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spacer all reviews > > > reading software

Blue’s ABC Time Activities

Humongous Entertainment

Ages 3 to 6

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
4.4
Ease of Use
4.0

Blue’s ABC Time Activities Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Blue's ABC Time Activities software is based on Nickelodeon’s preschool television program "Blue’s Clues." It features a human host (Steve) and a cast of two-dimensional animated characters including the fun-loving spotted dog, Blue.

Blue has an interactive word book, in which enjoyable stories can be created from simple, everyday words. Initially, the stories are incomplete. The child is asked to help Blue and her friends in a series of pre-reading activities to earn the words needed to complete the stories in Blue’s word book.

Although the activities themselves aren’t particularly exciting or innovative, they’re well presented and easy to execute. Kids can choose to complete word puzzles, navigate alphabet mazes, create bathtime rhymes, receive, edit and read personalized mail, and learn beginning word sounds with jungle animals or favorite snack foods. A letter of the alphabet is earned for each correctly completed task, and words are made from accumulated letters. At any time the child can choose to visit the word book, where color coded words are inserted into identically coded stories. As each story is completed, Blue draws an accompanying illustration. The book pages can then be printed for away-from-computer appreciation and enjoyment.

Educational Value
Blue’s ABC Time Activities puts a heavy emphasis on the joys of reading. From the outset, Steve greets the user, book in hand, and he remains that way throughout the program. The clearly relayed message is that reading is fun, books are to be cherished, and learning to read is a delightful task awaiting the involved user.

Kid Appeal
The same factors that make "Blue’s Clues" a popular television program with its young audience also makes Blue’s ABC Time Activities an enjoyable pre-reading program. Blue herself is uncomplicated, yet attractive. Although she never speaks, she manages to make herself understood. Supporting characters each possess their own unique charm, activities are easily understood and completed, and featured songs and rhymes are catchy and memorable. "My 3 year-old gets frustrated with some of the faster-paced software we’ve tried," was one parent reviewer’s comment. "This program is low-key enough that we can play it during her down-time and it keeps her entertained without causing anxiety."

Ease of Use / Install
Installation is simple and minimal on Windows 95.

Minor sound problems were reported by some of our testers. E-mail messages and calls to technical support were unsuccessful in resolving this problem.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Kids who enjoy Nick Jr’s "Blue’s Clues" will undoubtedly enjoy this pleasant pre-reading program.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or better, Pentium or 100% compatible, P90 or faster cpu, 10 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, SVGA 640x480, 256 color display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, sound card.

Mac: System 7.1 or higher, PowerPC only, 80 Mhz or faster cpu, 10 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM (8.3 MB free), 640x480, 256 color display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

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