This valuable bundle contains three previously-released software programs designed for children ages 5-9:
- Thinkin' Things: Toony the Loon's Lagoon
- Kid Pix Studio Deluxe
- Curious George Reads, Writes, & Spells
Thinkin' Things: Toony the Loon's Lagoon is a fantastic program that truly gets kids thinking as they create and play. This program is outstanding! Children play any of six activities set in a jungle. Our favorite abtivity in terms of both appeal and educational value is "Flying Shapes" in which children create designs that can be animated. Children place shapes and forms onto a board, apply different movements to the shapes, and end up with a unique moving design. They can add music to their creations and save their work. This activity involves some planning and discovery as children attempt to create intriguing designs. In other activities, kids make "feathered friends" according to different variables and attributes, repeat notes and create music on a xylophone, fill orders for "fripples to go" according to customers' requests, and more. An option in the music activity makes it stand out from similar activities found in many software programskids can choose to repeat musical note sequences in the light or in the dark! If they choose "dark", they can only hear the music sequences, which is a truly valuable exercise in listening skills. In the fripples activity, kids need to use logic in order to fill the customers' requests. For example, they might need to choose a fripple (an unusual but endearing little creature) based on a sentence like: "Purple or straight hair, but not both", or, "spots and straight hair, not green". As levels advance in the activity, the customers become more particular with their requests.
Although it's not the latest edition in the series, Kid Pix Studio Deluxe remains a revered program that allows children to create art on the computer in fun and clever ways. Plenty of open-ended play opportunities are present, and projects and templates are also available for more structured activities. A nice variety of tools are featured that allow kids to create and animate artwork.
In Curious George Reads, Writes, & Spells, the familiar little trouble-making monkey becomes a cub reporter and is assigned to a breaking story. Through a series of episodes, a fun story unravels and kids play 12 activities that build spelling, reading, and writing skills along the way. Each of the 12 episodes contains a few story pages, then an activity. Many are arcade style, such as the maze game in which kids must spell a word like "fabric" by directing Curious George through a maze and selecting the correct letters in the right order to spell the word. Another activity involves rearranging lettered flowerpots on a wagon to correctly spell a spoken word. Children complete sentences and "write" two printable news articles. Parental options allow for some customization of spelling words. The program combines reading, writing, vocabulary, and spelling practice together with an interesting story line. Keep in mind that most of the activities require a child to correctly choose letters to spell words, and some involve placing words into the context of a story. Many of the games are variations on the same idea, and some are arcade-style, which many young children in the suggested age group will appreciate.