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spacer all reviews > > > preschool software

Beginning Sounds

School Zone

Ages 3 to 5

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
3.0
Ease of Use
4.5

Beginning Sounds Screen Shot arrow indentSystem Requirements

arrow indentPC / Mac Price Survey

arrow indentProduct Support

Beginning Sounds is an electronic workbook intended to teach children to recognize the letter that corresponds to the beginning sound of a word.

It utilizes simple animation of animals and other familiar objects in a child's environment, and includes the corresponding conventional printed workbook.

Educational Value

Beginning Sounds is good at teaching and rewarding a child for selecting the correct letter that begins a word. It reads like a preschool workbook. For example, there might be a picture of a boy on a bicycle on the left hand side of a page. The program asks the child to choose two of five selections on the right hand side that correspond to the same beginning letter sound. After the child selects two answers, he clicks on the rabbit in the lower right hand corner of the screen, and if both answers are correct, a star will appear on the top of the page. If one or both answers are incorrect, a check will appear at the top of the screen. In either case, the the user is rewarded with a cute little moving animation of things like dancing pigs, a hula-hooping girl, etc. After two such cycles, the user is further rewarded with an interactive game to play, such as having a fish swim past sharks and other obstacles to work his way to a birthday party.

Kid Appeal

Beginning Sounds is appropriate for the three to five age group. Our young tester really liked winning trophies on one of the three interactive games. It did get repetitive though, as there were only three of these reward games to play, and they were offered after every second letter quiz. Both our tester and his mother quickly found this boring and repetitive. "It would be better if the games were only offered after four letters were done. It would be even better if there were five games to play instead of three," according to the parent. "This would help to hold the child's interest longer. We will probably only use Beginning Sounds three or four more times before my son loses all interest."

Ease of Use / Install

Beginning Sounds installed without difficulty on our test machine. Program navigation is reasonably intuitive.

Best for... / Bottom-Line

Beginning Sounds delivers on its title premise. It is good for kids just learning their letter sounds. However, it is very simplistic, and only does one thing. Many parents might expect to see, and perhaps would prefer to see, several tools built into one program as part of a cohesive offering.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 98/95 or higher, Pentium® 166MHz or faster processor, 50MB hard drive space, 32MB RAM, 640x480 16-bit color display, 4x or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit sound card .

Mac: Mac OS System 7.6.1 or later, PowerPC™ 150 MHz or faster cpu, 50MB hard drive space, 32MB RAM, 640x480 16-bit color display, 4x or faster CD-ROM, .

Reviewed on:
-     Pentium II - 450 running Windows 98, with 128MB RAM and 24x - CD-ROM
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