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$17.99 list($19.99)
1. Alphabet Express Preschool
$29.99 $24.95
2. Reader Rabbit Kindergarten
$39.99 $34.96
3. Middle School Advantage 2006
$4.39 list($19.99)
4. Reader Rabbit Learn to Read With
$16.99 $4.35 list($19.99)
5. Jumpstart Phonics
$16.99 $9.95 list($19.99)
6. JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling
$4.99 $4.90 list($9.99)
7. Educator's Choice Phonics Excelerator
$88.68 list($29.99)
8. Reader Rabbit Learn To Read Success
$19.99 $16.59 list($29.99)
9. Educator's Choice Phonics and
$6.48 list($9.99)
10. Reading Blaster Ages 6-7
$24.99 list($19.99)
11. Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics
$7.80 list($19.99)
12. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes
$16.99 $3.00 list($9.99)
13. Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
$49.99 $42.16
14. AceReader Pro
$14.95 list($9.99)
15. Reading Blaster Ages 7-8
$19.99 $18.58
16. Clifford Reading Pack (DVD Box)
$14.99 list($29.99)
17. Reader Rabbit Toddler With Free
$3.89 list($24.99)
18. Reader Rabbit PreSchool
$9.99 $3.69
19. Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade 2002
$5.99 list($14.99)
20. Disney's Adventures in Typing

1. Alphabet Express Preschool
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005A8OO
Catlog: Software
Publisher: School Zone
Sales Rank: 216
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

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

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

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

Reviews (2)

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

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


2. Reader Rabbit Kindergarten
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002H6W12
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 2111
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Features

  • Grade-based software teaches essential developmental skills
  • Combines learning techniques and complementary learning aids
  • Multi-subject CD with dozens of fun games and lessons
  • Printable-activities CD with more than 100 projects
  • Sing-along CD with original songs; 50+ flashcards and stickers

3. Middle School Advantage 2006
list price: $39.99
our price: $39.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007ZF3FU
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Encore Software
Sales Rank: 1817
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4. Reader Rabbit Learn to Read With Phonics
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LJEO
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 120
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

A diaper-clad rhinoceros, a troupe of Incredible Performing Hamsters,and a mambo-dancing moose are just a handful of the many light-hearted elementsthat make Reader Rabbit: Learn to Read with Phonics an engrossingearly-reading program that puts some much needed fun in phonics.

The program starts with Mat the Mouse singing a complaining song because shecan't read well enough to take full advantage of the carnival she wants toattend. This alone is a stroke of genius: it's easier for kids to relate to poorconfused Mat than some know-it-all character who already knows how to read (thatwould be Reader Rabbit, but he serves a purpose as Mat's guide). When her wishfor "no more words to read" comes true, Mat realizes a world with no wordssimply won't work, and sets out on a journey to decode a message that will allowher to make a counterwish and get words back.

The occasionally flat animation is remedied by the volume and variety ofearly-reading activities. Two approaches to the program help customize it to yourchild's learning style: Road to Reading is the more structured approach, wherekids lead Mat on a path to 26 different lands associated with each letter of thealphabet, and help decode her counterwish. Pick and Play is a nonstructuredmethod of exploring the program that allows kids to directly access the variousactivities found along the alphabet path. Word Factory is another programelement that has nothing to do with Mat's quest, but introduces four moreword-building and memorization activities to an already brimming program.

Designers paid attention to details that are important for learning: charactersmeticulously pronounce words and sound out letters in clear children's voices.Each activity can be played on five different levels, and kids can check theirprogress and print study words. The program introduces sight words formemorization as well as words that must be constructed by sounding out. Some ofthe virtual books in this program are more entertaining and engaging than actualphonics texts we've seen. Even the Parent's Guide information was useful, andtaught us a thing or two about how kids learn to read. Perhaps most importantly,this CD-ROM's clever wordplay and constant comedic surprises will keep kidsinterested as they develop the nuts-and-bolts skills that will lead to alifetime of enthusiastic reading. (Ages 3 to 6) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Learning to Read with Reader Rabbit
I ordered this software for my almost 4 year old who loved the Reader Rabbit Toddler software, but had outgrown it. To get the most out of it, your child should have the ability to hold and click a mouse, and should already have basic recognition of capital and lower-case letters. The lowest level is perfect for my child but would have been too difficult at ages 3 - 3 1/2. The software teaches both letter and word recognition as well as phonics. The games are cute and when your child gets tired of learning to read there are fun songs and graphics to listen to with "reading propaganda" lyrics about how fun and important it is to learn to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best reading and phonics game
I own several phonics and reading games, and there's no doubt in my mind that the Reader Rabbit games are head and shoulders above the rest. The three main reading games: Learn to Read with Phonics, I Can Read With Phonics (also called Reading 6-9) and Reading 4-6 are absolutely a must for kids learning to read. No matter who the child is, if there's the ability to read in him/her, these games will get it out!

