Featuring a "summer camp" theme, Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten is an entertaining, fully animated adventure in which the user must help friends
Reader Rabbit and Mat the Mouse gather supplies for the campfire party at 'Camp Happy
Tails'. As with the younger age titles in this series, to achieve this goal, the child
must master 4 sequential levels of each of 4 skill-building activities.
Learning activities include: Number Lumber which is a counting and strategy game much like the ever popular (but occasionally
despised) "Chutes and Ladders" game; Diner Lineup, in which the child helps camp chef Pierre organize his kitchen by arranging items
based on one specific attribute--this activity exposes the child to basic mathematical
concepts and relationships, while encouraging him or her to follow through with precise verbal instructions; Canoe Match, a memory game that builds prereading skills by using increasingly difficult matches
including multiple items which must be remembered in a specific order; and the most
unique activity, Get Your Bearings, which involves searching for an item that is hidden within a grid, given spatial
and directional clues. As each activity is completed supplies needed for the campfire
party are obtained.
Within each of the above sections of the program, users can find additional games,
stories and projects that focus on socialization skills such as sharing and compromise,
or understanding the world around us lessons such as 'seasons', and 'time'.
Upon completion of all the activities sections of the program, the user is rewarded
with entertainment provided at the campfire party. Here, the lovable cast of characters
gathers to sing, recite poetry and share stories. As an additional bonus, these
songs and stories can be accessed by playing the CD in a standard audio CD player.
Similar in concept to the many educational activity books available for young learners,
Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten incorporates successful early reading, and math activities into a fun-filled storyline.
This program can be used with very little, if any, adult intervention.
Graphics are large, clear and attractive, and the goal-oriented storyline is easy
to follow and compelling. SuperKids reviewers were favorably impressed by the many
animal characters included in the program, and were often observed giggling at and speaking
to them. Activities are easily understood and complete, but become a bit tedious,
and their repetitive nature may annoy the less patient player.
Ease of Use / Install
This program installed with a click of the mouse on our test Macintosh, and without difficulty on Windows 95.
The manual or "handbook" not only explains the program itself, which for the most
part is easy to use and requires no explanation, but also provides insights into
the educational bases for each included activity. Song lyrics can also be found
Best for... / Bottom-Line
With its engaging animation and structured yet entertaining activities, Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten is a good bet for the kindergarten-aged child with an interest in computer-based skill
building and an adequate attention span.