LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: The Magic School Bus: Oceans
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: The Magic School Bus: Oceans invites kids to explore the ocean with Mrs. Frizzle and the other Magic School Bus characters. In one mini-game, kids must eat creatures that fall lower in the food chain. There is nothing graphic (smaller creatures just disappear), but some kids might find it upsetting.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
- life cycle
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
Information is presented through a range of fun games, and most of the time kids can choose which games to play. The game cleverly ties the playing of a lot of mini-games to saving up enough energy to "travel" to the ocean.
Many of the wealth of facts are presented while playing the mini-games, some of which are better than others. Most of the games have multiple levels for kids to choose from.
Parents can access data about their child's progress through the LeapFrog Learning Path. LeapFrog has a wealth of information and resources for parents and educators on their site via their blogs, printables, and activities areas.
What's it about?
In LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS: OCEANS, Mrs. Frizzle's class is preparing for a parents' night. They must decorate the classroom with ocean facts. As expected, Mrs. Frizzle packs the kids into the Magic School Bus for a field trip to explore the ocean first-hand. Before taking off, kids design their own driver's license. Then they must fill up the fuel tank on the bus. They earn fuel by playing mini-games such as identifying marine creatures with certain features (a dorsal fin, eats other animals, has spots), acting out a food chain (chomping on animals lower in the food chain), and identifying a creature using just a flashlight in a dark space. When the bus has enough fuel, kids trace a series of shapes to help the bus navigate through the ocean. Kids will visit an intertidal pool, coral reef, continental shelf, open ocean, and deep ocean floor. At each location, they collect information about the four creatures present, including pictures, x-rays, information, and a close-up shot. In many cases, they need to use the clues to figure out which creature is the one to collect.
Is it any good?
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: The Magic School Bus: Oceans has some great information to share with players about marine life and why a creature might have certain characteristics. Kids may find they are employing a lot of trial and error to complete tasks as information isn't always presented before it appears in a game. Kids will also need to play a lot of mini-games to save up enough fuel to move between locations. LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: The Magic School Bus: Oceans is best for kids who already have an interest in marine life. It's a great way to learn more about the ocean and build on pre-existing knowledge.