Learn to Read with Phonics is fantastic in that it such an incredible amount of stuff to do. Every letter has a land, and the child explores each land by going through phonics drills and reading two books. The books and the drills are divided into 5 levels, and each land requires finishing some phonics practice before the child can move on to the next. Alternatively, the parents can also elect to go to each land or each activity if they choose, so there is great flexibility here. Every word in the books is individually clickable, so the child can be certain to learn how to say each word. The drills are not particularly demanding, so even if the child doesn't know much, as long as he goes through the drills he can move on to the next level. He is not stuck there until he gets it all right, but even this can be adjusted by the parent.

Learn to Read with Phonics is a game, but not in the normal sense. There's phonics drilling here, meaning that this is actually glorified homework. If you just let your child do it on his own, he will do it for a while, like my 5 year old son did, but he will probably get tired of it after a few hours and will not go through the entire journey. (Girls are probably better at this than boys.) I got the games to homeschool my kid. I require that he finishes 5 letterland a day, and I make sure that reads out each letter in the books by individually clicking on them. This takes him an hour (longer when he gets to the end of the journey when the levels get harder and the books get longer.) When he's done, I let him have a small bag of chips. He seems to find the deal acceptable. When he is all the way through, I make him start from the beginning again.

Repetition isn't necessarily fun, but that's how people learn. I find the computer invaluable at teaching little kids. At their stage, there's more repetition than anything else, and as a formal college teacher, I don't look forward to teaching little kids stuff to my kids. The computer is perfect for the job because it never gets bored, tired, impatient, or a sore throat from saying "See Jane run" too many times.

The difference between Learn to Read with Phonics and I Can Read with Phonics is their levels: one is for ages 4-6, and the other one is for 6-9, but the age group is really arbitrary. If your child has trouble reading, he/she can benefit from both CDs. They are two totally different games, and together with Reader Rabbit Reading 4-6, which is still a different reading game, makes a perfect package as a computer reading teacher.

I highly recommend this product to anyone.

Note: another reviewer here says that this game may not run on XP. Not true. I have XP and all three Reader Rabbit reading games run just fine on it.

1-0 out of 5 stars It doesn't work with w2k
I'm an A+ network Engineer. This sw doesn't work with w2k, and probably not with xp. I spent hours on their website and am still searching the web for a fix, no luck. Consider this before you buy from this company.

5-0 out of 5 stars Road to reading is superb.
Once my daughter strated on Road to Reading, she was not ready to stop. After coming back from the daycare, she would play it for at least two hours everyday. She reached the end of the road after 5 days and what a sense of achievement she had. She did learn quite a bit while playing this game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recomend this program for pre-schoolers
Excellent program for children who know their letters and are begining to understand the sounds those letters make. Parental assistance needed to get started, then child is able to run with program. Great progress reports, show which words the child needs help with. Used these to make "drill cards" on index cards for long rides, to practice difficult words, and "sight" words, which the progress reports separate out from words that can be sounded out. Program matches childs ability. Highly recomend as a tool to assist a child to learn to read. ... Read more


5. 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


6. 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


7. 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
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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


8. 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

9. Educator's Choice Phonics and Reading Excelerator Grades 1-4
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NRU4
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 421
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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 Phonics and Reading Excelerator Grades 1-4, a four-CD-ROM set of premium software titles combining amusement and education in one motivationally interactive package.

