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Review CornerSoftware
Dr. Seuss Kindergarten Deluxe
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
This program provides lots of age-appropriate and fun activities that Dr. Seuss fans will especially enjoy. It covers all the expected areas of kindergarten curriculum and more.
Award
Ages: 4-6  Subject: Curriculum  Brand: Broderbund
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
This deluxe program contains the Dr. Seuss Kindergarten CD-ROM plus some extra goodies: a bonus CD-ROM containing a whole bunch of excellent printable workbook pages, an alphabet stencil to help aspiring writers learn how to write their letters — and numbers — properly, and a package of fun Dr. Seuss flashcards entitled "I Can Add Upside Down".

The game itself boasts 250+ lessons with 50+ Dr. Seuss characters, as well as plenty of whimsical Dr. Seuss rhymes and fun animations to go along with them. The story is as follows: Gerald McGrew is opening his zoo, but he doesn't want any ho-hum commonplace animals for his zoo. Instead, he wants creatures like elephant cats, and other unusual beasts, and he needs the player's help to find them.

The main screen — at the zoo — has a wonderful large clock with analog and digital readings of the current time (as long as your computer clock is correct). Kids can fiddle around with the clock and hear the time chosen said aloud and watch its digital or analog equivalent appear as well — this makes for excellent practice of a rather hard-to-learn concept!

Choose to go "This Way" or "That Way". In between areas, Seussian rhymes are played to animations to entertain your kids, but if they are impatient, they need only press the spacebar to skip through these scenes. Each activity contains 3 difficulty levels. Although they automatically progress, the levels are easy to adjust — simply change them on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

"This Way" contains 4 activities:

  • Bumble Tub Phonics: kids complete words on tubs to repair them. Depending on the level, a beginning letter or ending letter will be missing — or two!
  • East/West Beast Logic: play a card game that involves deciding which card doesn't belong — and learn about letter sounds, letters and numbers, colors, types of animals, and more.
  • Thidwick's Rhymes: the Zinnazoo bird wants to write a new song, but he needs rhyming words.
  • Bippo Alphabet: place sweaters on the baby Bippos so that they are in alphabetical order — kids work with upper and lower case letters.
"That Way" contains 4 more activities:
  • Snuv Glove Matching: play a matching game of Concentration with Mrs. Snuv's gloves.
  • Birthday Pet Measurement: the Birthday Bird needs help measuring the birthday pets — use objects to estimate and measure them.
  • Sneetch Patterns: the Shapes-On Machine needs fixing by recognizing patterns and continuing them.
  • Barbaloot Math: the Lorax needs help counting the truffula fruits. Kids work with basic addition and subtraction equations and practice counting.
The other mini-activities can be found in the main zoo screen — the Clock Sculpture mentioned above is a free play exploration activity, Balloon Kids involves making the kids float away by handing them balloons, and The Musical Band involves clicking on each band member to hear individual parts of the songor clicking on the conductor to hear them all together.

There is a sign-in feature and progress tracking report that shows the activities played and the percentage of success for each.

The workbook pages are wonderful — they contain excellent early reading and early math lessons to do away from the computer. These pages are actually very fun to do — they are all printable from the second CD. This is particularly nice for younger siblings who may want to do the pages as well at a later date. For example, "I can add in red, I can add in blue, I can add in pickle color too."

Kids simply love this program — it is fantastic. The Learning Kit is a great extension of the game, and reminds us of the need for kids to write as a necessary preparation for, and supplement to, any kindergarten experience.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are a 486/66, 8 Mb RAM for Win 3.1, 16 Mb for Win 95/98, 2X CD ROM, and 20 Mb of hard drive space. Mac users need at least 68040/20, System 7.1, 6-7 Mb RAM free, 20 Mb hard drive space, and 2X CD ROM.

Skills Covered
upper and lowercase letter recognition, sequence of the alphabet, phonics, simple spelling, vocabulary, opposites, directions, classification, rhyming, listening skills, reading readiness, addition, subtraction, counting, quantities, estimation, measurement, pattern recognition, sequencing, shapes and colors, memory, time-telling, clocks, music

Educational Value
This program contains just the right blend of learning and play, and all the educational bases are covered.

Entertainment Value
Any child who enjoys Dr. Seuss characters, books, or videos will find this game fun. The rhymes are whimsical and great fun, and the activities are enjoyable as well.

Design
The program is well-designed with adjustable difficulty levels and an intuitive interface.

Replayability
The mission to fill up Gerald's Zoo with exotic animals seems to be very motivating. Testers were almost obsessed to complete this task. The content is good, and the difficulty levels help make this appropriate for kids a little bit younger and a little bit older than the suggested age group.

Dollar Value
The game is available for $29.95 US — Dr. Seuss Kindergarten alone is $19.95 US, and the Learning Kit added with the deluxe version is worth the extra $10.

Released: 1998