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$36.99 list($49.99)
1. Starry Night Complete Space &
$79.99 list($19.99)
2. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$19.99
3. Dinosaur Adventure 3-D
4. Oregon Trail 2 (Jewel Case)
$79.99 list($19.99)
5. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$7.80 list($19.99)
6. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes
7. Magic School Bus Explores the
$79.99 list($19.99)
8. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$14.99 $6.20 list($19.99)
9. JumpStart Animal Adventures
$19.99 $19.88
10. Cyberchase Adventures: Carnival
$49.99 list($14.99)
11. Magic School Bus Whales And Dolphins
$38.00 list($9.99)
12. The Magic School Bus Explores
$49.99 list($14.99)
13. Magic School Bus Lands on Mars
$19.99
14. Land Before Time Prehistoric Adventures
$19.99 $18.00
15. Oscar the Balloonist Discovers
16. Magic School Bus Explores the
$19.99 $7.87
17. Bioscopia
$19.99 $7.74
18. Animal Kingdom 3D
$49.99 list($14.99)
19. Magic School Bus Volcano Adventure
list($29.95)
20. The New Way Things Work

1. Starry Night Complete Space & Astronomy Pack
list price: $49.99
our price: $36.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000227SUG
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Imaginova
Sales Rank: 130
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Ideal introduction to astronomy
  • Easy-to-use, point-and-click interface
  • 50 interactive guided tours of the night sky
  • Over an hour-and-a-half of original movies about space
  • Bonus 192-page illustrated book included

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, powerful, easy to use
I love this. I've played with several desktop planetarium products including Red Shift, TheSky and even other Starry Night offerings, and this is the one. It's simple to use -- like a web browser, really rich, informative. I'm using it with both my 8 year old and my 12 year old and it's just perfect.

Note that in addition to the basic astronomy software, a thing called Deep Space Explorer is in there too-- it's like an encyclopedia meets a space-ship simulator. Very cool.

All in all, a great value. ... Read more


2. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume 3
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009XFRH
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Sales Rank: 1971
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: Mars, Volcano, and Whales and Dolphins
  • 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


3. Dinosaur Adventure 3-D
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00001XDWF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 316
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

From island adventures to arcade-style games, there are tons of activities waiting here for the dinosaur fan in your house.The latest version of this long-popular program has much improved graphics and animations. The creatures really do come back to life, and since it covers the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, that includes a lot of creatures!

The guide through the different games is Rolf, a young dino who's the only "cutesy" character in the whole program. To help him find his buddy Pterrance, build a maze with different puzzle pieces--it's a great spatial abilities builder. After that, kids can pick from matching games, platform-style skill games, fossil-assembling puzzles, or just plain exploring.

The 3-D videos are great--exciting and lively without being too scary for the little ones. And with so much information, you'll soon be learning the detailed differences between herbivores and oviraptors just to keep up with your kindergartner! --Jill Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for ANY dinoboy/girl
My 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter have played this game over and over and over and over and... It is my sons favorite computer game.
He started playing this when he was 3, with a little parental help, but can now go at it alone.
A earthquake has causes all the eggs on dino island to get lost.
You need to help Rolf find all the eggs. Oh, there's a small problem, a T-Rex is on the loose too, and Rolf needs to hatch these dino eggs so the babies can help him defeat the T-Rex.
Travel around the island to the different periods, Triassic, Cretaceous, Jurassic, and help him complete puzzles and games to earn hatching crystals. Keep your eyes open for hidden eggs along the way. Answer questions to reveal the eggs.
When you find and hatch all the eggs, you can then beat the T-Rex!
Games include Connect-A-Cave (logic puzzle), Bone Builder (build a dinosaur out of bones), and Scrambled Eggs (matching), and more.
The game automatically levels up for each individual puzzle as the child progresses. You can also easily decrease or increase the level of play manually, allowing ages 3-8 to play.
Click on dinosaur and other items to learn important facts that help you learn and progress in the game.
The game is non-violent. The T-Rex pops up and growls every now and then, but that's the extent anything "scary." There is NO BLOOD SHED.
I can not go on enough about how great this game is. It is educational and fun! A definite must for your dinosaur fan! Of all the computer games we have, this one get the most use, and was clearly the best buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Our best software purchase to date!
I am constantly looking for quality software for a 3 year old and this is AMAZING! My son can play almost every game on level one and when his 6 year old cousin comes to vist he plays the games on level 3. We love to play the games, collect the crystals and hatch the eggs ... we take turns guessing what kind of baby dino we are going to hatch! There is even a cinima section where your child can just click on pics of Dinosaurs and hear info on them. As if all of this were not enough it revolves around a volcano that erupts lava ... we all know any true dino game should include a volcano!!! One more plus is that a 3 year old can play this with littel or no help from a parent ... I use it when making dinner. I am unable to do this with any of the big name pre-school software. I am so pleased with this purchase! Buy this ... you will love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Missng some of the old stuff.
I always enjoyed this game. I had the original, (MS-DOS Based Version. It had some great games in it, such as "Save the Dinosaurs!, in which you were given a time limit in which to save 15 Dinosaurs, from 3 different time periods, before a Giant comet hit the earth, making it impossible for dinosaurs ot stay alive. There was also an encyclopedia area, in which you could look up the various dinosaur facts. There was an puzzle where you had to guess which Dino you were looking at. And another one, where you had to work out the answer to the question, "Which reptile is this a part of?", where it showed you a Dinosaur, and some pictures of dinosaur parts. There were many more

