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

Elmo's World:  Elmo's Big Discoveries

Elmo's World: Elmo's Big Discoveries

Fall 2005 Video Games
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Publisher: Sesame Workshop
Price: $10.00
Gaming System: V.Smile TV Learning System
This entertaining and educational Vtech game offers plenty of fun ways for the youngest of "gamers" to practice and learn letter and sound recognition, numbers, shapes and instruments. While the suggested age range is accurately gauged at 3-5, children as old as 7 or 8 might enjoy playing as well.

The Vtech device is easy to use. Small hands can insert the game into the player independently and young children can easily identify the on and off buttons. The game loads immediately and Elmo directs children to select from the Learning Adventures or Learning Zone. The former includes 4 games in which children can practice letter recognition, numbers, shapes and musical instruments while using a joy stick and jump button to maneuver Elmo through different locations. The latter consists of four activities in which students can practice mastery of these same skills through multiple choice questions. From this main menu music can be turned on or off and the number of players and level of difficulty (easy or hard) can be selected as well. The game graphics resemble Sesame Street's TV version of Elmo's World in their crayon sketch design, and children will recognize Elmo's high pitched, though sometimes inarticulate, voice along with visuals of other Sesame Street friends like Mr. Noodle, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster.

Elmo's Big Discoveries is an enjoyable and super-inexpensive way to provide a refreshingly different approach to mastery of basic skills. The games are created in such a way that skills frequently overlap and are interrelated (e.g. numbers appear in all games as points are tallied, colors are reinforced as children pop bubbles on the way from one undersea location to another as they practice size differentiation) to show their relevancy in a variety of ways. All of this is accomplished in a manner simple enough for a three year old to play independently. At a mere $10.00 and with plenty of replay appeal, this game is definitely awards material.

Angel Menefee   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Angel Menefee, a mother of three, tutors public and private school students from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12. Mrs. Menefee has authored foreign language, art and music curricula.

Look for this product at:
Electronics Stores
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Target Stores
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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