Stuffed with more than 30 key topics and thousands of definitions, vocabulary terms, and activities, this educational suite for children delivers endless hours of exciting learning adventure, while promising the acquisition and retention of fundamental phonics, writing, and reading skills. Whether they're enjoying the storytelling fun of TumbleBooks or honing their spelling and sound recognition skills with the Super Star gang, children will grow with confidence as they immerse themselves in these challenging activities, which adjust to their heightening proficiencies.

Bundled software includes: Phonics Vowel & Consonant Games (focusing on consonant sounds, short and long vowels, phonic rules, blends, beginning reading, and more key concepts), Intermediate Phonics Games (covering everything from sound recognition and spelling to homonyms and synonyms), Step into Reading & Creative Writing (which helps kids understand and develop essential creative thinking skills and strong writing abilities), and TumbleBooks Library (featuring six full-color picture books with motion graphics and complete narration). ... Read more

Reviews (2)

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

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


10. Reading Blaster Ages 6-7
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005KB39
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 238
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Lost your marbles? You're not alone. The intergalactic lost and found is full of missing things that need to be returned to their rightful owners. Jump into action and help chase down lost socks, go after flyaway balloons, and corral the caboose that got loose. There are lots of lost toys, and so little time. Get ready, get set, and start clicking.

Reading Blaster is part of the Blaster Learning System, an integrated line of game-based learning software. Blaster Learning System missions use gameplay to teach fundamental math and reading skills to kids ages 5 to 9. After mastering the essentials, kids move on to Cross Terrain Challenge, created to sharpen critical-thinking skills through extreme game adventures.

Reading Blaster's unique motivational learning system recognizes each child's achievement with points that can be redeemed for rewards. The Blaster Learning System goes the extra step with SmartPoints to provide an incentive to play, practice, and learn. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars really fun and amazingly good
great for reading skill building! My 5 year old is computer literate and is a beginning reader with basic phonics skills and very limited word recognition. This game provides a truly fun way to enhance sentence structure understanding, phonetic spelling, punctuation and word recognition. I think it will be a challenge for a LONG time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eager to Learn
I am a teacher tutoring a student on the side. I was looking for software that would help my weekend student become an eager reader. He loves Reading Blaster. His regular teacher has stated that he is trying to figure out more words on his own. This is only after using the game for a week!

I love the way it helps with phonics development and the games are fun. The games help to increase reading speed and encourage the user to find the correct answer.

The program also contains 10 stories that can be read aloud by the program

Another great part of the software is the "B-Mail". The user can put together an e-mail with a pre-made form. the "B-Mail" is answered by one of the characters. There is even a function that will read it for the child who is not yet ready.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mother of a beginner reader
My son is enjoying this CD-Rom very much. He is a beginner reader and is learning his phonics and how to put sound combinations together. This is an extremely helpful tool for him as he progresses in his reading ability. And as a parent, this takes the pressure off a little when I sit with him to help him read as he is mastering a lot of the skills himself. Which in turn does wonders for his self-esteem as he learns to read. ... Read more


11. 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


12. 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
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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


13. 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


14. AceReader Pro
list price: $49.99
our price: $49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007IQG94
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: RE:LAUNCH
Sales Rank: 4554
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

15. Reading Blaster Ages 7-8
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005KB3A
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 1933
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Catch the crooks and bag the books. There's trouble on planet Islandia, where pesky Mumblers are stealing all the books. Join the Blaster gang to crack the mystery as you race down ski slopes, escape a volcano before it blows, and steady your aim to plug steaming geysers. Make it past all these obstacles, and you can solve the case of "whodunit." Get ready, get set, and start clicking.

Reading Blaster is part of the Blaster Learning System, an integrated line of game-based learning software. Blaster Learning System missions use gameplay to teach fundamental math and reading skills to kids ages 5 to 9. After mastering the essentials, kids move on to Cross Terrain Challenge, created to sharpen critical-thinking skills through extreme game adventures.

Reading Blaster's unique motivational learning system recognizes each child's achievement with points that can be redeemed for rewards. The Blaster Learning System goes the extra step with SmartPoints to provide an incentive to play, practice, and learn. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars READING IS A BLAST
ANYTHING TO GET CHILDREN TO READ IS WONDERFUL, AND THSES ARE THE TOP OF THE LINE ... Read more


16. Clifford Reading Pack (DVD Box)
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002J6I2S
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 2393
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17. 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
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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


18. 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


19. Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade 2002
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068NNQ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 431
Average Customer Review: 3.47 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. Find and repair the Dreamship before pilfering pirates get their first. While traveling to and exploring Mount CheesEmore Island, kids adventure through seven fun activities full of discovery and gooey cheese. Along the way, Reader Rabbit and friends cover grammar, reading, science, fractions, telling time, and more. It's a thrilling and filling adventure.