A windows 95/98 based version of this game came out, that was exactly the same, exept that it needs Windows, and won't run on MS-DOS. This one that I have now, is more animated than the original, and does not have my favourite puzzles. I preferred the original version, because it gave facts in a more realistic way. Kids aged 4-8 may like the latest version, but the original, though much scarier for that age group, is still the best.

Is there a new game out, that has all the features mentioned above? It doesn't have to be from Knowledge Adventure.

Other than that, it's cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, educational, probably ok on XP
This game was written for Windows 95 and slighly updated for Windows 98. I installed it under Windows 2000 (recent version of DirectX) with excellent results, so I'd expect it would be fine under XP.

Some of the images are dark and muddy, but overall it's a fun game with some reasonable educational content. We haven't run into any major bugs, and it doesn't demand much in the way of drive space or CPU/video performance.

It appears to be out of "print", in fact I think the entire Knowledge Adventure line is probably in limbo. A real shame, it's hard to find good software like this any more. Not only are there no equivalent "modern" competitors, if they existed they'd be very demanding of machine resources.

I've not tested the Mac version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kids love this game
My kids have had this software for a couple of years, and they keep going back to it. Of all the computer software I have bought (and there have been many!!) this game has the most lasting power. And the nice thing is that it keeps the interest of both my 8 year old AND my 6 year old. ... Read more


4. Oregon Trail 2 (Jewel Case)

Asin: B00005NCCK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 3604
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, educational fun...
While working as a teacher's assistant, I came across newer versions of this game, but they don't compare to classic Oregon Trail II. When I was little, I played this game at school and talked about it so much that I finally got the home version for Christmas one year; ten years later, I am not [too] ashamed to admit that I still enjoy playing it. Not only can children (and adults) learn about everyday life during this famous period of American history, but they also learn stragey. This game allows you a lot of freedom to do what you want with your wagon and its passengers - and if that means pitching over while fording a river, then so be it! Great game, great fun, great history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oregon Trail 2
This is a fun game I played at school more than once. Once I caught so much game, my wagon couldn't carry it all! I enjoyed playing it and am now asking for it from Santa.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great game for ages 6 or up, SO-so price
Well, before I start I must say I bought this game 3 years ago []for $10. The newer versions are the same price. But if your a classic game lover than this is your chance. It's easy but strangely fun many times over and over again. I'd say it's a top 5 software game to have. Works on most computers, But if you have a new one-get a newer game. I almost prefer this more than the 4th-so much more simplier and actually more fun. you choice

5-0 out of 5 stars Just about everyone will like it
I'm a 16 yr. old girl and I've had this version of Oregon Trail since I was about 9 or 10. I've never gotten sick of it. I still play it sometimes and it's a great way to kill some time. It's still fun for me and that's when you know a game is great.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Choice
Even though this game was originally written for elementary school kids, my boyfriend and I play this game ever night. He is in college, while I am a senior in high school. Everone of every age will find something to like in this game. It is very highly thought of in my household! ... Read more


5. 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


6. 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


7. 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


8. 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


9. JumpStart Animal Adventures
list price: $19.99
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006352W
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 271
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

When a bat named Batney Ears started singing like Britney Spears, not only were we hooked--we also learned about echolocation. JumpStart: Animal Adventures is a lush mix of entertainment and education that does detailed justice to the wild world of animals.

