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SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
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Fisher-Price Ready for PreSchool

Knowledge Adventure

Ages 2 to 4

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

Firsher-Price Ready for Preschool Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Set in an animal circus led by an amiable lion-ringmaster and his cuddly-looking cohorts, Ready for PreSchool includes plenty of activities to occupy and amuse even the earliest computer user.

In order to include children as young as toddlers, while providing opportunity for learning and growth, the program features 3 levels of difficulty. The first level is aimed at toddlers and novice computer users. At this level the computer does the work--the user simply starts the interaction with a mouse click or a keyboard press. At level 2, the user must follow directions, clicking the mouse on the appropriate item to make the action happen. Level 3 requires more advanced clicking and dragging to complete the task. For example, in Mixed-Up Pictures, a sequencing game, the level 1 player clicks the mouse or presses a key and sees the story's pictures rearrange themselves while hearing the story told in its correct order. The level 2 player must click the pictures in the correct order to make them move into their correct positions, and the level 3 player clicks and drags each picture to its correct place in the sequence. In some instances the level 3 player doesn't click and drag, but must use advanced processing, such as problem solving or memory skills, making the task more difficult than it is at the lower levels.

Activities address a wide range of early learning topics including numbers and counting, letter recognition, sequencing, shape sorting, matching, opposites, listening and memory.

Also included with this program are three on-screen and paper activity books including one that is expressly written for the parent, and a parent's video guide, that addresses school readiness and related topics in an easy to access format.

Educational Value
Ready for Preschool provides a fun and rewarding way for the young child to acquire beginning computer skills. Three levels of difficulty give even the youngest child experience in pointing, clicking and dragging with the mouse. Additionally, early pre-reading and pre-math skills are taught through engaging activities, and users learn to follow directions, and complete assigned tasks.

Kid Appeal
Although this program does not have the quest or goal orientation that drives many children to play for hours-on-end, it does include amusing activities, a popular theme, and frequent and unique rewards for tasks well-done. A carnival-like balloon squirt game, which awards the player with a choice of virtual stuffed animals, was the favorite reward among SuperKids' reviewers, and they consistently pursued the activity that results in this particular reward much more often than any of the other games or activities.

Ease of Use / Install
The program runs direct from the CD on a Mac, with no installation required (yeah!). It installed without difficulty on Windows 95.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
With appealing graphics and characters and an emphasis on rewards for each correctly completed task, this easy to use program is a good bet for all early computer users.

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 3.1x, Win95, 486/66 or faster cpu, 5 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA video card, 2X or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card

Mac: System 7.1 or higher, 68040 or PowerPC cpu, 0 MB hard drive space, 12 MB with 6MB free RAM, 256 color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

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