Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this subscription-based educational product -- which teaches everything from reading to math to self-expression -- only works on Windows-based computers using a broadband connection and Internet Explorer. There is nothing too controversial, as long as you're comfortable with your kids learning from Disney characters. The content changes every two weeks and adjusts in difficulty, depending on how well the child does. Parents needn't worry that their kids will accidentally end up on another Web site because the format locks kids inside the program until a parent enters a code to let them exit.
What's it about?
Kids playing PLAYHOUSE DISNEY PRESCHOOL TIME ONLINE are greeted by Bear from the Bear in the Big Blue House television show. He guides kids through the biweekly learning adventure, which features games with characters from Playhouse Disney shows including The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey & Friends, Jo-Jo's Circus, Higglytown Heroes, Stanley, Rolie Polie Olie, andThe Koala Brothers. By playing games with characters like Pooh or Stanley, kids learn preschool skills that cover reading and math readiness, thinking, social behavior, daily living, and imagination and self-expression. Each biweekly installment has its own theme, like "Bravery" or "Healthy Habits."
Is it any good?
The graphics are TV quality and are accompanied by engaging songs and dialogue. Preschool Time Online uses voice-over content, so no reading is required. Because the difficulty of the biweekly content adjusts on the fly, it grows with the child.
Preschool Time Online provides parents with a separate area to track their kids' progress (up to five children). It also offers additional materials, including an excellent online game that teaches kids how to use the mouse and keyboard. But the navigation can be a bit confusing for preschoolers trying to play it alone, a few of the activities start at too difficult a level, and we could not get a musical art activity to work. Because there is so much high-quality content, these few shortcomings don't impact greatly on an otherwise outstanding preschool product.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the theme of material. If the theme is "Healthy Habits," for example, then families can discuss which foods are healthy, or what they already do to keep themselves from getting sick. Did you learn anything in the game that you didn't know before? What do you know that's not included here?