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Review CornerSoftware
Fisher Price Learning in Toyland
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
Based on 6 real-life Fisher Price toys, this activity center is economically priced and a sure hit with preschoolers.
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Ages: 3-6  Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Davidson/Knowledge Adventure
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
This program is an "oldie but goodie". It is simple, bright, and very upbeat. The 6 activities are based on popular Fisher Price toys and hosted by Gotcha Gopher and Bippity Bug in Toyland:
  • 3 in 1 Creativity Table: There are 3 different creativity modes — Paint & Draw, Build with Blocks, and Make Crafts. Within each mode, there is a choice between free-play or an instructional activity. For each mode, there are 9 options (8 contain pre-designed templates, and 1 is blank). Kids get to play with e-coloring book pages, and draw freestyle with paint tools. Place the correct building block shapes into a template, or design your own block toy. Decorate a craft template with lots of stamps, or make your own. Print options are available as well.
  • Talking Smart Street: The real toy that this activity is based on is an electronic smart toy with lots of lettered and numbered buttons to press — and this activity looks almost exactly the same! Click on the letters of the alphabet to hear their names, use the telephone by clicking on the number buttons, press shape buttons, etc. In the Music Shop, listen to some really catchy songs that relate to the activities in Learning in Toyland.
  • Flip Track Mountain: Help Gotcha Gopher deliver packages to his friends by boat, helicopter, car, or train. Kids must decide which item goes to which friend, and HOW to get it there — which vehicle should we use? This is great fun.
  • All in 1 Kitchen Center: This is a real hoot! Kids can either bake with Bippity Bop and practice following directions as they use the recipe to make yummy treats, or choose their own ingredients and quantities by selecting the "Baking by Myself" option. In each mode, they first mix the ingredients, cut out cookie shapes from the dough, then decorate their cookies.
  • Big Action Garage: Kids can either build a vehicle according to Gotcha Gopher's instructions or make their own.
  • All in 1 Workshop: Assemble a pre-designed woodworking project, or build your own toys. Here kids must first drill holes with an electric drill, click and drag screws to the holes, drag nails and hammer them, etc.

I am pleased that the activities have two different modes — one that requires following directions and listening to instructions, and another that promotes free play and exploration.

I have some minor squabbles, but don't mind me too much, because the bottom line is that the kids really love playing this program. I would have liked to have seen the decorated creations go to the table — for example, in the kitchen activity, it would have been nice to see the child's decorated cookies as the ones the friends eat at the table.

As I said before, Learning in Toyland is highly entertaining. It's also a great buy! If your child wants any of the featured toys, remember they are at least $30 apiece. You get 6 of them with this program, in a sense. And while the on-screen toys are not exactly the same as the actual toys, they still are tremendous fun.

Technically Speaking
Minimum reqs for Windows are a 486/33, 8 Mb RAM, and 2X CD ROM. For Macs, 68040, System 7.1, 2X CD ROM, 3500K unused block of memory.

Skills Covered
creativity, imagination, listening skills, following directions, alphabet, numbers, shapes, thinking skills, visual discrimination, problem solving, matching, music, colors, counting

Educational Value
The program does an excellent job of making learning activities highly entertaining. Perhaps the biggest lesson kids learn while in the instructional modes is how to listen to directions and follow directions — very important skills that can prepare preschoolers for school.

Entertainment Value
Kids can't get enough of the activities in this program! It is upbeat, and playing with virtual toys that are based on popular real toys makes it all the more appealing.

Design
Young children can easily navigate this program.

Replayability
Very high! One of our most frequently replayed software titles.

Dollar Value
At $20, it is well worth it. We misplaced our original Learning in Toyland CD, and went out and bought a new one instead of buying an all-new title. That says a lot for a game.

Released: 1997