0 out of 5 stars Learning Spanish
My daughter is really enjoying learning Spanish in a very kid friendly way. Since I don't speak Spanish, I am glad she is increasing her vocabulary while having fun at the same time. ... Read more


23. ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures: Secret of the Living Volcano
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000691KF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 167
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Plunge into a volcanic island adventure, and prepare for an explosion of fun and mystery. Join those savvy super-sleuths, the ClueFinders, to solve a mystery and escape an uncharted island before its volcano blows them off the map. Kids will need all their smarts, spunk, and spirit to work their way out of this title's hot spots. From bold adventures that take kids across the island, under the sea, and into the volcano, every activity brings kids closer to solving this island mystery, while mastering essential fifth grade skills.

Explore 16 interactive games and exercises designed for kids, ages 9 to 11 and older. Build more than 85 key fifth grade skills in math, language, science, social studies, geography, and problem solving. Four levels of difficulty and a variety of tricky challenges keep ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures 2002: Secret of the Living Volcano fun and fresh. Detailed help features guide kids throughout, and built-in progress reports help parents navigate their child's learning fun.

In addition, an all-new for 2002 bonus CD-ROM doubles the mystery and clue-finding fun. In ClueFinders: Mystery Mansion Arcade, our adventurers are lured into a spooky mansion by an ingenious mastermind and his four villainous henchmen. Kids help the ClueFinders escape by choosing the best ClueFinder for each arcade-style hazard. Speed through the Ultimate Deep-Dish Pizza Skate Park, stay cool through the High-Voltage Circuit Zone, and much more. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars awsome!
This game is so cool!
It has tons of fun games, and there are 3 miniture levels,
including spelling, math,fractions, putting together words, geography
and others! I had so much fun playing this!!!
Throughout the whole game, a yellow laptop fallows you and the other cluefinders around. When you click on it, it acsesses many things, like how to change the level of difficulty on a game, and it has info about the fellow clue finders. I love this game, I play everyday! ... Read more


24. JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling Bee
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LV6T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 203
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


25. Educator's Choice Phonics Excelerator (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000067G1Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 378
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Kids learn about vowels and consonants with Phonics Excelerator's two active learning titles: Vowel Games and Consonant Games. With eye-catching graphics, lively music, and captivating animation, these titles transform learning about short and long vowels, consonant phonic skills, and reading into an adventure. Kids join Lily, Buddy, and the rest of the Super Star Gang for 30 interactive learning games, while the Super Star Reward system helps parents celebrate their child's achievements. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice software, my son loves it
For money, this 2 cds set software is really a nice deal. I had
hard time to talk about phonics with my son who is 5 years old. He
won't pay attention to learn the sound of letters. This software really caught his attention, he sits there for hours and practice. Those games are very cute and helpful. After two days play, he already made a lot of progress. It takes off some pressures from me.
We love it! ... Read more


26. I Spy School Days
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009WE4O
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 354
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars My 8 yr old loves I spy!
For those who say this is boring, maybe your kids should just stick to video games. My son is loving the books and the computer games. He conquers them pretty quickly and we have to buy more but hey, it's getting his mind working looking for hidden items. We went for an open house at his school a few months ago and the teacher picked up an I Spy book and said that it was the main thing all the kids fought over in class. We love all the books, computer games and the gameboy game that is out. Good investment for little thinkers out there!

3-0 out of 5 stars Can't find 12th ladybug!
I really like this game but I am annoyed that I can't find the last ladybug in the find me game. I can find no game hint support sites either. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it a bug (ha ha) in the program? I have spent weeks looking but always find the ones I've already found. Can anyone out there help me? I am not a child, but my daughter can't find it either. Apparantly the game will not finish until all bugs are found because I have found all the treasures. Does this game not have more than one complete game to play? I thought it had 3 like treasure hunt.
Thanks,

5-0 out of 5 stars Will Keep You Thinking....
My 6 year old daughter loves this game. It is not easy and keeps her thinking. I some times find some of the items hard to find but with persistance you will find them. It is never boring. The whole family enjoys this software.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elementary Kids Love It!
I am a computer lab teacher in an elementary school. Last year, I used this software for quite a few weeks when my Kindergarten through Grade 3 students came in for activity period. Students in grades 4-6 would beg to get a chance to use the software when their assignment for the day was completed.

It was a stretch for Kindergarten to find some of the items, because they did not recognize some of the items in the riddles, but I made sure to point these out in lessons and then circulated to help them more.

It was exciting to watch as students became absorbed in this activity, and most of them grew in their visual and verbal awareness. Children in grades 1-3 could either click to hear the descriptions or read for themselves.

