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

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Beach Day

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Beach Day

Fall 2009 Video Games
Ages: 4 - 7 yrs.
Price: $24.99
Gaming System: Leapster
Ni Hao Kai-lan Beach Day, a title for the Leap Frog Leapster has three activities themed for Kai-lan's day at the beach with her friends. This game teaches early number sense, phonics skills, logic and reasoning, and memory skills.

The most successful of the three activities is "Beach Photos." Hoho wants to take home a large pail full of objects for the beach, but Kai-lan encourages him to take pictures of the things instead. To take pictures, the player must decide which of the things is not like the others, a standard but sweet sorting game. "Flip a Pail" is a memory game where the player flips pails to find matching pairs of letters, rhyming words, words and pictures. Unfortunately the text is tiny, making it difficult for beginning readers to see. And without instruction, a child must know her letters to be able to play this game. The "Swim For It" game is a number identification, side-scrolling swimming race. This game is the most like an arcade game and could be problematic for younger users. With the small screen, there is not much time to find the correct number, and the Leapster is not exceptionally responsive to the action of the arrows. A child who might do well with the number identification may not have the reflexes to swim over the correct number in time.

Despite the fun beach theme, the games are standard fare; two of which border on difficult for this age group. However, parents whose children have the Leapster2 can connect online to the LeapFrogĀ® Learning Path to see what their child is playing and learning.

Amy Kraft   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Amy Kraft is a freelance writer, producer, and game designer with over ten years of experience making media for children. She writes the blog Media Macaroni and lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and son.

Look for this product at:
LeapFrog Enterprises
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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