A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a good introductory computer game because it provides preschoolers with many opportunities to practice at using a computer mouse. Its learning activities can be played within a story context or as stand-alone activities and in each scenario, they are available on three levels of difficulty.
What's it about?
In DIDI & DITTO PRESCHOOL: MOTHER NATURE'S VISIT, preschoolers go on an adventure with either Didi (a girl beaver) or Ditto (a boy beaver) during which they encounter 16 learning activities. Didi and Ditto live in Smart Valley with their animated animal friends and are excited about Mother Nature coming for a visit, so they decide to throw a party. Preschoolers jump into help with the party planning by exploring eight locations in Smart Valley and at each they play two learning games. The games cover pre-reading, pre-math, science, music, and art skills.
As kids explore each location by moving their computer mouse over the lush scenery, they will find two flag poles leading them to the learning activities. In addition, they will also find numerous other hidden hotspots. When the mouse changes from purple to yellow, and kids click, these hotspots launch enchanting animations that are sometimes silly (like watching a bear breakdance) and sometimes educational (where two birds appear carrying pictures of a group of eggs, and the player is asked to click on the group with the most eggs).
Is it any good?
Didi & Ditto Preschool has most of the key ingredients of great preschool software. Instructions are easy to learn and spoken aloud. The learning activities can be explored on three levels of difficulty and you can raise or lower the level at any time within the game. If you are confused about what to do, if you click on the beaver characters, they will offer suggestions. The characters you play with are charming, supportive, and even express ideas about how to help the environment and eat healthy foods. The graphics are some of the most beautiful found in children's software.
The 16 games are all age appropriate and not only teach early-learning concepts, but also give children who are new to the computer, plenty of opportunities to practice using the mouse. Preschoolers will learn to look at a picture of a musical instrument and then find the component parts, They will learn to identify alphabetical letters by fishing them out of a pond or learn to count by finding mushrooms in a cave. A minor complaint is that when a child has repeatedly selected the wrong answer, instead of eliminating that answer and highlighting the correct one, the game simply tells you to try again. Given this structure and that this is a game for young children, Didi & Ditto Preschool is best played by a child and parent together. Once your child has outgrown this one, there are two more games in the series featuring the same characters: Didi & Ditto Kindergarten and Didi & Ditto First Grade.
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