A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kinect Sesame Street TV isn't really a game, but rather an interactive version of the TV show that kids have watched for decades. Kids watch modern clips from the show as well as new ones created specifically for the software, occasionally interacting with the game's characters by, say, catching and throwing imaginary balls. In the process they'll learn about friendship, physical activity, numbers, letters, and other concepts commonly associated with PBS's famed series. It is completely safe even for the youngest of children, and may prove enjoyable for slightly older kids who have yet to outgrow their fondness for the show.
What's it about?
KINECT SESAME STREET TV is a collection of eight interactive 30-minute episodes of PBS's long-running educational series. Kids watch familiar clips from the show -- Feist singing \"1, 2, 3, 4,\" Elmo learning how to make a boat for a rock, a parody of the show Glee about the letter G -- as well as content created specifically for the software. This game even introduces a new Muppet named Cooper. Some of these segments require direct interaction, such as clapping to identify the letter of the day or standing still for as many seconds as the number of the day, while others include optional interactions, like pointing and saying \"picture!\" whenever you see a specific object in the background of clip. A handful of segments are passive, allowing kids the chance to sit back and rest. The software also comes with a season pass to the Kinect Sesame Street app, providing access to countless streaming segments spanning the show's 30-plus year history.
Is it any good?
You're unlikely to find any Xbox 360 software more suitable for young children -- or more educational. Kinect Sesame Street TV stays true to the show's philosophy, featuring content that is proudly educational and unabashedly geared for preschooler sensibilities. Important lessons about social interactions and numbers and letters play out in entertaining little stories filled with colorful characters and genuine humor. This is edutainment done right.
Perhaps the only stumbling block is a dearth of activity diversity. Each show follows a very strict formula with similar activities repeating across episodes. Some kids may find this reiteration comforting, but others -- especially those skewing toward the older range of the game's target audience -- are likely to find it a tad boring. Still, there's little denying this is a terrific title for kids that may represent the future of children's educational programming.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sharing. Why is it important to share? With whom do you frequently share? How do you feel if your friends don't share with you?
Families can also discuss what it means to be a family. What makes brothers and sisters different than friends? What makes moms and dads different than teachers and nannies?
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, spelling, vocabulary
Math: counting, numbers
Science: measurement, physics, substance properties
- Skills: Emotional Development: identifying emotions, self-awareness
Responsibility & Ethics: respect for others
Health & Fitness: movement
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: September 18, 2012
- Genre: Edutainment
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Puppets
- ESRB rating: EC for (No Descriptors)
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.