Yes, it is on the shelf this year, but will taken out to be used in two years. This year I bought I Spy Spooky Mansion for use, and next year hope to get the Î Spy Treasure software if I can find the funding.

1-0 out of 5 stars I Spy School Days-big bore
My six year old great nephew completed all of the activities within two hours. He was moderately interested in the beginning and bored by the time he finished. I watched as he played, and thought they were boring, too. ... Read more


27. Reader Rabbit Learn To Read Success System Preschool-2nd Grade
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00015GYPO
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 1940
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Reader Rabbit takes kids on a trip through dynamic and fun activities, teaching them reading skills along the way
  • All sorts of great kids' games to teach rhyming, compound words, and basic writing skills
  • Different crafts and games to choose from -- building Paper palaces, macaroni necklaces and more
  • Also improves pronunciation for kids, for better speaking as they play
  • Dozens of printable activities for kids to take the fun with them everywhere

28. Encarta Deluxe Encyclopedia 2004
list price: $34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6V
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2938
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but better Encarta Reference Library
It is better to buy Encarta Reference Library, because it has more text and features (Atlas and so on). I have reviewed it if you want extra information. The system requirements are about the same.

3-0 out of 5 stars Reference resource
Encarta allows students to retrieve current information on thousands of topics. The reference tools are great for research papers and slide show presentations. Students can cross-reference the Internet with little effort. As well as, export information into Word and Power Point.
The software delivers reliable content through multimedia, articles, web links, images and maps. And still yet, information is given on sidebars and timelines throughout. Encarta allows students to access up to date reference materials with ease. Microsoft updates the software automatically to keep information accurate.
I feel that Encarta is one resource every secondary level classroom should have and utilize.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pay attention to what you purchase
There is no doubt that the [$] price is a good incentive to give Encarta Deluxe 2004 a try. Before you do spend a bit of time examining all the available encyclopedias and most important put time into figuring who will be the primary user. If research and detail is required consider spending a few dollars more and getting the Encarta 2004 Reference Library or consider Encyclopedia Britanica; possibly even World Book.

I mention this because Encarta does a reasonable job as an encyclopedia but as others have discussed, is brief to the point of being unsatisfying. Where Encarta makes up for the lack of detailed text is in it's multimedia content and interface.

Microsoft has done a fine job of making a Encyclopedia for the casual user and has outdone itself in areas like interactive tours. The good side of brevity is the way Encarta holds one's interest without being terribly challenging. For middle school students Encarta Deluxe 2004 is a good choice as it makes learning fun. It's negative side is important as well. Compared to Encyclopedia Britanica the articles are too brief and simply lacking for adult content. Users from High School Juniors through University students will need more details not to be found in Encarta or it's additonal web content. The links, however, are substantial and useful to those of all age and learning styles.

In conclusion, Encarta Deluxe 2004 is fun to browse and is engaging in a way Britanica is not. If you are a visually oriented user that doesn't need adult level discourse or the sometimes stuffy writing style found in Britanica. if you enjoy tooling around 2D and 3D areas of importance then Encarta is your encyclopedia.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Teen Loves It As Much As I Do!
My 10th grader wanted an update on our Encarta 2000 and I noticed that the Encarta Deluxe Edition 2004 was available from Amazon for under $20 after rebates. What a deal! This is a great reference source featuring panoramic location photos, instant bar graph country comparisons and loads of historical information. It sure beats paying hundreds of dollars for a set of dust collecting book encyclopedias and it is a heck of a lot quicker than spending hours surfing the net for basic research and background information. Microsoft uses the Collier encyclopedia for much of the information. Encarta also has a search engine feature which accesses the internet for the most current information on a topic. Old newspaper articles and other sources are also available when relevant. All and all, this is a solid product and a great value worthy of your consideration. ... Read more


29. Math Blaster Ages 7-8 (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000639UU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 596
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good Game for kids
This game is a good game for younger kids. It is not violent and teaches kids the bacis of Math. This game is a fun and challanging game to play. Lots of kids don't like doing problems so this game can make it a fun way for kids to learn Math ... Read more


30. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume 2
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009XFRG
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Sales Rank: 1099
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Travel to exotic locales with Ms. Frizzle and the gang
  • 3 educational games: Dinosaurs, Inside the Earth, and Solar System
  • Ages 5 - 10

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars $16.99, That's All?
Three selections for $16.99!! Not a better bargain out there! Parents this is a steal... Your kids will have you wanting to learn while they explore these three selections. Promise you!

