My heart is still in the Disney spirit, so I wanted to share two of Jake’s favorite games that he enjoys playing on the computer and the iPad. Both of these games get a double thumbs up on my rating scale. What criteria did these games meet to receive such a stellar rating from such a picky mama?
- User friendly (age-appropriate mouse/fine motor skills)
- Educational (covers the basics like abcs, numbers, shapes)
- Earns Jake’s loyalty (enjoys coming back to these games even when competition arises)
- Encourages speech & is interactive (not just staring in a trance-like state into the screen)
For a few months now Jake has really been digging the Disney Junior computer game “Treasure for Mama Hook.” Most kids love the show Jake and the Never Land Pirates, but our family thinks it’s extra cool that such a cute character bears the same name as Lil’ Man!
The purpose of this game is to guide Captain Hook and Mama Hook to hidden gems by completing three sets of treasure maps. Each map gets progressively harder and in my opinion, really makes a three-year-old think without crossing into the threshold of frustration. Each map has the following activities:
- Drag-and-drop shape puzzle that completes the picture of the map
- Add a trail to the treasure by clicking on the dots in order from 1 to 5, a to e, and smallest to biggest
- Color the map with a swipe of the brush and details magically appear
Another Disney favorite is “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally” on the iPad. According to the description on the app store, “The ‘appisode’ brings viewing and learning together in one interactive and cohesive experience.” I agree! I have to admit, however, that until I did this post I had never sat down and played this game with him. After all, if he brings me the iPad and wants a free app, what more do I need to know? I got my Aha! moment when I started hearing him answering questions that Mickey was asking. Gooo Jake for cruising the wide-world of apps and picking out a winner!
Mickey asks a variety of questions and a handy-dandy voice detector pops up in the corner each time. If Mickey doesn’t hear an answer he encourages, “You’ll need to speak up nice and loud so we can hear ya!” This app in my opinion, is very well-rounded and in addition to encouraging children to use their words, it teaches the following skills: stop, go, colors, shapes, counting, logic. There are of course plenty of “Oh Toodles!” moments and obstacles that are conquered via the trusty Mouseketool.
How about you guys? Any favorite fun and inexpensive apps or computer games you’d like to share?