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spacer all reviews > > > math software

Blue’s 123 Time Activities

Humongous Entertainment

Ages 3 to 6

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
4.5
Ease of Use
4.5

Blue’s 123 Time Activities Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

This amiable preschool program is similar to its reading software counterpart, Blue’s ABC Time Activities, also from Humongous Entertainment. Clearly aimed at young preschoolers, 123 Time Activities is based on the popular Nickelodeon television program “Blue’s Clues”. It features Steve, our human host, along with a cast of two-dimensional animated characters, including everyone’s favorite spotted dog, ‘Blue’.

Steve and Blue are hosting a Backyard Fair. As the self-appointed greeter, Steve welcomes the new user and offers a mini-explanation of the fun that awaits. Although he must remain at his post to receive new visitors, Steve invites the user to accompany Blue into his backyard, where the fun (in the form of learning activities) awaits.

A simple activity can be undertaken at each of the six Backyard Fair booths. Successful completion of each activity earns the user a Blue Dollar, to be collected and eventually redeemed at the Prize Tent. Even the Prize Tent offers a valuable learning opportunity, as kids buy parts needed to assemble a ‘Big Prize’.

Educational Value
Each of the seven (including the Prize Tent) activities featured in this program illustrates and drills a number of pre-math skills. Examples include a sorting activity which asks the child to sort snacks at the Backyard Fair snack booth, a counting and simple addition and subtraction activity in which a train ride for the fair is built, and a strategy, counting and matching activity which consists of a simple (but fun) card game similar to “Crazy Eights”. Other skills addressed in the program include: story problems, prediction and evaluation, estimation, hypothesis testing, weight and measurement, symmetry, sequencing, shape recognition and discrimination, and counting and spending money.

In addition to the above mentioned skills activities, the program’s User’s Guide includes a matching Parent/Child away-from-the-computer activity designed to further strengthen the child’s new-found pre-math skills.

Kid Appeal
There’s something about the innocent simplicity of the “Blue’s Clues” gang that makes them a favorite of kids well beyond the targeted age range. Steve is naively amusing, and the term puppy-love was invented for Blue. When she wags her tail and executes flips it’s hard to remember that she’s a blue caricature and not the real thing. Our young testers liked the program’s activities, many of which resemble standard childhood games. Favorites included Mother May I? (or as Blue calls it Bow-Bow Bow Bow?) and Baby Bear’s Card Game.

Ease of Use / Install
This program installs easily and quickly on machines running Windows 95 or 98. A quick test is performed at the start of the program to check the CD-ROM speed of the user’s computer.

Program navigation is intuitive -- easy enough for a 3 year-old to navigate with only the slightest initial instruction. Although activities are basically simple in nature, some require adult instruction and guidance, and necessitate dragging and dropping skills that may be difficult for young users.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Blue and the gang host another winning program that teaches youngsters pre-math skills in a pleasant, non-threatening way. Collecting prize parts to build a Big Prize, makes the program work for kids who need immediate gratification as well as those who are goal oriented.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other math software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and the Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 90, 16 MB RAM, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Mac: System 7.5.3 or higher, PowerPC 80MHz or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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