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Review CornerSoftware
The Land Before Time Toddler Time
Rating: three and a half stars
The Bottom Line
More appropriate for preschoolers than toddlers, this program is straightforward but may be difficult for many 2 year-olds and some 3 year-olds. Despite this, the activities are well done and will provide kids with some good skills practice.
 
Ages: 2-4   Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Sound Source Interactive
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
The Land Before Time Toddler Time Product Overview
Kids get the chance to "play" and learn with their favorite characters from The Land Before Time in this CD-ROM designed to teach basic skills to toddlers. There are 5 activities altogether, as follows:
  • Jumpin' Fast Fish requires kids to help the dinosaur feed fish by pressing on keys on the left or right side of the keyboard, depending on which side of the pond the fish are swimming.
  • The Connect the Dots activity involves creating dinosaurs by connecting the dots either from 1-9 or colorful shapes according to visual and verbal cues.
  • Peekaboo Rocks is a basic memory game in which dinosaur pals are hiding behind 3 rocks and kids must remember where they are hiding. On higher levels, the dinosaurs are holding objects to make the game a little more challenging.
  • In Ducky's Water Slide Maze, players help Ducky's pals reach the top of the water slide by following a path of logs. Higher levels feature more "wrong" ways (obstacles).
  • In Alphabet Stepping Stones, a word is presented, and children must "spell" the word on stepping stones so that the dinosaurs can cross the lava flow. Depending on the level of difficulty, the words are 3, 4, or 5 letters in length. Different stones with letters flow down the "river", and kids must hit the spacebar on their keyboard when the correct letter appears.
Each activity has 3 difficulty levels that kids can easily select for themselves, and some have printing options.

We found the label of "toddler" for this software to be somewhat of a misnomer. Most toddler software titles require very little mouse/keyboard skills and feature very basic concepts. The activities in The Land Before Time Toddler Time are more appropriate for kids ages 3 and up, and for those who have already acquired mouse skills. The ability to recognize letters and numbers is almost a prerequisite to play some of the activities.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, a Pentium 133 (200 recommended), 24 Mb RAM (32 Mb recommended), and 4X CD ROM (24X recommended). Mac users require a Power PC with 24 Mb RAM (32 Mb recommended), System 7.5 or higher, and at least 4X CD ROM. It takes up 20 Mb of hard drive space and is easy to install and load.

Skills Covered
counting to 9, letter recognition, shapes, observation, following directions, colors, matching, listening, mouse control, patterns, thinking ahead, memory, numbers, letters

Educational Value
Despite the name of the program, preschoolers are probably more suited to the educational content of the activities. In addition to providing practice with letter and number recognition, this program features some nice activities designed to strengthen thinking skills. The maze activity provides a good exercise in learning how to plan and think ahead, and the peekaboo activity provides practice in memory.

Entertainment Value
The activities are rather fun — Land Before Time fans will especially enjoy them. The graphics are beautiful and appealing.

Design
Difficulty levels are easy to adjust for each activity, and kids had no problems with the straightforward interface. Some of the activities require accurate mouse control, which might be frustrating to some 2 and 3 year-olds.

Replayability
There are 5 activities, each with 3 levels of difficulty. Children in the upper end of the suggested age group will find a fair amount to do.

Dollar Value
The program sells for $19.95 US, which is rather reasonable.

Released: 1999