Whales, dolphins, volcanoes and Mars? Turn of the Cartoon Network and turn on your kids to something worthwhile!! You won't be sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Microsoft
I'd like to preface this by stating that my 6-year-old plays this package daily - after his homework. He installed it by himself, so my opinion is that those who say it's difficult to install need to look at their system resources. He loves the graphics, sound and the activities. I once read a review that this package is not user-friendly and I say, baloney. I say this because he doesn't ask for assistance when using this software. All he complains about is not having all the MSB titles. There is no main menu to show you how to navigate through the CD and many of the screens do not feature an "Exit" icon to allow you to exit the program or return to the main menu, but who cares? I want my six year old to figure out these functions for himself anyway.

He is not very PC-savvy but he knows the basics of PC's. And, he does use other software easily. I wonder if some of these negative reviews are making mountains out of molehills. I'm know I'm not overlooking something obvious here - so what's the problem?

1-0 out of 5 stars obsolete software that doesn't work with win2k
these seem like very old titles, written for win/3.1 and possibly working on win/95, but incompatible with the modern microsoft operating systems. out of 3 titles, two failed to install on my child's win2k system at all. one installed, but didn't function right. its graphics are the 10 year old primitive 256 color 640x480 VGA, 2-dimensional and flat. the game's audio wouldn't turn on. i can only guess that the other 2 titles were even more antique. a major dissapointment, because science related titles for small kids are so rare and hard to find!

i have encountered other children's titles that were poorly written for win/3.1 or older versions of windows, and hadn't been updated in 10 years, which wouldn't install or run right under win2k, but these are titles published by microsoft itself!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars great games
i ordered all the bonus packs (6 total software titles). and my 5 year old son loves them. they entertain him for hours. so much learning and fun on so many subjects! i highly recommend them.
that said, lets get on the the technical part. i had a lot of trouble getting them to install. some of them froze up. some of them wont autorun. and the Animals one we have never been able to play at all. it is like it "half installed". says it is there in programs. but wont open no matter what. so try to uninstall or reinstall and that wont work either. i have sent it back to the manufacturer and havent heard from them yet. my computer is almost 2 years old with windows ME and lots of ram, memory, big hard drive. and even some graphic upgrades done recently. even tried it on someone else's comp with same results.
but i still say the problems i am having are worth the fun my son is having with 5 games. and he doesnt even know there is a 6th game he hasnt been able to try yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is how learning should be - FUN!
Our 5 yr. old son plays these games for HOURS (if we let him). He loves them so much that "computer time" has become a treat for him when he has earned a reward. These cds are packed with great information, which is presented in lots of fun and challenging games. Even "Dad" enjoys them. AND they are not as annoying/loud/hyper as many of the computer games that we have come across. You will be amazed how fast and how much your child will learn! ... Read more


31. JumpStart Typing
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00001XDXD
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 1036
Average Customer Review: 2.69 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Learn essential keyboarding skills, such as hand placement, correct posture, letter combinations, number and punctuation keys, and upper and lower case--and have fun at the same time. (Ages 7-10) ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars great typing program
My children both think this is a great program. My almost-10 year old daughter likes it much more than Mavis Beacon that they use at school and my 7 year old son can even use it. They both have improved their typing skills enormously while having fun at the same time. I'd recommend this program without reservation!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
My seven-year-old was using it and actually improving after just a few screens, although the repetitive "fjfj fjf jf jf" style gets boring for a child with the length of pages required to type (there are typically about four lines per screen of characters like that). I think there should be some extra breaks between long sessions. I think the repetition is necessary for effective learning, but something fun needs to go in between. This is, after all, for kids.

On the positive side, it gives an initial assessment test to determine where your skills are. Then the goals for that user are set based on the assessment. There are a few fun games that use the same skills that are being taught, and the games appear to automatically challenge at a level that matches the skill of the player (again, based on the testing in the lesson part of the program).

My son was a little frustrated early on because the initial assessment test is rather critical to a non-typist. Although the girl in the program says something like "You did great," the low words per minute (WPM) and high number of errors displayed on the screen seem to speak louder than she does and may be somewhat discouraging. But we maintained a positive attitude because I told him it didn't matter how well he did on that test; it only wanted to see his beginning point. It's important for a parent to be involved in order to give encouragement in some places and a push in others. It really enhances the learning and helps to get through the tough spots. And younger kids, of course, enjoy the involvement and interest of their parents.

If the program worked properly, there wouldn't be much of a negative side. The requirement of an older version of Quicktime is a valid concern if you are using a newer version. But I didn't have any version before, so I didn't care whether the game required the current or an older version. But the program does do a system search for other versions before installing Quicktime and tells you that it can't coexist with another version.