Reader Rabbit 2nd Grad 2002 is part of the award-winning Reader Rabbit children's educational software series. Learning activities include Insect Builder Science, Fondue Falls Vocabulary, and Final Duel Fractions. 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 2nd 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 (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


20. Disney's Adventures in Typing with Timon & Pumbaa
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000023VVH
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Sales Rank: 275
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Gentle jungle murmurings overlaid with Robert Guillaume's gleeful voice give this solid, well-conceived typing program an unusual degree of appeal and staying power. While smacking bugs, catching grubs, and tearing away from dangerous enemies, kids are actually practicing the same fundamental skill-based keyboard activities as covered by such adult titles as Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.Some terrific components of this program include shadows that display which finger should be used to hit each key, a clock ticker that counts the seconds in each two-minute game, and the blissful fact that hitting the space bar will fast-forward you past the opening and closing credits. The mysterious, leafy jungle setting is delightfully alive, yet you'll likely need to turn the brightness on your monitor way up to see all the vital buttons hidden in the dark corners of the scene.Be forewarned: to truly conquer touch-typing, you need to drive those keyboard strokes deep into the body's muscular memory. Endless repetition is the only proven method for this. That means that while this program boasts five unique activities (for example, Rafiki gives "lessons" while Timon and Pumbaa play "games"), it is all keyboard practice, again and again. Kids receive encouragement with an enticing visual environment, progress reports, certificates, and frequent enthusiastic comments from Guillaume, but it is ultimately going to fall upon the parents to see that their children continue with this when the going gets, well, boring. Don't expect your child to see this through without your support. Stay involved, and they will. (Ages 6-10) --Jean Lenihan ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Game... Parts of it are a bit monotonous for young kids
This game was purchased for my six year old. She is a pretty active kid...not a lot of computer experience yet. When she first began to play, she was very tempted to look at her fingers...I sat beside her and held a lg. piece of paper over her hands, which solved the problem. The first night she learned to type f,d,j and k. She liked to "shoot bugs" (by typing the correct letter) but mandatory pages of just letters was a bit frustrating for her. I think that this game should go a little slower and therefore be more of a game and less work. I rate this game a solid B. It seems that it would be perfect for an 8 or 9 year old.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time to give Mavis her walking papers!
This is not one of those cutesy titles that only pretends to be about education. This is an extremely well-designed, well-thought-out program that effectively teaches typing (i.e., keyboarding). Anything even remotely associated with The Lion King may trigger the gag reflex in survivors of the whole Lion King blitzkrieg, but rest assured: Timon and Pumba do not have center stage here; the lessons do. Never sacrificing the functional for the cute or gimmicky, this program is structured, yet adaptive, and uses a gradual progression of exercises to provide just the right degree of challenge as the user progresses. In other words, the program captivates by providing variation (to keep things from getting dull) and by making the goal seem easy while maintaining just the right level of difficulty. Both my wife and nine-year-old were instantly hooked and have progressed dramatically. I do have a few minor complaints (for example, icons for navigating through the program could be more intuitive or--Heaven forbid--identified with actual words), but overall, this is a finely crafted tool that condenses a one-semester high school typing class (of yore) onto a single CD-ROM--but without the boring teacher.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unhappy
I have had a terrible time getting this program to run. It constantly shuts down or comes up with errors. It was a total waste of money as far as I am concerned.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great game, tons of fun!!!!!!
This game includes four fun-filled levels. It's great for kids of all ages. But I am sorry that it is SO difficult to find in stores. I recomend this item to anyone who is looking for a very, very fun learn to type game for children.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring! Boring! Boring!
While this program appears to be cute and engaging at the onset, it quickly becomes very boring. My daughter likes the ONE game, but can't get past the first row of typing because it's so monotanous. There is nothing to challenge her to keep going and improving - no incentive. Just more boring repetition like we had to do in high-school. ... Read more


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