NAPPA 2004: Software for Early Elementary Students
P>By Janice Stickley-White
TABLE cellPadding=0 width=95 align=left border=0 valign="top">
TD width=85> If you want the children in your life to get the most out of their screen time - and you want to make sure you're spending your money on worthwhile products - check out these winning titles. They are easy to install, easy to operate and visually remarkable. Intriguing sounds, music and characters set in violence-free environments mean you'll feel OK when they're played repeatedly. Plus, all of these titles teach as they entertain.
Gold Award Winners
P>I Spy Spooky Mansion Deluxe, Scholastic Inc., 2004; $19.95; WIN 98/ME/2000/XP and Mac G3 or later; www.scholastic.com/ispy.
The visuals in this series get more impressive with every release. Based on the I Spy book series by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo, the I Spy programs take players on a journey through incredible settings where they seek out and respond to I Spy riddles. In Mansion Deluxe, players wander within a mysterious house, uncovering three surprising ways to get out.
P>Mia's Language Adventure, Kutoka Interactive, 2003; $19.95; WIN 98/2000/ME/XP or Mac OS X; www.kutoka.com.
Yes, it's Mia again. But how can anyone resist this endearing mouse, her lively friends and the absolutely engaging surreal world in which they live? These graphics are among the very best. What's more, this language program does a superb job of teaching kids Spanish and French. The problem-solving adventure takes players down a learning trail that is absorbing and rich with visual detail. If you haven't met Mia, it's time to take a peek.
P>Honors Award Winners
P>Lingo's Classmate, Lingo Corporation, 2004; $39.95 (handheld tool); www.lingotravel.com.
This handheld translator converts English, Spanish and French. Great for learning or travel. Compact and fun. Making Music, Viva Media, 2003; $29.99; WIN 95/98/ME/2000/XP and MAC OS X, OS 9, OS 8; www.viva-media.com.
Looking for true music training for the younger set? This program is smashing. No reading required, just lots of sound and splash. It's visually artistic and academically on cue.
P>To see winning software titles for other age groups, return to NAPPA 2004 Award Winners: Software.
See also: NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Software