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

Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival

Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival

Spring 2011 Video Games
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Price: $39.99
Gaming System: Nintendo Wii

Cookie Monster and Big Bird at a colorful and fun carnival-what's not to like? Preschoolers hang out with their Sesame Street pals at game zones such as the Grandstand, the Midway, the Food Court, the Petting Zoo and the Arcade where they play games that emphasize the most basic math skills-from number identification and counting to shape identification and pattern recognition.

The number-themed games includes carnival-like activities such as knocking down stacks of cans, serving pretzels, pumping up balloons to a certain size, seating the correct number of little monsters on a roller coaster, feeding animals the specific number of cookies, and tossing rings onto sticks.

The videogame comes with a fuzzy Cookie Monster remote cover for the Wii controller which is supposed to help the youngest of players grip the controller and focus on the only two buttons they'll need to push to play-but the sleeve seems to interfere more than facilitate. An in-game timer lets parents set limits on playtime, though parents probably will need to be on hand anyway.

Cookie's Counting Carnival does have a few other issues parents should consider before paying the steep price. In an attempt to kid-orient the game play, the designers made this experience nearly slow motion at times-and today's youngsters may get antsy waiting for Big Bird to get moving or the right answer to slow-w-w-w-ly appear on the screen. Also note that the game's controls aren't consistently responsive, making it especially hard for the youngest players who haven't developed a lot of hand-eye coordination anyway.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 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, Specialty & Online Retailers
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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