The program starts with the news that Habitat magazine is looking for kids who love animals to enter a contest. To fill out the four contest-entry forms, kids must explore a temperate forest, an African savanna, a rain forest, and a tide pool to gather animal information, photographs, and points. Each habitat has three screens, with gorgeous graphics and rich, ambient sound. Leafcutter ants, elephants, crabs, and 37 other creatures gladly share information about themselves and their environment. Clicking on certain animals will yield a catchy video (imagine crabs sounding like Green Day as they sing about limb regeneration) and games.

The games, which can be adjusted to three difficulty levels, give this program a seamless feel, adding depth to the educational experience. For example, when kids click on a beaver, the beaver launches into a detailed explanation of why it builds dams. The beaver then invites players to cut trees for a dam, adding that they must be small trees because beavers can't move larger ones. After the correct trees are gnawed down, kids can complete the dam by fitting the downed trees into a dam-shaped puzzle. After that, they're invited to gather mud from the riverbank, then help the beaver use his tail to pack the mud into the dam. Your child will play four games, hone spatial and sorting skills, and develop an in-depth understanding of the phrase "busy as a beaver." And this is just one animal in a program that has dozens of creatures to learn from.

Goal-oriented kids will love relentlessly progressing toward the various rewards the program offers, culminating in a quiz show called "The Animal Smarts Game" that can be played alone, or with a friend. Free-form exploration is also an option. We were impressed with the way JumpStart: Animal Adventures immersed us in exotic environments, and treated games as a teaching tool instead of an afterthought. (Ages 4 and older) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The GREAST Game-Education Program I Have seen in a long time
This is a Jump Start Title - they make only the best! However, this one the Jump Start Animal Adventures - is very easy to use -I help at a day care center - in the computer department - working with three, four and five year olds on the computers - they went wild over this title - the graphics are great the music is great - it still uses the mouse for picture taking but in the games the introduction to the use of the arrow keys and the space bar is a nice, very nice touch. It has got "just the right balance of knowledge learning and game fun - the three skill levels are great with this added touch all children can progress at their own speed - I have a five year old, girl, whos birthday came at the wrong time of the year last year for her to go to kindergarten this last year - she is playig it on level 3 and loves it - she really loves the "Animal Smarts" game at the end. I also have a four year old boy who is at the same level as my five year old girl. Yes, I must admit, I am the five year old girl's Grandmother as well as I have her in my computer class at day care - Buy this - you will "NOT" be SORRY - Thank you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fun and games
This is a first rate game. My two boys, ages 3& 5 drive me nuts asking to play all the time. The vocbulary lessons are first rate. The music catches their attention and they sing along with the songs. The information is wonderful and requires them to use abstract thinking skills. There are crafts, stickers and a certificate. Lots of well thought out programing went into this game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Game!
I bought this game for my 3 yr old. He LOVED it. Not only did he really enjoy playing it, he learned a great deal from it as well. A few months back, he broke the CD and has not been able to play it. He still talks about things that he has learned through that game. I finally decided to come back and purchase another one for him. Good buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars All time favorite in our house!
My kids have learned SO Much from this game. I had low expectations but this far surpassed them! We have used Jumpstart software from the toddler level all the way to 2nd grade, and this is the all time favorite.

Both my 4 yo and 6 yo learned a great deal about animals and their habitats, their diets and so forth, more than I knew! The games are fun and action packed enough for my 4 yo boy. The crafts and printouts are very motivating.

All around, Jumpstart has a winner with this program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Animal Adventures
My son received this software for his 5th B-day. He loves it. The first day I had to sit with him. Some of the games can be difficult for a novice computer user. This software has taught him more about the food chain. It teaches about sorting into different groups, based on where the animal lives or the animals that eat meat vs. vegetables. My son was already very interested in animals and this has already taught him (and mom)a lot of vocabulary. This is great software for kids interested in animals and science. However, this should not be their only resource into the world of animals. ... Read more


10. Cyberchase Adventures: Carnival Chaos and Casablanca Quest
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002IBEVE
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 298
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Carnival Chaos takes the Cyberchase kids to the rides, games, attractions and food stands of a carnival, for a new mystery
  • Search for the powerful Mega Bolt and find it before the evil Hacker does
  • Cyberchase -Casablanca Quest takes the kids into a mystery, where they'll use their math skills to follow clues and find out whodunit
  • Help the kids save Cyberspace and fight the contamination of the Motherboard, to stop the evil plans of the Hacker
  • Jackie, Matt and Inez will present important concepts to kids, and show them how these concepts are used in real life

11. Magic School Bus Whales And Dolphins
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059ZYS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3732
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

The ever-versatile Magic School Bus shines its high beams into thewatery world of whales and dolphins with this lightly educational and moderately entertaining CD-ROM. The format should be familiar to anyone who owns any of the other Magic School Bus programs: players explore inside the bus with Ms. Frizzle's guidance, or go outside the bus, this time into the briny deep, to learn more about whales.