I would've probably given the program four stars if not for the fact that it kept crashing when coming out of any of the games. And when it crashes, it forgets the entire session. Which means that any progress gained is lost, and the child must go through the same exercises a second time. The first time this happened, my son begrudgingly went through the beginning lessons AGAIN (I was beside him cheering and encouraging, which helped keep his attitude somewhat positive). But when the program crashed a second time after he had gone through those early lessons the second time, he wasn't the least bit interested in going through them a third time, and I didn't blame him. The crash was effectively punishing him for working hard and doing well.

The bottom line? If you can buy it from someplace where you can return it, take the chance. And if it works on your computer, you've got a good four-start program. If it doesn't work, return it and your losses are minimal. Good luck. But to Knowledge Adventure/Jumpstart: FIVE YEARS is a long time between releases of any program; it's time for a new version, or at least an update.

3-0 out of 5 stars Comparison to Jumpstart 3rd Grade
Nobody has really compared this program to Jumpstart 3rd Grade, which features the same charactors, so I've decided to do it. Perhaps the best metaphore is that Jumpstart 3rd Grade is like a theatricaly released film and Jumpstart Typing is like a direct-to-video release. For one thing, there is no CGI animation in Jumpstart Typing, like there is in Jumpstart 3rd Grade. For another there is a lote less at stake in the plot. Jumpstart Typing isn't really like a prequel or a sequel, just a different adventure in the same world.

The only recuring charactors are Prof. Spark, Polly and Botley. This is a bit disapointing that we don't see any other charactors from Jumpstart 3rd Grade, especially since we only meet one new charactor. Jumpstart Typing is set at Sparks Stadium like Jumpstart 3rd Grade is set at Mystery Mountain. Mystery Mountain is the Sparks' home. Sparks Stadium is the first stadium for interplanetary keyborad competition, though this seems to contradict with Botley's statement in Jumpstart 3rd Grade that Prof. Spark hasn't ever found any alien transmissions to decode. All the recuring charactors look like they do in Jumpstart 3rd, probably beecause they recycled animations from Jumpstart 3rd Grade, for instance, note that Botley's pose in the main stadium scene is exactly the same seen on the 2nd Floor of Mystery Mountain in Jumpstart 3rd Grade. However, new charactors look true to the animation in Jumpstart 3rd Grade.

Overall, the charactor's personalities are true to Jumpstart 3rd Grade. Botley and Prof. Spark are entirly in charactor, but then again, Prof. Spark hardly appears in either. Polly is a bit out of charactor, she is nicer. One could atribute this to the fact that her father is at Sparks Stadium, though we don't see him 'till the end, rather than far away at some convention. However, she locks Coach Qwerty in the trophy room for the same reason she sends all those robots back in time.

Acadamically, this is sort of Mavis Beacon for Kids and the is the setup is similar to Jumpstart 3rd Grade. However, though Jumpstart 3rd Grade is set rather fluidly, Jumpstart Typing's setup is rather convoluted. We take Lessons and Timed Typing Tests to fine "strength" to play the games, but to win we have take the Timed Typing Tests. Playing the games is useless, unless you want a bunch stupid medals!

In conclution, this is game is fairly effective at teaching keyboarding, though better at teaching speed typing than the basics. However, it fails to capture the fun of Jumpstart 3rd Grade.

1-0 out of 5 stars Defective Program
This program displayed upside down on all three of our computers. Knowledge Adventure Customer Service was absolutely terrible -- basically nonexistent.

3-0 out of 5 stars great!
Oh my! I learned to type so fast, it works so well!!! You are in a gym, and you have to rescue the coach. You get cards to unlock him from a little jail, and at the end you get a trophy. I'm about to get my trophy for my 2nd game. It takes a while, you learn to type, and its just lots of fun! You'll love this item! ... Read more


32. Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
list price: $9.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068NNP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 81
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Kids (ages 5 to 7) discover core learning skills in this delightful age-appropriate learning environment featuring Reader Rabbit and friends. Team up with Irvin-the-Inventor and the Cloud Queen to discover why it's raining umbrellas, raincoats, and galoshes. While traveling to Raingear Forest and Cloud Nine, kids explore seven fun activities full of adventure and discovery. Along the way, Reader Rabbit and friends cover reading, math, science, problem solving, and more, creating a forecast that calls for fun-filled learning.

Reader Rabbit 1st Grade 2002 is part of the award-winning Reader Rabbit children's educational software series. Learning activities include Cloud Spelling Challenge, Raingear Forest Math, and Gumball Science. 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 1st Grade 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 (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Warning for Windows 95 users
The system requirements are misleading for this 2002 version, this software will not install on Windows 95 as listed. Wouldn't it be refresh to tell you that tech support apologized and quickly did the right thing - NOT !

