Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear Learning 2nd Grade

Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear Learning 2nd Grade

Fall 2000 Software
Ages: 6 - 8 yrs.
Price: $19.99
Review:
Andy took Woody to Show 'n' Tell, so Buzz and the toy gang have Andy's whole bedroom for exploring 11 learning activities that emphasize 40 assorted second-grade skills. While some of these activities are fun, especially given the "Toy Story" cast of characters playing roles in them, they aren't comprehensive and tend to lack depth--both of educational content and of play value. The musical, keyboard-pounding Sonic Arranger, for instance, lets kids insert cartridges of pre-arranged music and play along, but it tends to prove aimless after a while. The arithmetic-fueled Launch Pad is a thinly disguised series of multiplication problems that won't keep a kid's attention long once they've seen the rockets launch a few times at the right answer. And while Fractions Arcade packs an animation punch--firing rockets to split asteroids into halves, thirds or quarters--it proves redundant after a while. Best of the activities: Doodle Challenge in which kids use hints, deductive reasoning, word recognition and spelling to fill letters in blanks on a Doodle Pad that reveals elements of the drawing representing the word with each correct letter choice. And Andy's Scrap Book is a fun way to strengthen reading comprehension skills as players change key words in stories to alter meaning as well as the storybook picture above the text. While the difficulty level automatically adjusts as the player's skills progress, no sign-in at the beginning means the program can't track a child from one play session to the next. And because this program contains several activities that are nearly identical (but with an academic upgrade) to those in "Buzz Lightyear 1st Grade," kids who graduate from one to the other might be disappointed in the similarities.
Don Oldenburg   ©2000 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Major Retailers
Disney Interactive Studios
800-900-9234
http://www.disneyinteractive.com
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004U5QZ/parentschoice-20

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