This program dutifully provides a plethoraof whale factoids, but some of the activities lack inspiration. "CetaceanRotation" is a puzzle game with a fancy name. "Spot That Whale" is a simplisticpoint-and-click matching game where speed counts more than memory. Rescuing ababy beluga from a maze riddled with fishing nets and hungry orcas is quickwork. A drawing station with minimal creative options merely takes up space.Despite three levels of play, older kids are likely to churn through parts of this program like a blue whale churns through krill. Games that engage the brain a bit more include "Whale Scales," where players can compare the weight and length of cetaceans to other objects and critters (one blue whale equals 30,000 house cats) and "Spout Off," a game show with questions that will stump some parents. Other bright spots include gorgeous still photos, and video and audio clips of sea mammal wonders like humpbacks echo-locating and Dahl's porpoises arcing along the bow of the boat--all narrated in Ms. Frizzle's know-it-all trill, of course.

Graphically, MagicSchool Bus Whales and Dolphins looks better than some of the other MagicSchool Bus offerings, and the program ran quickly, with no glitches. But if your10-year-old wants some cold hard facts about whales for a research paper (like how many pounds, not house cats, a blue whale actually weighs), they may need to dive a little deeper than the Magic School Bus does in this program. (Ages 6 to 10) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent learning tool
My daughter is a dolphin fanatic. She has been in love with
these magnificent creatures since the age of 3 (she is now 7).
She is also very into science and loves the entire magic school
bus series. We have 3 magic school bus cdroms and this is by far her favorite. As with all of the magic school bus books,
videos and cdroms it teaches the children in a fun way.
they think that they are just playing, but they are learning.
This was proven when my son, then 3, told his whole pre-k
class about the differnces between toothed whales and baleen whales and also informed everyone that dolphins and whales use
echolocation to find food! This is a great game!

4-0 out of 5 stars My 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter both love it
My two children play this together, have a lot of fun, and come up with interesting facts about whales and dolphins. I even saw the two of them looking at a book about whales and quizzing each other on the type of whale shown in the pictures. We thought it was a good value, and it convinced me to buy more of the MSB software.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Value for Money
Don't be deceived. This is not a full-fledged Magic School Bus CD, but is just an activity center. The Magic School Bus CDs fall into two categories: full-fledged exploration programs and activity centers. The full-fledged programs are excellent and represent good value for money. My oldest (age 6) spends hours exploring with MSB Oceans, Animals, Solar System, and Dinosaurs. They are great. On the other hand, he is quickly bored with the Activity Centers, such as Whales and Dolphins, Flight, and Mars. They simply present one screen with things to click on. Since a full-fledged MSB CD has half-a-dozen or more places to explore, the activity centers represent less than 1/6th the value of a full-fledged MSB CD. Don't buy them unless you get them for less than 1/6th the price of the full-fledged CDs, which means don't pay more than [price] for them. They are not worth more.

5-0 out of 5 stars MAGIC SCHOOL BUS IS A TV SHOW AND IN BOOKS AND ON SOFTWARE!
I watch The Magic School Bus every day and i have 2 Magic School Bus Books. But i did not know that The Magic school bus was on software! I love the Magic School Bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more


12. The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059ZYP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 374
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Hop aboard the Magic School Bus as it dives into an interactive deep-sea adventure to explore the wonders of the ocean. Kids can tour seven ocean zones, conduct science experiments, and follow clues to find sunken treasure. Drive the bus and voyage into the depths of kelp forests, coral reefs, and much more. Based on characters from the book series and TV show, Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean teaches key science concepts in a fun and age-appropriate way. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun with the Frizz
My daughter (age 6) loves the Magic School Bus television series and she loves the computer games also. These games mirror the educational series while adding a great deal of interactivity and fun/educational games for children. My daughter saves her allowance in order to purchase these titles on her own. They are great fun.