4-0 out of 5 stars Sparks the Fire to Learn!!!
As children's software goes the Reader Rabbit series is one of my favorites. Reader Rabbit's 1st Grade "Capers on Cloud Nine" captured my daughter's attention so well that she would not stop until she had finished the entire game! That says a lot since she hasn't previously been terribly interested in the computer as her older siblings have. The only reason I gave this four stars instead of five is because she was able to complete it in one afternoon. How I wish it could have gone on a little bit longer! Now the hunt is on for more...but what a great start. Still, it was definately worth the money and I would do it again as it sparked the fire!

5-0 out of 5 stars Educational and fun!
It's tough finding something for kids to play while not spending a fortune and wasting brain space on senseless games. The Reader Rabbit series are great because they offer great ways to learn while keeping things simple and fun in a cartoon-like format. The software is easy to install and I found that my 1st grader could easily navigate the program without getting stuck. She sat on it for hours!! I was surprised to see the fun she had with the program and look forward to purchasing further copies. ... Read more


33. Oregon Trail II - Anniversary

Asin: B00003IEKF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Riverdeep - Learning company
Sales Rank: 2658
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Experience the expedition of a lifetime during the mid-1800's
  • Relive a period in time that changed the United States forever
  • Hunt for buffalo, barter for clothing, and cross treacherous rivers
  • An action-packed adventure the whole family can enjoy
  • For ages 7 and up

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wagons Ho!
Starcraft, Monkey Island, Medal of Honor, and Freelancer are exceptional games. Oregon Trail belongs among the great games. Oregon Trail II is great for the whole family. I think it would be a great game for teachers to show their students the difficulty the pioneers faced traversing from Illinois and Missouri to Utah and California. You will spend many hours figuring out how to start out as an artist and end up alive and wealthy in California. I suggest you start out as a banker first. Some will enjoy figuring out what medicines and other goods to take and others will enjoy hunting for meat on the trail and deciding which trails to take. I hope to see continued support of this game since my family has had it for years and we never tire of it. The best strategy is to take one of each essential item and then whatever else you can afford. It takes time to figure out what medicines are best for ailments. As for crossing rivers, if they are deep you better caulk the wagon, and if they are fast it is best to double team those horse. If you enjoyed this game you will love Oregon Trail 5. Good luck pioneer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Trail Mix
This is one of the greatest computer games I have ever played. I put it in good company with Monkey Island, Starcraft, Red Alert, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield 1942. These other games are more for adults or boys where Oregon Trail II is great for the whole family. The video is interesting but the game itself not only is fun but a great teaching tool. I think it would be a great game for teachers to show their students the difficulty the pioneers faced traversing from Illinois and Missouri to Utah and California. You will spend many hours figuring out how to start out as an artist and end up alive and wealthy in California. I suggest you start out as a banker first. Girls will enjoy figuring out what medicines and other goods to take and boys will enjoy hunting for meat on the trail and deciding which trails to take. I hope to see continued support of this game since my family has had it for years and we never tire of it. The best strategy is to take one of each essential item and then whtever else you can afford. It takes time to figure out what medicines are best for ailments. As for crossing rivers, if they are deep you better caulk the wagon, and if they are fast it is best to double team those horse. Good luck pioneer!

5-0 out of 5 stars HOURS of fun!
This game is the best! You are the "captain" of a train of wagons going out west in the 1800's. You can pick a number of people to go with you and pick their names and ages (I usually did my friends' names or the names of famous people). On the journey you encounter storms, food shortages, sickness, and desicions such as: If a person dies-keep going or have a burial? Where and when to stop and rest? How to spend the money you are given and what to do when you run out? And more. Overall, a great game! ... Read more


34. Clue Finders Grade 4 Advanced
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000691KD
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 202
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Enter a pharaoh's tomb to solve an ancient Egyptian mystery. Join the ever-adventurous ClueFinders on an archaeological dig in exotic Egypt, and uncover a plot to unleash a sinister, age-old force on the world. Kids will need all their smarts, spunk, and spirit to work their way out of this title's tricky spots. From building a bridge to interpreting mysterious scrolls, every activity brings children closer to unraveling the astounding mystery, while mastering essential fourth grade skills.

Explore 21 interactive games and exercises designed for kids, ages 8 to 10 and older. Build more than 60 key fourth grade skills in math, language, science, geography, and problem solving. Four levels of difficulty and a variety of tricky challenges keep ClueFinders 4th Grade Adventures 2002: Puzzle of the Pyramid fun and fresh. Detailed help features guide kids throughout, and built-in progress reports help parents navigate their child's learning fun.

