I remember my first video game. My sister and I would sit in these big, awful-ugly yellow chairs and use our little black controller with a stick and a button to navigate our blobs around the gigantic screen of our wooden t.v. that sat on the floor. It was a big day when we got that gray square box to "upgrade" our game-playing. Then we would sit on those ugly chairs with our little square remotes and a huge bucket of that pink gum between us. It didn't take long for us to beat that first game. Mario and Luigi were no match for this powerful team. At most, these games taught us eye-hand coordination and fifty names to call our siblings mid-game. Oh how far we have come.
My kids love to "play computer". They see me on it enough, and I don't let them touch it....must be cool right? Well, now they can actually play on the computer, and learn while doing it. While I am not a huge fan of video games for the kids, I was all about the Jumpstart.com because while the kids just see a game, I see learning.
Since 1991, Knowledge Adventure® has set the standard in kids’ software by creating the finest educational products for use in the home and the classroom. In March of 2009, Knowledge Adventure launched JumpStart.com, a groundbreaking evolution in children’s learning games and the first learning game delivered in a browser with high-quality 3D graphics and advanced game play. Jumpstart.com is a completely safe and secure online environment where kids can interact, explore and learn.
The game is geared towards ages 3-10, and since my son is on the bottom of that level, the games for him were very simple and fun. While we didn't visit the other worlds, I did peek in and ended up playing my own game it was so fun. I also found a fun dragon game where my little guy can hatch, raise, train, and release his own dragon!
For the littlest players (3-5) the Storyland has lots of fun preschool games, such as watering plants, decorating storybooks, storytime, decorating houses, and games such as matching and counting!
For kids 5-8, there is Adventureland, which is more "game-like" with role-playing. The kids explore a mystery island, and there are memory and speed games, as well as a fun Ghost Town game!
Every player gets their own avatar (which is called a Jumpee) that they get to dress....and they even get to be a superhero if they want to be! They will even get a super-silly name (who doesn't love super-silly names?) Throughout the game, they collect coins that will allow them to decorate their house or "buy" new clothes for their Jumpee. With a little bit of discussion, kids may start realizing that we actually have to DO something to buy all those cool things they want!
This was actually the first game I let my son play on the computer, and he caught on very quickly. I have let him play on both my laptop and my desktop, and he adapted right away to the difference of a mouse and a touchpad. I only had to point out once how to "click when something highlights". He quickly found his favorite games, so it took some encouraging to get him to try something else. His first favorite game was planting flowers, and after 20 minutes of watching this I showed him how fun the "library" was, where he moved pictures that matched the letter on the page. He was initially a bit nervous about trying the games they have, but once he tried them he really enjoyed them. The game is very encouraging, and was pretty cute. My son got frustrated he wasn't matching the pictures, and when the game told him he was doing a good job he said "okay, I will try again". I was pretty surprised by what he was able to do. I walked away to switch the laundry and came back five minutes later, and he had managed to get out of one game and into another!
There were great positives I never expected. My daughter is too little to play the game (though she thinks she can!), but she loves to watch her brother play. And there are three great positives from this:
- Baby Girl is learning by watching. She is recognizing letters, matching pictures, and learning what words start with what letter. She even has her own favorite games that she asks her big brother to play.
- Playing together: The kids LOVE to do this together. They get along, Little Man explains things to Baby Girl. They cuddle and giggle.
- Learning teamwork and taking turns: Since Baby Girl can't move the cursor, Little Man does this and Baby Girl pushes the button. It is taking some time, but they are learning to play together.
Another great idea? Think gift! I have plenty of little ones that I know that would love to play this! A wonderful gift for parents, too, since they aren't dealing with another loud, duplicate or soon-to-be destroyed toy! And the best part is that one membership is good for up to 6 family members!!
And with each membership you also get 4 downloadable games!
Check out all membership levels and prices HERE!
And I get the wonderful opportunity to give this as a gift to one of you! Knowledge Adventure has generously offered to give one of my readers a 3-month membership to Jumpstart.com!
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All opinions are my true opinions of the product, and no monetary compensation was received. I received a membership to Jumpstart.com to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation. Big thanks to Knowledge Adventure for providing the giveway!