3-0 out of 5 stars Spotty
This is not the jewel in the crown of the Magic School Bus CD series (Animals, for example is much better), but it does have some good features. In particular, the activity on ozone & the greenhouse effect is excellent- our 2nd grader really grasped the concept after playing with it for a while.

The plot, however, is to find Ms. Frizzle, which our kids found frustrating. You get clues by earning tokens from an arcade-type game- the only MSB title we've seen that requires you to play an arcade game in order to complete it. It may be that the Microsoft progammers figure that space=boys=arcade game, but our kids were annoyed about it. They were even more annoyed when they worked out from the 1st clue where she was and found out that you have to get all 3 clues anyway.

On the other hand, kids who like arcade games might be induced to learn a bit about the solar system.

3-0 out of 5 stars MSB does the ocean... not as well as I'd hoped!
I am a MSB fan and am trying to get my young children interested too. The Ocean was the first MSB software we got, and I'm afraid it will be the last. It's ok, but I'm disappointed that the software doesn't load correctly (on 3 different computers and 2 operating systems (win98, XP)! None worked right!). It will start, but it is very difficult to navigate the first few times until you "learn" where things are. Finding out where to go and what to click on is trial and error for the most part. Maybe I just haven't "found" the good stuff yet, but I was hoping for better!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dinosaurs Never Looked So Interesting...to a small child!
For the price. For the value. For the impact. For the utlility. For your child. Buy it....

5-0 out of 5 stars Rainforest!!?
The rainforest comes alive with this MSB issue. Microsoft shows us why most of the cures for our maladies, etc. comes from rainforests. And, why we shouldn't keep destroying them. Kids learn all about the value of a rainforst. My seven year old played the heck out of this selection, and when we visited a real rain forest in Nov. 2003, he knew what to expect. And, of course, MSB helped... ... Read more


13. Magic School Bus Lands on Mars
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004THP0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3917
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Ms. Frizzle missed her calling: she should work for NASA. Fromengaging games to fascinating facts to stunning photographic imagesfrom Mars, this interplanetary adventure doesn't miss a single detail.As the bus adeptly dodges satellites while it screams away from theSun, it's obvious that this will be anything but a normal field tripwith Ms. Frizzle and the gang.

Once the Magic School Bus settles, kids can play inside or venture ontothe surface of Mars. Both areas are cluttered with gizmos that yieldeither a game, an experiment, or a compelling fact. (Did you know thatMars's moons are named for the Greek words meaning fear and panic? Wedidn't.) There's a lot to learn here: kids can put objects likewatermelons and marshmallows into the Pressure-O-Meter to see whathappens to them in the atmosphere, or try to land a module on Marswhile coping with fuel loss and Martian gravity. There's even arover-building station that hones deductive skills as kids decide whether asolar panel or a battery will work best to power their vehicle duringthe Martian night.

Attention to detail is what launches Magic School Bus Lands onMars into the rarefied atmosphere of educational CD-ROMs thatentertain as well as they teach; new players can enter how old they areon Earth and learn their Martian age, then later play Mind over Mars, arobot-hosted game show that dishes up tough Mars-related triviaquestions and--better yet--elaborates on the answers.

As Ms. Frizzle zips about Mars's surface in her jetpack, we can't helpbut wish NASA would recruit the Friz to get all of us excited aboutspace exploration again. The woman has the right stuff. (For ages 6 to10.) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Value for Money
As with MSB Whales and Dophins, this is not a full-fledged Magic School Bus CD, but is just an activity center. The Magic School Bus CDs fall into two categories: full-fledged exploration programs and activity centers. The full-fledged programs are excellent and represent good value for money. Three of my children (ages 7, 5 and 3) spends hours exploring with MSB Oceans, Animals, Solar System, and Dinosaurs. They are great. On the other hand, he is quickly bored with the Activity Centers, such as Whales and Dolphins, Flight, and Mars. They simply present one screen with things to click on.

Since a full-fledged MSB CD has half-a-dozen or more places to explore, the activity centers represent less than 1/6th the value of a full-fledged MSB CD. Don't buy them unless you get them for less than 1/6th the price of the full-fledged CDs.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good MSB choice
My 5 year old daughter loves Magic School Bus. She has a few of the games (Human Body, Inside Earth, Dinosaurs, and this one). She plays the others repeatedly, but almost never plays Lands on Mars. Though I haven't studied the game myself, I suspect it just has fewer activities and less interesting activities than the others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Picks up where MSB: Solar System left off!
All of the Magic School Bus series is wonderful but now they have gone in depth into one particular subject. My 7 & 9 year old love the programs and must have them the minute they come out! Lands on Mars is packed full of Trivia and Games, tells about Mars Missions and shows pictures! There is so much to do she won't be bored with it for months. Aside from the educational factors it is incredibly easy and fun to play, I usually try them out for an hour or two myself.

