What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a gaming system that requires young children to get up and move. In addition to motivating activity, it also offers fun ways to learn colors, numbers, letters, and how to follow instructions. Unfortunately, some of the dialogue in the SpongeBob SquarePants game "Krabby Patty Showdown" is a little iffy -- the bad guy yells "Curse you, SpongeBob!" when he loses. Parents of younger kids may want to skip that one.
What's it about?
Playskool's ION EDUCATIONAL GAMING SYSTEM for children ages 4 to 7 taps into youngsters' natural desire to move by designing games where kids dance with characters from Blues Clues, play soccer goalie with Dora the Explorer, and cook with SpongeBob SquarePants. In addition to encouraging children to sway, wave, squat, dance, and bend to control what happens on the screen of these video games, kids will be learning about colors, numbers, and letters and following directions.
Is it any good?
From the kids' perspective, what's so incredible about this system is that it makes them television stars. They aren't just playing the game -- they're IN the game as well.
When kids stand in front of their TV, not only will they see characters that they love (Dora, Blue, SpongeBob, and others), they will see themselves on the screen inside the video game. For example, in a game with Dora, your child's image will appear inside of a soccer goal. To save goals, your child will need to move his or her hands to various spots inside the goal. While it takes a few tries before kids figure out how moving their hands in the real world transfers to blocking goals inside the game, most learn very quickly.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how it feels to see yourself inside the TV. Because there are many kinds of games that involve movement, what kind does your child like best? Dancing? Moving through mazes? Cooking? Soccer? Families might want to talk about how important it is to exercise.