A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the graphics and gameplay are pretty rudimentary. The games teach kids to distinguish healthy foods from junk food, and they encourage them to stay active.
What's it about?
NOTENIKS HEALTHY EATING & EXERCISE CD delivers eight simple games that teach kids to distinguish healthy foods from junk food, and encourage them to stay active. The games feature the NoteNiks kids, a diverse group of cartoon children representing different ethnicities, genders, and even handicaps. Kids distinguish healthy foods from unhealthy ones in several formats, including dragging fruits and vegetables onto a plate (while leaving the pizza, hotdogs, fries and donuts), navigating a maze to pick up fruits and vegetables, and using a basket to catch only healthy items that drop from the sky.
The games also tout the benefits of active living. In one, kids match an active person with a piece of equipment needed to do the activity. For example, kids will click on and drag a football to the outline of a person playing football. In another game, kids assemble a digital jigsaw puzzle whose completed picture reveals kids having fun being active.
Is it any good?
While the eight games are commonplace sorting, concentration, matching and maze games, the software manages to deliver a powerful message about eating healthy and exercising. Most of the content is read aloud to children when they scroll over the words. And while some of the messages are somewhat long-winded, the product does provide an interactive environment in which to learn about good eating habits and exercise.
It may seem strange to parents for a computer game to encourage kids to be more active, but sometimes kids are more receptive to learning important messages when they are delivered by cartoon characters in a computer game setting.
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