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Reader Rabbit Playtime for Baby

The Learning Company

Ages 9 to 24 months

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

Reader Rabbit Playtime for BabyScreen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

This likeable program offers a world of exciting new sights and sounds to babies and young toddlers. Reader Rabbit’s favorite sidekick Mat the Mouse leads baby through a series of experiences designed to stimulate and entertain. Whether it’s watching animals pop out of their barnyard hiding places, sharing Mat’s many moods as they are mirrored on her expressive face, or joining Mat in a chorus of her favorite songs, the activities included are guaranteed to please.

Educational Value
There is not much in a baby’s world that is not educational. Learning takes place with every sight, sound, or interaction. Playtime for Baby introduces the computer to baby--a new medium for learning that will eventually become a regular part of his or her life as s/he taps its resources at home and in school.

Although parents are encouraged to experience this program with their babies, there is no actual computer skill needed to benefit from its many activities. Striking a key, or moving the mouse initiates a response. Among the rich learning environments included are: a storybook activity with four simple stories that include special story-related sound buttons, a virtual kaleidoscope with stupendous, changeable colors and patterns, a body-awareness activity with Mat, a musical drawers section with instruments and kitchen objects to shake and tickle and pound with cacophonous effect, and more.

A second CD included with the program features peppy “favorite” songs with Reader Rabbit and the gang, and can be played on an audio CD player.

Kid Appeal
The bright colors, large, pleasing graphics and animation, and diverse activities make this an enjoyable program for babies and parents alike. Although many of our testers were at first skeptical about the concept of software for babies, most agreed that it creates a nice parent/child activity provided baby is able to sit still and attend.

Ease of Use / Install
This program installs without difficulty. The accompanying User’s Manual explains program goals and each activity’s focus. It also offers an away-from-the-computer activity to accompany each of its nine learning areas. An options screen allows parents to customize the program for even more fun. Baby’s name, scanned photo and voice can be easily added. A matrix of the skills covered in the program can also be viewed from this screen.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Those who enjoy spending time reading to or watching television with their babies and young toddlers will like this nicely-assembled computer program. We recommend using it with a large monitor to best attract and keep baby’s attention.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or higher, Pentium 75 or faster cpu, 20 MB free hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256 color SVGA display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM (Quad-speed recommended), Windows-compatible sound card.

Mac: System 7.5.1 or higher, Power PC or faster cpu, 20 MB free hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256 color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, (Quad-speed recommended).

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 48MB and 12XCD
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