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Children's Software Review:    JumpStart 1st-3rd Grade Learning Playground

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Bundles can be an economical way to add variety to a child's software collection--that is, when the bundled programs are worth installing. Fortunately, each of the three titles in JumpStart 1st-3rd Grade Learning Playground are valuable. 

Two of the titles in the bundle were originally designed for second-graders: JumpStart Reading is a good program for developing early grade reading skills. Children lead CJ the Frog on a search for a lost city. Along the way, they play word puzzles (such as word searches), identify contractions (such a, "we will" = "we'll"), form compound words, identify synonyms, and more. JumpStart Math is another title that uses an adventure as the lure for children to participate in skill-building activities. CJ the Frog is now the Royal Flycatcher in a medieval castle, and he sets out to help a princess, whose family and friends are trapped inside a mirror! Finding ingredients for a potion that will save the day requires plenty of math exercises. Kids work with telling time, fractions, early geometry, story problems, money math, and so forth.

Both JumpStart Reading (pictured at left) and JumpStart Math are good at reinforcing skills. They are not especially useful for teaching new skills, but are appropriate for children who know the basics but require practice.

The third title in the set is JumpStart Explorers. Children play a game of hide-and-seek through time via a time machine. Kids need to find the hiding tadpoles in five different time periods, such as ancient Egypt and the Plymouth Colony. The graphics are eye-popping, and the learning environment is as playful as you can get. Players pick up assorted facts about history and world cultures.

All three titles are certainly "edutainment" titles. Both JumpStart Reading and JumpStart Math are skill-builders and JumpStart Explorers offers a unique experience. The low price tag on this bundle is certainly appealing as well -- it's a good buy, especially for kids who need playful environments to encourage them to practice academic skills.


For more information, user reviews, or to buy:  JumpStart 1st-3rd Grade Learning...

  • Three decent titles for the price of one.
  • Appealing formats for skills practice.


  • JumpStart Reading and JS Math are best for skills practice rather than teaching new skills.

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Published: 2003 By: Knowledge Adventure Ages 5-8 Win/Mac


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Reviewed March 2003   Comments? Email us.

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