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Main page » Kids » Disney Mickey's Kindergarten

Disney Mickey's Kindergarten


Children find seven excellent logic, early math and creativity activities by clicking on objects in downtown Disney. The idea is to help Mickey Mouse, ace reporter, find something to write about for the town newspaper. Mickey finds his material as the kids play the games. In one clever game, children help fill orders for Bell Hops, according to the attributes of their clothing. In another, they use blueprints to create neon signs. At the video arcade, kids play a challenging numbers game where they match numerals to the number of objects on robots. On the downside, the activities seem a bit thrown together without a strong sense of purpose. The individual games don't seem to end, and their tie-in with Mickey's newspaper is missing. Weaknesses aside, each activity offers a great combination of entertainment and education. For instance, to get kids to practice their numbers, Mickey does some pretty fancy dance steps. The program's difficulty levels, which can get tough, automatically adjust to children's correct or incorrect answers. Also a plus are the printable pages that correspond with each activity. For the reasonable price, you can't go wrong with this CD. Teaches: early math, logic, counting, addition, creativity, telling time. It's nighttime in the city, and jazz drifts through the air as Mickey Mouse, ace reporter, walks these not-so-mean streets looking for a scoop. He finds his stories--along with letters, numbers, colors, and patterns--that will help young kids learn more than a thing or two as they follow Mickey on his beat. The nine activities in Mickey Mouse Kindergarten range from one-dimensional to fully rendered and absorbing. At the shallow end of the scale is Mickey's Town Clock, where kids help Mickey adjust his digital watch to the correct time on the analog town clock. We won't judge Disney too harshly for this, since reading clocks isn't necessarily something that lends itself to creative overkill. On the more fully developed end of the range is Bellhop Shuffle, a hotel lobby where kids learn deduction and observation as they meet the needs of fussy guests by sending the right bellhop scurrying to do the job. Sleepwalkin' Goofy is another richly detailed adventure that teaches early reading skills. Kids must patch scaffolding with the correct letters as Goofy sleepwalks high up on a construction site. Letters come attached to everything from buckets of paint to lunch boxes, and Goofy reacts according to the type of "patch" used. Other engaging spots include a video arcade, where kids learn adding as they battle robots in a video game, and a back alley, where kids help a policeman track down a weasel by using listening and spatial awareness skills. High marks should go to Disney for their Active Leveling Advantage. It's one of the most subtle systems we've seen for making sure the level of play is appropriate to the skills of the player. Parents won't find any report cards or places where they can automatically adjust learning levels on this lighthearted CD-ROM. Disney's Mickey Mouse Kindergarten is a place where kids can play and learn, with minimal adult intervention. (Ages 4 to 6)

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Tags: Mickey, objects, activities, Disney, challenging, Kindergarten, another