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Children's Software Review:    Caillou Preschool

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All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent, impartial reviews. Children's software reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers decide which software games are best for their kids, and are evaluated based on a number of factors, including educational and entertainment value, originality, dynamic content, and quality of learning.

 
Computer Software Game Review: Caillou Preschool


For Windows 95/98/2000/XP; Mac 

By Brighter Child Interactive

Released: 2003

Reviewed: December 2004

Our Recommended Age: 3-5

Our Rating: B+

 

 

 

Buy: Caillou Preschool

 

 

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Caillou Preschool offers activities focusing on the letters of the alphabet, colors, shapes, and creativity. The program's skill set is pretty much right on target for preschoolers, unless players are not yet familiar with the alphabet.

 

The program includes 3 sections: Caillou's Alphabet, Caillou's Colors & Shapes, and Caillou's Coloring & Creativity. The first two sections are software programs that are available separately, and the last section is a portion of a separate title. Kids have to sign in to each program, although entering a name only happens once (subsequent times, kids choose their name from a list). This fact makes the CD-ROM feel slightly disjointed. Of course, it would have been better if there were one sign in.

 

 

The program can be played in either English, Spanish or French. All three languages are included on the one CD-ROM. This is a fabulous feature for families who encourage bilingualism or multilingualism!

 

Many of the activities feature similar games. For example, a maze game appears multiple times in different ways. Kids might have to "catch" butterflies labeled with the letter "N" in order to clear a path from Caillou to Rosie. In another activity, children follow drops of blue paint that lead Caillou to his missing paintbrush. Both activities play similarly.

 

After each activity, kids are asked whether they want to play again, yes or no. This can become repetitive. Children earn a star after completing each activity, and an activity is considered complete when 3 stars are earned for the game. 

 

The Alphabet Section includes 26 activities—one for each letter of the alphabet. Many of the activities are similar in style, but each is dynamically generated so that kids are not playing exactly the same activity each time they attempt one.

 

The activity associated with the letter "A" is entitled Apple Drop, and involves clicking on all the apples labeled with either a lowercase or uppercase "A". The letter "K" activity involves clicking and dragging both lowercase and uppercase letter "K" onto the tail of a kite.

 

The Shapes & Colors section includes such games as finding all objects that are circle-shaped on Caillou's shelf, playing a memory game with blobs of colorful paint, and clicking on similar objects in a set.

 

The Coloring & Creativity section is a basic painting program with coloring pages. Black and white coloring pages can be printed. There's nothing new or unique in this section.

 

Included in the box is a high-quality package of Caillou Alphabet flash cards, 55 of them in total. The "E" card, for example, features a large uppercase letter "E" alongside a colorful illustration of Rosie and her toy elephant on one side, and an elephant on the other.

 

Our Bottom Line The activities are fun and educational, but the design of the program is less than ideal.

Pros:


  • Multilingual component is fantastic.
  • Educationally sound activities.
  • Bonus flash cards in package.
 

 

Cons:


  • Because it combines 3 different programs, it is a little disjointed.

  • Instructions are repetitive.

 

       

 

Our Rating:


 

B+

 

 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Caillou Preschool]

 

Reviewed December 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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