If you want to make learning fun for your child, you must look into these programs. As my daughters have in the past, I am sure if the time arises that they need research on Mars, Lands on Mars will be the first thing off the shelf! ... Read more


14. Land Before Time Prehistoric Adventures
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062UJH6
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 2095
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

15. Oscar the Balloonist Discovers the Farm
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004T4VQ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Viva Media
Sales Rank: 1739
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Sassy and smart, this charming CD-ROM series combines early-childhood education and humorous storytelling with a distinctly European flavor--something along the lines of Doctor Doolittle meets Monty Python meets Beatrix Potter. Our hero, Oscar, is a small, curious British boy who tours the world in a hot-air balloon that enables him to switch among the four seasons with the click of a mouse. His companion, Carmela, is a treasure chest who often goes missing. In this escapade, Oscar crash-lands his balloon on the thatched hut of a timid animal researcher named Balthasar Pumpernickel, who lives on a farm amid fields of talking pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens. Carmela is there, too, stocked with a dozen delightful animal-theme games to play. Children are free to go straight to the games chest or explore the farmyard--and talk to the animals--in depth, across all four seasons of the year.

Along with this CD-ROM's elevated level of illustration, there's a fearlessness about content that is uncommon in America these days. The presence of dung on a farm, for example, is clearly acknowledged in the program with a special matching game (whose icon is a toilet bowl) that requires kids to "click and drag each animal to its droppings." As well, adults aren't the all-knowing educational founts here; Professor Balthasar, afraid of the animals, hides all day in his hut. "Outside lurk a thousand dangers!" he sniffs. Parents and kids alike will appreciate the goofy inanity of a farm-facts guessing game that poses such true-or-false questions as "Cows love to eat frogs," and "Sheep sleep on poles." Most powerful of all, however, are the stirring scenes of the animals: from sunny days in the fields to deliciously snowbound days inside the barn. (Ages 4 to 8) --Jean Lenihan ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A little difficult for our 4 year old
The game has lovely graphics, and creative-educational games. My son enjoys matching the poop with the correct farm animal. However, it is a little difficult for him to understand what the directions are or what he's supposed to be doing in the game. It's a bit "word heavy" for a boy who has an auditory processing disorder, but he does enjoy clicking on the animals to see if they'll poop. In fact, anything to do with poop will entertain him. It's really better geared towards older kids and younger children who can handle higher level learning. ... Read more


16. Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest

Asin: B00002S96K
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3084
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Kids jump on board The Magic School Bus for another one of Ms. Frizzle's interactive field trips--this time to explore the Costa Rican rain forest. You'll explore seven ecological zones in the rain forest as you collect samples for the class science project. Watch videos, play games, check out multimedia reports, and hear fun facts about the rainforest. (Ages 6-10) ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest
I really like all of the Magic School Bus series. Kids can learn a lot about a subject and the dialog is very amusing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Games have proved particularly entertaining
The magic school bus series is a great series. Once again Ms. Fizzle takes the children on a fun packed adventure.

We have never been to a rain forest, but my five year old found the games on this Microsoft School Bus product particularly entertaining.

A great CD from a great series. ... Read more


17. Bioscopia
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005V3FD
Catlog: Video Games
Publisher: Viva Media
Sales Rank: 4002
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Kids travel to an alien planet and adventure through an unearthly land to reach Bioscopia, a deserted research station filled with exotic plants and trees and menacing robots. The player's mission is to rescue a young scientist, who's trapped in the station and seriously injured. To complete the mission and escape Bioscopia, kids have to learn about biology and apply that knowledge to solve Bioscopia's clever puzzles. Designed to advance and challenge children's biology acumen, Bioscopia entertains while teaching with out-of-this-world graphics, thrilling sound clips, and a BigBrain learning section that teaches and tests children's wits. All the while, parents can rest easy and kids will delight with a game where science conquers evil. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just Skip This One and Go On to 'Chemicus'
My wife and I, unfortunately, played the three existing 'science edutainment' titles from Tivola, 'Physicus', 'Bioscopia', and 'Chemicus', out of order from their release sequence. We first played 'Physicus' and enjoyed it but felt that it could have been much better. We then played 'Chemicus' and felt that it truly was a much-improved game over 'Physicus' in nearly every aspect (see my two reviews of these other games). Then we went back and played 'Bioscopia', which is actually the middle game of the triumvirate. We now wish we hadn't gotten spoiled by jumping to 'Chemicus' first, because 'Bioscopia' is a whole lot more like its predecessor 'Physicus'.

