It is DAY Four of “It’s All Fun and Games” week at Mom Most Traveled!
Brighter Minds Media is a company that produces quality educational books, DVD games, and computer software for children.
My son, Jojo, is almost 4 and has been enjoying playing reading-readiness computer games on www.Starfall.com for a few months now.
He was extremely excited to get to play a REAL computer game!
On the very day Bob the Builder Can-Do Zoo arrived in the mail, I sat down with him to watch him play and help him understand instructions if needed.
I selected the difficulty level “easy” for Jojo, although in subsequent playings, Jojo insisted that he wanted the “hard” level of play.
I was thrilled with how educational the seven activities really are in Bob the Builder Can-Do Zoo.
All of the activities help your child to practice hand-eye coordination as they aim and click the mouse to select what they need from the screen.
Bob the Builder Can-Do Zoo is a non-threatening way to practice problem solving as well. When the child selects a wrong answer, Bob’s voice gives them encouragement to try another solution.
I was worried at times that Jojo would get overly frustrated, but I think the fun music and upbeat tone of Bob’s voice helps to diffuse most of the anxiety about doing the activity “wrong”.
Players can choose to complete a whole “story”, playing each activity one time with very short clips from the Bob the Builder tv show in between (the whole “story” only takes about twenty minutes), or do quick-play, and select individual activities.
Each of the seven activities teaches different skills that are essential for Early Learning:
In Pile of Leaves, players brush away leaves to reveal tools hidden underneath. To complete this activity, players have to match the found tool to the picture at the top of the screen. This is a fun twist on the classic “memory” game.
In Tool Shed (Jojo’s favorite), players use shape and color recognition as well as spatial recognition to re-organize Bob’s tools after that strange-looking character Spud dumps them all over the floor (anyone know why Spud has a bag for a head?).
Bob’s Blueprint is a planning activity that Jojo has not yet mastered. It requires planning and time-sequencing skills as players look at a blueprint for a construction job.
The object is to put the pictures in order of sequence so that the job can be completed. For example, the picture of a slab foundation would be first, followed by a foundation with walls, followed by a completed building with a roof.
On the “easy” level, there are many pictures already in the sequence, and the player chooses the one picture that is missing.
Paint It is another activity that has taken Jojo some time to grasp. Players help Bob to paint a fence, but they must do so in the pattern he has already started (blue, red, blue blue, red, blue blue!).
I was really proud when Jojo mastered Paint It enough to teach ME what to do! Pattern recognition is a key skill for preschoolers!
In Street Signs, players collect all of the signs according to the characteristics Bob tells them (find all of the red signs! or get all of the rectangles!). This is an exercise in shape and color recognition, as well as listening!
Packer’s Delivery is pattern recognition game. Players load supplies onto a flatbed truck to complete the pattern already started (bricks, logs logs, bricks, logs logs!).
I was surprised that Jojo caught on to the Paint It game pretty quickly and was completing the color patterns, but still had a little trouble with completing the pattern of construction supplies. It is good to practice these skills in a variety of contexts!
I admit sometimes I don’t want to share my laptop with Jojo (I am a blogger at heart), but as I see him growing in knowledge and critical-thinking skills, I can definitely say it is worth the investment of time!
And Mama needs to learn to share, just like anyone else!
To enter, visit Brighter Minds Media and comment here telling me another game that looks fun!
One winner will be chosen at random.
This giveaway will close on Thursday, September 25, 12 midnight.
Winner will be contacted by email (if you remember to leave your contact info!).