In addition, an all-new for 2002 bonus CD-ROM doubles the mystery and clue-finding fun. In ClueFinders: Mystery Mansion Arcade, our adventurers are lured into a spooky mansion by an ingenious mastermind and his four villainous henchmen. Kids help the ClueFinders escape by choosing the best ClueFinder for each arcade-style hazard. Speed through the Ultimate Deep-Dish Pizza Skate Park, stay cool through the High-Voltage Circuit Zone, and much more. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Both kids loved it!
I have twins who just turned 9; I bought the first copy of this through their school about 8 months ago, and the boys were totally hooked. It's entertaining as well as educational. Some of the stuff is repetitive; but I think that helps them learn how to concentrate on completing tasks. I bought the second copy of this game when our CD drive cratered and destoyed the disk. BTW, these games are MUCH cheaper on Amazon and through office supply stores rather than through school!

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
This was a great game. The tasks were repetitive like having to collect 12 cairoglyphys five times. The graphics and story lines were really good and I think this would be a great game for kids who already know how to read, so from grades 3-5.

5-0 out of 5 stars A winner in our household
My third grader just received this. He loves it and has already spent several days solving the puzzles. What a great way to get him ready for 4th grade. This is the second year we have gottne Clue Finders to work on over the summer and both have been a real hit in our household. ... Read more


35. Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body

Asin: B00002S9GR
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3169
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Microsoft presents Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body, a fully animated, interactive multimedia science adventure for kids ages 6 to 10. Based on Scholastic's award-winning book series, this CD-ROM software is designed to entertain and encourage a sense of adventure and exploration, especially about science and technology. The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body features the irrepressible science teacher, Ms. Frizzle, and her inquisitive class in a fascinating exploration of the human body. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body
I don't own this product, but I would like to. Why don't you
have in stock anymore? Is it possible to get a hold of it
somewhere else. I think my 5 yr old grandson also find this
one interesting along with the others that I've ordered from
you. Has the company stopped making it? If so, is it possible
to get it somewhere?
Thank You
Joy Phalen
...

4-0 out of 5 stars Mother of inquisitive 4 year old
As with most MSB CD's, my 4-yr old found this to be a very exciting adventure. The CD takes you through all parts of the body. He has learned about all the parts of the body and the various functions they perform. In fact, as we eat these days he explains to me the whole digestive process. Only negative I, as the parent, found was you have to change the color format on the CD to 256 color in order for it to work at all (thus the 4 stars). Aside from that, I would highly recommend it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Mom of busy child
My six year old daughter loves Magic school bus human body! She has always been interested in the human body and this is right on target. She got this as a Christmas present and when she work on this she is on the computer for at least 2 hours! I like the fact that it feels like you are traveling through the body yourself and even after you finish it tells you which part of the body you have explored!

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
My son loves The Magic School Bus books and videos and is very interested in the human body, so we were very excited to stumble upon this product. Unfortunately, precious little information is actually given about the way the body works. It is mostly about navigating from one place to the other and even in that regard once you get out of the digestive tract, the travel patterns don't really makes sense/provide information. Save your money! ... Read more


36. Educator's Choice Math and Science Excelerator Grades 3-6
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NRU2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 631
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Teachers agree: learning is easy when you're having fun. That's the spark behind Math and Science Excelerator Grades 3-6, the four-CD-ROM set of premium software titles combining amusement and education in one motivationally interactive package.

Stuffed with more than 130 individual lessons and over 100 games and activities, this educational suite for pre-teens delivers endless hours of exciting learning adventure, ensuring the acquisition and retention of intermediate, real-world meteorology, astronomy, and mathematics skills. Whether soaring through--and identifying--the clouds with their fearless feathered friend, Mango, or calculating a deep discount while bargain shopping, curious youngsters will grow with confidence as they immerse themselves in these challenging activities, which adjusts to their rising proficiency level.

Specific bundled software titles include: GeoSafari Knowledge Pad Math: Multiplication & Division (where kids master core mathematics operations while playing the colorful array of gently encouraging drag-and-drop learning games overflowing with photos, illustrations, lights, and sounds), GeoSafari Knowledge Pad Math: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages (which ramps up one's practical skill level while maintaining the drag-and-drop facility of fun-filled, sights-and-sounds learning), Mango Plumo’s Space Adventure (in which kids blast off in a custom-built rocket on a journey through planets, galaxies, asteroids, and comets to gather Cosmic Eggs), and Mango Plumo’s Weather Adventure (in which kids aged 5 to 10 are invited to explore meteorological phenomena as they soar up, up, and away with the help of a brave little red-winged bird and his mentor, the gracious Professor Funnybone).

