PIGGY IN NUMBERLAND (ages 4-6)
[Learning in Motion., (800) 560-5670. Macintosh/Windows CD-ROM]
Piggy in Numberland has been a gigantic hit with ComputED's kids. Not only are the colorful, animated characters of Piggy and playmates friendly and engaging, but the design and feel of the program make it extremely compelling for young children.
The creator's idea of a diagram of Piggy's brain being filled in when a child completes each area's activities is highly motivating, indeed - ComputED's kids are constantly checking their "brain power," and live for the moment when they can go to the Imagination Machine to make a toy after having filled in a brain section (an ingenious reinforcement tool).
Colorful, interactive and upbeat, the program teaches important math concepts such as basic numbering, addition/subtraction, place value/base ten concepts, and geometric shapes. It also fosters thinking skills and good sportsmanship - it's important that children are rewarded (earn "brain power") whether or not they win the games, i.e., the program emphasizes the learning/participation, not the winning.
Not only is there a lot of learning going on, but children have fun participating in cleverly designed games, such as Dot-to-Dot, Treasure Chest Card Game, Bee's Toy Store, Panda's Castle Game, Falling Blocks (addition/subtraction), Flower Game, Tree Climbing Game, and Kangaroo's Bridge Game. It's no wonder the program has received rave reviews. (The price is a real bargain too.)