It's almost Sam the Lion's birthday and Reader Rabbit is planning a surprise party to celebrate. There is much to be done, so everyone's help is needed. Users travel around town, joining Reader and his friends as they work to complete the party preparations.
Each activity included in Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures focuses on an early learning critical thinking skill. These skills include: completing patterns, sequencing, categorizing, recognizing similarities and differences and comparing and contrasting attributes, creating arrays, hypothesizing, matching and ordering.
The program includes The Learning Company's "A.D.A.P.T. Learning Technology", which adjusts the program to match the player's developing abilities. Three skill levels can also be manually selected to ensure that every child is adequately challenged.
For the most part, our kid testers enjoyed the activities included in Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures. Graphics and animation are nicely done, and the storyline is not only upbeat, but a topic of particular interest to kids in the targeted age range. One of our parent testers wrote: "My kids like to play "birthday party" and make pretend decorations and presents. With this program they can enjoy their favorite theme and practice essential learning skills at the same time!"
Sub-themes are similarly well-liked by kids, and range from animals to toys, to edible treats. Our young testers did mention, however, that they were disappointed with the 'party' itself, which was rather anti-climactic in comparison to the preparation involved.
Ease of Use / Install
Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures installs without difficulty. From the main screen students can choose the venue they would like to visit, and the activity they plan to pursue. Activities are adequately explained on-screen by the characters with which they are associated. The User's Guide included in the CD case goes one step further, explaining for parents the skills addressed in addition to navigation for each activity.
Best for... / Bottom-Line
This simple, but cute program works well with preschoolers and early elementary school students. Some portions will require a bit of parent involvement.