Title: Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten
Source: The Learning Company
Playing Time: Variable: individual rounds
as short as five minutes with total playing sessions ranging twenty minutes
Number of Players: One
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Macintosh
Computer equipped with CD rom, keyboard, mouse
Subject Area: Addresses the specific
needs of a kindergartner, ages four to six, including: reading, counting,
and socialization skills.
Objectives: A student will: develop skills
necessary for school (sharing, cooperation, following directions in sequential
order); further their reading ability; promote various mathematical skills
levels (counting, number strategies, classify according to attributes,
time telling, early reasoning skills, and spatial activities); and
develop an understanding of the four seasons.
Brief Description: The animated characters,
Reader Rabbit and Mat the Mouse, work together through a series of activities
to save a campfire celebration at Camp Happy Trails.
Entry Capabilities Required: Number and
Letter Recognition, ability to type name, as well as being capable of using
a computer mouse
Relevance to objectives: 5: The
objectives are clearly met by the activities. Educational basics
outlined in the objectives are presented in the context of playful and
The five major activities have increasingly complex skill levels.
The activities are very relevant to the types of experiences a kindergartner
is likely to encounter. The animated characters, the music, and range
of activities provide the appropriate level of stimulation for a child's
development, both intellectually and socially. A parent/teacher handbook
is provided along with the CD, which includes extension activities beyond
using the computer.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
5: The structured experiences found throughout the program are designed
to develop the skills necessary to encounter success during a child's first
year in school. The player is given several opportunities to successfully
complete a specific activity.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 5:
The enchanting characters, challenging situations, rich game environment,
and progressive skill level are likely to maintain the interest of a child
age four to six.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 5:
Initial directions are clear. Young children are able to operate
software from a picture window. Help is just a click away.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
4: This computer was unable to meet the total number of color monitor
requirements. The graphics remained aesthetically pleasing despite
this lack of power.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 5: Successful
retrieval of all camping equipment is dependent upon player's correct responses
to the various activities.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4: The graphics
are realistic, manipulable, and function accurately. Children are
able to move the graphics around screen and then observe the results of
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
5: The Reader Rabbit series is a product of The Learning Company.
The program underwent extensive research and testing with input from educators,
parents, and children. This particular multi-subject series has received
several awards including: Reviewer's Choice Award, HomePC, January 1998;
All Star Software, Children's Software Revue, January 1998; Four Stars,
Computer Life, November 1997; Best of 1997, Superkids Software Award, Early
Learning, December 1997; Best of 97 Kid's Software, The Review Zone, October
Clear directions for play: 5: The
directions for each activity are spoken, as well as a picture menu made
available from which children may operate.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
5: The ultimate goal of the activity is to save the campfire
Throughout the series of activities, camping items are awarded for a job
well done. The player may review their list at any time.
The player is given many opportunities to complete an activity, making
it difficult for a parent or teacher to review the child's performance
to determine their strong and weak areas. The main "camp" theme
and choice of activity may become uninteresting after several rounds of
Reviewer: Megan Narenkivicius
Position: MST Graduate Student
Date: March 24, 1999
Computer System Reviewed on: Power
Mac G3 233, 64 megabytes of RAM