'Bioscopia' is a graphical, first-person adventure game (a la Myst, etc.), with an intended educational value added in by way of incorporating principles of Biology to its puzzles and game play ( with Physics and Chemistry obviously being the scientific genres of the other two games). 'Chemicus' did such an outstanding job of basing most of its entire game play around all facets of Chemistry. 'Bioscopia' (and the earlier 'Physicus') barely attain that same distinction. Most of the biological tie-in for this game is realized with an on-going requirement of keeping your 'key card' charged up by answering multiple-choice Biology questions. This key card is then used to gain access to many of the large labs that encircle the game's main environment. Other than that, there is really only one main Biology puzzle to the entire game, which is to eventually create an antidote that will cure the stricken heroine of the story.

The graphics of the game are about its only redeeming virtue. The designers obviously spent a great deal of time and effort in realizing a lush and intricate environment to explore. But, like 'Physicus', the environment seems fairly closed. You're basically just exploring one large segmented fortress where you have to find successive keys to gain access to new areas. This type of game design only works if the new areas are different enough to keep the player interested. Here, the new areas aren't all that different. 'Oh, gee, look! Another large, weird-looking building to go into.' And, the paths leading to and from the buildings are just a waste of time.

One other key element to any successful adventure game, which is missing here, is rewarding the player, when he completes a particularly key or difficult puzzle, with some type of 'nugget', usually a visual cut-scene that advances the main story along. The only cut-scene found here is the game's finale, which is really pretty lame once you finally reach it.

The user interface also leaves much to be desired. There are way too many different directional icons for the navigational pointer. They are so confusing that it affected our ability to solve several of the puzzles in the game. The 'look down' and the 'turn around' icons are virtually the same and are both typically in the same area of the screen. Plus, there is one icon, an open hand, which is meant to signify that some activity can be performed here. Only, there are several places where you have to perform an activity, yet the pointer does not change to this hand. This is just a result of very sloppy programming and testing, but leads to a frustrating and unplayable game. We needed to peek into the supplied walk-through on several occasions just to see what we missed because of the poorly designed interface.

If we had played this game prior to playing 'Chemicus', then I might have been a little more forgiving. Now, I just wish all three of these games could have been on the same level as 'Chemicus'. At least, they are learning from their mistakes as they go. So, any future games (I hear they have a 'Chemicus II' in the works), will hopefully keep getting better and better. For now, if you are doing these games in order, just skip this one and go on to 'Chemicus'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worked for me and was way cool.
Bioscopia worked on my computer running Windows XP.....I don't know what happened with other people....This game is awesome! Such cool graphics and totally fun to play.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beware Windows 2000 and XP users
I have purchased Tivola software and it will not work on any other operating system then the ones listed. So if you are still running a Microsoft Wintendo OS then go ahead and get it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An adventure with a little more...
Unlike most titles that have educational content, this game is really fun! Beware it is not easy, and will take a considerable amount of time to complete, but for those who like a challenge, this is a great title! The graphics and music are super, and the puzzles are hard enough to keep regular gamers and even science-minded adults occupied for hours and hours. (There is a helpful pdf file with graphics located on the disc 1 that will help you if you get stuck.) Similar adventure titles cost much more, and Bioscopia has the added bonus of making you feel like you learned something. I recommend this title, for anyone who likes adventure games, or has an interest in biology. ... Read more


18. Animal Kingdom 3D
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008AV5T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Mega Systems
Sales Rank: 2731
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Ultimate multi-media animal encyclopedia
  • 4 CDs spanning prehistoric dinosaurs to the animals of today
  • Newly released video and breath-taking animation
  • Dinosaur clipart for reports, signs, and more
  • Thousands of detailed images and vivid animations

19. Magic School Bus Volcano Adventure
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JG02
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2318
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Miss Frizzle gleefully leads a pack of kids to the red-hot edge of anactive volcano, to burn information into their curious brains about magma, a'a,and Krakatoa. Most parents would gladly let this wonderfully wacky lady taketheir kids wading in lava, and we heartily endorse the "learning is good" spiritof Magic School Bus, which is abundantly present in this fine fieldtrip.