World Meteorological Organization describes the package as "educative, sound, and very playful," and it bears the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval. ... Read more


37. ClueFinders Toy Store and Zoombinis Logical Journey
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008IOWY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 287
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (65)

4-0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love this game...
I was introduced to this game while helping out in an elementary school computer class (yeah, I'm technically a grown-up). It's an engaging way to teach logic skills, and the puzzles are a lot of fun. I agree that there are a LOT of Zoombinis to save (the purpose of the game)and that once you've mastered the higher levels it's a bit tedious to keep playing the harder versions of the puzzles, especially if there are any you don't like to begin with.

On the other hand, this game is wonderful for a variety of age groups (some of the younger kids may need some help figuring out the logic behind the puzzles), for different ethnicities (the Zoombinis are blue), and genders (most of the characters are somewhat ambiguous on gender, and the Zoombinis are all equal). I've seen it played solo, and in groups, with equally enjoyable results. And there are a number of resources available for educators, parents, etc. to help your kids make meaning from the games they are playing.

All in all, this is a must for any elementary/middle school computer educator, and a highly recommended for parents who want their kids to use computers as a tool as well as a toy.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best logic games, all in a fun package
I'm a 13-year-old boy, I loved Zoombinis ever since it came out about 7 years ago, and I still love it now. Zoombinis is a great education game, it teaches logic and mathematical skills essential to learn, and also lets children (and adults) have fun while doing it.

Zoombinis is set apart from so many other logic games by adding characters that are enjoyable and funny to a 2nd grader, while not being so annoying or childish that a 7th grader cannot enjoy or laugh at them as well.

Another way Zoombinis excels is in the way it adjusts to the user's ability. The game will start out easy and teach more simplistic concepts, and after the user is comfortable with that, it will move on to more complex problems.

A nice thing about this game is that it will encourage someone to learn and keep going. It can all happen because the game is both educational and fun, and the child will get a sort of self-satisfaction when they accomplish something. Whenever a puzzle is completed, the user gets a little bit closer to the goal of saving all the Zoombinis, and this gives them something to work for.

Zoombinis consists of 12 different puzzles for the user to go thru, and one of the factors that have made it so successful is how it makes the user actually think. Instead of letting you just guess the answers, Zoombinis has you think about why a certain answer does or doesn't work, then lets you come up with some sort of practical method to solve such problems, which can later be applied to more advanced levels of education (I am currently taking geometry, and I still use many of the methods I learned here to help me solve problems).

In all, Zoombinis is one of the most valuable and fun game (educational or not) that I have ever used. It is a great product, and I would certainly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Game, but just a little hard
I got this game with a multipack and it rocks!!! But just kind of a little hard but I like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars My kids loved it!
Not only fun but a great logic builder! The best peice of software I've bought for my kids!

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great surprise!
We love this game! When I was searching for new games for my girls, 8 & 11, I came across this game, but made the mistake of not ordering it. One day, my daughter came home from her computer class and raved about this game - I ordered the Logical Journey and Mountain Rescue...I am so glad that I did. My 8 year old and I enjoy playing Logical Journey together - its a little more basic and easier for her to understand. My older daughter prefers the Mountain Rescue - the graphics are a little more advanced and she enjoys the games more. I would recommend these games to anyone looking for fun, safe, and mentally challenging entertainment! ... Read more


38. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume 1
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009XFRF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 1786
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Travel to exotic locales with Ms. Frizzle and the gang
  • 3 educational games: Animals, Bugs, and Rainforest
  • Ages 5 - 10

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars $16.99, That's All?
Three selections for $16.99!! Not a better bargain out there! Parents this is a steal... Your kids will have you wanting to learn while they explore these three selections. Promise you!

Whales, dolphins, volcanoes and Mars? Turn of the Cartoon Network and turn on your kids to something worthwhile!! You won't be sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Microsoft
I'd like to preface this by stating that my 6-year-old plays this package daily - after his homework. He installed it by himself, so my opinion is that those who say it's difficult to install need to look at their system resources. He loves the graphics, sound and the activities. I once read a review that this package is not user-friendly and I say, baloney. I say this because he doesn't ask for assistance when using this software. All he complains about is not having all the MSB titles. There is no main menu to show you how to navigate through the CD and many of the screens do not feature an "Exit" icon to allow you to exit the program or return to the main menu, but who cares? I want my six year old to figure out these functions for himself anyway.

He is not very PC-savvy but he knows the basics of PC's. And, he does use other software easily. I wonder if some of these negative reviews are making mountains out of molehills. I'm know I'm not overlooking something obvious here - so what's the problem?

