What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some of the feedback in this educational software is a little negative. Fans of the Hamtaro television show will enjoy playing educational games with Hamtaro and his friends, but this software would have been better if there had been more to do.
What's it about?
A little hamster named Penelope is lost in underground tunnels. Lucky for her, the Ham-Hams, her hamster friends from the popular Hamtaro television show on the Cartoon Network, are there to help. Kids join in on the rescue when they play HAMTARO WAKE UP SNOOZER!, a computer learning adventure for children ages 5 to 7. To find Penelope, the hamsters have to create a contraption to move Snoozer, a sleeping hamster who is blocking the entrance of the tunnel where Penelope disappeared.
Children join the hamsters in playing games to earn items needed to make the contraption. The games encourage kids to practice skills in number recognition and early math, geometric shape and fraction identification, phonics, early science concepts, and logic. For example, in one game youngsters match tiles with pictures of animals. On more difficult levels, kids need to match baby animals to their parents, or animals to their prey.
Is it any good?
Minor gripes with the software include some negative feedback ("What are you doing? That isn't the right one!") and the lack of help when a child is struggling. While five of the six activities have three levels of difficulty, the software could have used more activities.
Positive aspects include fun educational activities and a storyline that encourages children to cooperate with others to reach a creative solution. Fans of the television show will enjoy playing with Hamtaro and his friends, and viewing video clips from the show.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how educational tools can help you learn. Ask kids if they felt the software could have been more helpful when they were struggling. Did the negative feedback bother them?