However, we feel that the folks who design the Magic School Bus programswould do well to add some new shtick to their repertoire. Structurally, thisprogram is a mirror of other MSB offerings: kids can explore 10 activitiesinside of the school bus, or leave the bus and go volcano-side to learn factoidsfrom the Magic School Bus Kids and play a few more games. Though these programsalways emphasize freeform learning, the folks who design the programs cling tothis now tiresome "in the bus," "out of the bus" formula.

That complaintaside, the activities use real-life volcanoes, 3-D graphics, and multiplephotographic and video images of spewing lava and underwater steam vents.Visually, Magic School Bus Volcano Adventure is fantastic.

Some of theactivities inspire experimentation and learning. A "make your own volcano" labinvites kids to combine three amounts of gas with three thicknesses of magma,then renders the recipe's results: a volcano that either explodes or seepsdepending on the combination of materials used. "Dare to Compare" features fourreal-life volcanoes (Mount St. Helens, Krakatoa, Mauna Loa, and Eldfell) andcompelling graphics and information about what sets these volcanoes apart. Aworld map highlights volcanic activity around the globe. A site called "GreenMachine" allows kids to plant trees and watch them colonize on the stark grayflanks of a volcano. Then they can cause an eruption, wipe out the burgeoninglife, and start all over.

Kids can play volcano games with three levels: in"Operation Rescue," they use spatial skills to guide hot lava down a slope andaway from homes and cars. Speedy mousing and evasive maneuvers come into play in"Rub-a-Dub" as kids maneuver a submarine around steaming vents and lava tubes tocollect volcanic rocks. And a game called "Leaping Lava" could cause survivorsof Mount St. Helens to have flashbacks. Players must guide the Magic School Busacross multiple mudflows by hopping from log to log and avoiding burning lavapatches. During this one, the Magic School Bus theme music plays in a minor key.It's rather creepy.

Volcano Adventure will please most juniorvolcanologists. But if your child can already pronounce "pahoehoe" and knows thedifference between lava and magma, they'll quickly tire of having only theinside of the bus, or the rim of the volcano, to visit. (Ages 6 to 10) --AnneErickson ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, Volcanoes Rock Here!!
Microsoft keeps putting out educational software that rocks for kids. As a teacher, regular and special education, I welcome every issue Microsoft tackles. For several reasons. I know it's gonna be good. Educational. Compelling. Enjoying....

As a parent of a seven year old, I know what good software can mean to a child. Microsoft knows, too. You will...if you buy this issue.

3-0 out of 5 stars a disappointment, but entertaining
My son is nuts for volcanoes, so this appeared a natural for him. It is somewhat informative and has some great images, but he ran through it in about an hour and shows no interest in going back to it. When you get down to it, most cd-roms are just multiple choice exams but without penalties for guessing wrong. We should not expect much more from them, and at the price that this cost, I could have taken him myself to a movie for a longer entertainment! Nonetheless, this one does introduce kids to the tools of scientists better than other magic school bus cd-roms I have seen, but it doesn't do much to teach anything about the way that scientists think and work.

4-0 out of 5 stars My seven year old son now loves volcanoes
My seven year old son now loves volcanoes after playing with the Magic School Bus Volcano Adventure. He has enjoyed all the games which he has played repeatedly. Some of the games don't seem to be as educational as other Magic School Bus adventures, but overall, my boy loves it. ... Read more


20. The New Way Things Work
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000042OM6
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Sales Rank: 2710
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

In The New Way Things Work, The Great Woolly Mammoth, the inventor's hapless assistant, returns, and this time you can help him improve his inventor's skills in the Mammoth School House. Play the challenging quiz and increase or decrease the mammoth's intelligence, depending on how well you do. The special tracking feature monitors the Mammoth's progress (and yours) throughout. Keep him well fed with knowledge and he'll be the perfect companion for your scientific discoveries. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent for any age
This program is perfect for the child who is always asking Why? or How? As an educator this is an excellent tool for my kids to learn how things work,why they work, and also learn about different inventors at the same time. The program includes everything from machines to digital technology. I also found this program very useful for myself. ENJOY! ... Read more


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