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spacer all reviews > > > preschool and kindergarten software

Jay Jay Earns His Wings

The Learning Company

Ages 3 to 7

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

Jay Jay Earns His Wings Screen Shot arrow indentSystem Requirements

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Jay Jay the Jet Plane, hero of the PBS series of the same name, takes off in this new educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Jay Jay Earns His Wings opens with the TV program's theme song and characters, instantly recognizable and welcoming to millions of young TV-watching children. The story here begins with Jay Jay talking with his friend, Big Jake, in the Tarrytown Airport hanger. Jake tells Jay Jay that he's almost ready to take his first solo delivery route, after a little practice in following directions -- and therein lies the storyline for the program

The user has to help Jay Jay answer questions at each of six different locations in the area. Successful completion at each location earns Jay Jay a package. Only when Jay Jay has all six packages can be return to Tarrytown Airport. The user gets to select each location on a map of the area, in any order.

  • Frosty Pines challenges the user to listen to Jay Jay say a number, then click on that number as it appears on a slalom skiing gate.

  • Sandy Landing has the user help Big Jake measure the height of various cargo items, and click on the matching number.

  • Smiling Meadow has the user help Jay Jay's friend Snuffy pick apples, and put them in the appropriately color-matched basket.

  • Lightening Bug Lake presents a sound and color pattern matching challenge.

  • EZ O'Malley's Ranch has the user listen to Oscar's clues and click on the animal that the clues suggest.

  • Ridgeway requires jigsaw puzzle / geometric shape matching help to fix a runway.

Each activity has three user-selectable difficulty levels. Completing all six acitivities, at any level or combination of levels, allows Jay Jay to return to Tarrytown for a surprise.

Educational Value

Jay Jay Earns His Wings has a clear educational objective: to provide a set of fun activities that interactively drill numbers, patterns, sequences, and simple math. It generally meets that objective, with a couple of caveats.

Our young testers found the challenge levels of some of the activities to be uneven. For example, apple picking in Smiling Meadow was "boring", even at the hardest level, while answering Oscar's questions about animals at the Ranch required pre-existing knowledge.

Overall, our reviewers felt that the program was not as rich as they would have liked. "My daughter went through the entire program in less than an hour" commented one.

Kid Appeal

Jay Jay Earns His Wings was variously described as "neat!" and "ok" by our testers. The more positive response came from the younger child -- and fits with our adult reviewers' feedback that this program was best suited for children at the younger end of the suggested age range, say 3 to 5.

Ease of Use / Install

Jay Jay Earns His Wings installed without difficulty on our Windows Me test machine. The program is easy to use, and never required opening of the small manual contained in the CD's plastic case. Simple instructions are spoken -- no reading required, except number recognition.

Best for... / Bottom-Line

Jay Jay Earns His Wings is a sound educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98/Me/XP/2000, 266 MHz or faster cpu, 35 MB hard drive space, 64 MB RAM, 800x600 16-bit display, 8x or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, .

Mac: System 8.6-9.2 or OS-X in classic mode, 266 MHz G3 or faster cpu, 35 MB hard drive space, 64 MB RAM, 800x600 16-bit color display, 8x or faster CD-ROM, .

Reviewed on:
-     Pentium III - 700 running Windows Me, with 128MB RAM and 24x - CD-ROM
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