1-0 out of 5 stars obsolete software that doesn't work with win2k
these seem like very old titles, written for win/3.1 and possibly working on win/95, but incompatible with the modern microsoft operating systems. out of 3 titles, two failed to install on my child's win2k system at all. one installed, but didn't function right. its graphics are the 10 year old primitive 256 color 640x480 VGA, 2-dimensional and flat. the game's audio wouldn't turn on. i can only guess that the other 2 titles were even more antique. a major dissapointment, because science related titles for small kids are so rare and hard to find!

i have encountered other children's titles that were poorly written for win/3.1 or older versions of windows, and hadn't been updated in 10 years, which wouldn't install or run right under win2k, but these are titles published by microsoft itself!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars great games
i ordered all the bonus packs (6 total software titles). and my 5 year old son loves them. they entertain him for hours. so much learning and fun on so many subjects! i highly recommend them.
that said, lets get on the the technical part. i had a lot of trouble getting them to install. some of them froze up. some of them wont autorun. and the Animals one we have never been able to play at all. it is like it "half installed". says it is there in programs. but wont open no matter what. so try to uninstall or reinstall and that wont work either. i have sent it back to the manufacturer and havent heard from them yet. my computer is almost 2 years old with windows ME and lots of ram, memory, big hard drive. and even some graphic upgrades done recently. even tried it on someone else's comp with same results.
but i still say the problems i am having are worth the fun my son is having with 5 games. and he doesnt even know there is a 6th game he hasnt been able to try yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is how learning should be - FUN!
Our 5 yr. old son plays these games for HOURS (if we let him). He loves them so much that "computer time" has become a treat for him when he has earned a reward. These cds are packed with great information, which is presented in lots of fun and challenging games. Even "Dad" enjoys them. AND they are not as annoying/loud/hyper as many of the computer games that we have come across. You will be amazed how fast and how much your child will learn! ... Read more


39. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2132
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Picture quality could be better
As usual, the DVD version is better than the CD version because you don't have to swap the disks. However, the picture quality of the photos, especially the 360 tour is the worst this year. Maybe Microsoft wanted to pack to much information into one DVD. Only 10 more video clips than last year and most are in poor resolution. With the development of so much technology applications, I would expect their product better each year.
Still, no homework help or research help for any foreign languages. The research organizer is a helpful tool but takes some time to learn how to use it. By joining the "Encarta Club", a free service online, you get to get access to Encarta's content anywhere in the world as long as you can get online, which is a pretty good feature. However, you must be a MSN passport member.

1-0 out of 5 stars Light on Content and Yet Still Biased
If you are looking for great presentation, lite content, and biased history, by all means by this product. I reviewed both Encarta and Britannica and found Britannica to more in depth and less biased in its history. Many of Brittanica's articles are by people Encarta only writes snippets about (i.e., you get their point of view not some political hack.) If you are looking for content and a fairer presentation of history buy Britannica.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy for the dictionary...
First off, my primary reason for buying this product was the dictionary tool, so my review isn't exactly complete.

I've been using the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Suite 2001 extensively since it's introduction - and it is, bar none, the best on the market. You can launch it with Windows at startup and have it run in the taskbar, because it uses little to no resources, and then it's always on demand in a flash. When the interface is open, your cursor is already where it needs to be and you can begin typing instantly. It's also quite smart, in regards to finding matches to a mistyped or misspelled word. If the program doesn't find a direct match to your input, it will display a list of words which it thinks are close, and 9 times out of time your word will be listed.

The same great attributes do not hold true for the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Library 2004, however. While the interface does look much the same, that's about the only similarity. 2004 is a resource hog, for one. It's also not very intelligent. If you type a word in wrong, or are simply searching for the spelling of a word, you might as well dig out your paperback, because the paperback is going to be quicker to thumb through. Once one hits enter in 2004, if the program doesn't find an exact match, it automatically displays the first word that matches the first series of characters, beginning from left to right, as oppose to a list of words with simililarities. The real killer for me is in how slow it is to use. For instance, when you open or restore the program to the desktop, you have to navigate to the input box each and every time before you can begin typing. Therefore, if you're doing a lot of writing, and need to switch back and forth between programs, such as a word processor, these 2004 tools are a considerable hinrance, as one has to incessantly leave the keyboard to maneuver the mouse.

I bought 2004 thinking it was going to be a simple update, and perhaps even an upgrade, but instead received a semi-useless downgrade...

3-0 out of 5 stars Bintannica is better
Britannica has more information than Encarta. But Britannica has worse interface than Encarta.

If you want better contents, Britannica will be the one. Encarta has very little information on many different subjects. ... Read more


40. Adventure Workshop 5: Preschool-1st Grade
list price: $19.99
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Asin: B0001GU7I8
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 744
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  • 4 complete CD-ROM titles for the price of 1
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  • Fun learning for kids ages 4 to 7

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