My wife picked up a copy of this software for our son when he was only 18 months old. I thought she was crazy but I was proved well wrong.
Within minutes of installing our son had figured out how to use the mouse to move the arrow and a quick demo of how to left click and he was having a ball.
This software runs in full screen and requires a light switch to be clicked off to exit the game. So it is very forgiving when the user makes wild clicks and is also extremely responsive to every click thereby rewarding the keen young user.
As our kids got big enough to push a mouse, we noticed various Jump Ahead stuff at friends' houses, and last Christmas I took the plunge and bought a big box of three - JA Toddlers, JA Nursery and JA Preschool. A few months later, and all three are consigned to the bottom shelf. What went wrong? Well, it was a combination of things really. The games are very attractive, and full of variety. Loads of tasks are there and they're all no doubt very educational. For the real 'Big Brother' amongst us you can check on the child's progress and how many tasks they get right or wrong. However the tasks are not dissimilar, and don't really develop much. Once they're done, you get the same, but more (or faster). If the child can't do the task - and some are a lot harder than others - the game dosn't really adapt to this effectively. Although it sometimes gives clues it frequently does not. The atmosphere of the games is terribly proper. There's not quite as much 'fun' as you might expect from a real game - it's a bit earnest. Too much, perhaps, like being at school. You can go around and click on stuff, and get a few little rewards, but nothing really unexpected happens. About the most outrageous thing to occur is when you can encourage small pigs to cross the road without looking - they don't, of course, they sing a little song about how you should 'stop, look and live'. Hmm. Not many belly-laughs there. But my worst complaint is the actual program itself. Two out of the three games insist on running in 256-colour mode. They simply will not start if you do not have the computer set up to do this, and believe me, you don't. Changing this is beyond the means of many computer users, including my partner and certainly my children. What is the point of this? A program on sale in the year 2001 should just not do this. There's no excuse. It might be because the program is a r
evamped version of much older originals. Perhaps even more inconvenient than that is that children can easily start printing stuff out, or get out of the game and back into Windows, where they can cause untold havoc. It would be easy as anything to avoid all of this, and any other recent game I've seen does so perfectly. Why not these ones? It strikes me that these very good games are just a bit flabby - trading on what was perhaps a very good product a few years a go. I think from the other games I've seen that many other games are more fun, easier to use, and better value. Now I didn't tell the kids any of this. But within about 6 weeks, the games were forgotten, much of their contents unexplored. This certainly has not been the case with other games they have had. So, the people have voted with their mice. Their conclusion is that Jump Ahead has fallen behind.
As my daughter hasn't actually received this present yet, I can't really say how fun or educational she is going to find it! But ... after trying it the other night (just to check it works honest!!) I thought that it was brilliant. We have bought her both the Toddler jump ahead and the starting school pack. On the Toddler program the opening scene is that of a childs bedroom, everything you click on does something, a toy car drives around the floor etc... There are 8 play areas included on the C.D rom. One of my favourite features is the discovering music, where the child can click on different instruments and learn what they sound like. There are some nice catchy songs for your child to learn which will also teach your child about the animals. I think that my daughters favourite feature will be the peek a boo game where you have to guess what animal is hiding behind the balloons, by popping the balloons the animal is revelaed! My only moan is the irritating chipmunk called giggles that directs you around the program. It is very very annoying, but apart from this I am hoping Behtnay wil love it !! I will update you after christmas... One last thing, when we bought our version they had an offer on in WH Smiths buy one get another half price. I don't know if they are still running this offer, but it is worth checking it out.
I had the knowledge adventure range bought for my son when he was three, I found it showed him how to use the mouse at such a young age. He was so glued to all the bright colours and fun tasks that he learnt so much so quickly Each cd rom has a parents guide so you can watch the progress of your child as they learn more. I personaly rate the preschool CD Rom very high as it taught my son his alphabet at three years old, when I had his school teacher visit on his pre school visit she was very shocked when he started to sing the alphabet song and new it all the wway through with no problems. With all the Knowledge adventure my sons have enjoyed them very much and have not yet got bored of them. I think if learning can be made fun with these type of packages it is very worth while getting them......
I bought the jump ahead year 1 2000 for my 5 year old in orderr that she could enjoy her learning. Through working with Frankie and trying out the different exercises set, you can see the delight this simple but extensive software programme brings. As well as colouring exercises you can try simple maths, english and music. There are also several well kniown stories contained on the CD-ROM which can be read together. I have looked at several packages including the Sesame Street series, but the jump ahead series are by far the better.
My daughter started to play jump ahead year 1 when she was about four years old, you were able to see the progress that she had made by using this computer learning game. Jump ahead year 1 is for children aged between five and six, the attraction of this game is the green frog that introduces you to all the links through out this learning game. When the game is loaded it takes you to the first screen where you sign in then you will be taken in to the classroom where there are several topics to choose from. When you completed each topic you will earn a bottle top which you collet.There are several other rooms for you to go in and learn more and collect bottle tops. This game is a must for developing your child's education. There are more computer learning games by knowledge adventure which are toddlers,preschool,nursery,starting school,year 2 and discovery tree.
Fairy Tale, A true story, was first a film, then the cdrom came out. Knowledge Adventure are always good, and so is this. It for Ages 7- 11, although my youngest played on it age 5, and found it easy enough to use, and still likes playing on it. My 8 year old, now knows it off by heart and has done everything there is to do on it...so now doesn`t bother with it. It`s more of a girly cdrom, although boys may like it. It`s good: theres, Clips from the film, Memory puzzle, Fairy fact book, Fairy dictionary, Painting, Word search game. It starts in the Beck, where the Fairies live, scrolling through & clicking on things takes you to other places , such as The House, The Theater, The Attic, where there is more to do. Nanny Buttoncap is on the screen throughout, to help or give instructions. Some of the activities can be printed out. There`s a Fairy Journal, where kids can write their own Fairy Stories My daughters fav is In the Theatre there are some Houdini games where he is in chains or a tank full of water and he has to be saved. Plenty on this to keep kids amused for hours. Theres an Instruction pamphlet enclosed.
The Jump Ahead series has to be THE collection of children's educational programs. The series ranges from babies under 18 months to secondary school, and unlike the vast majority of children's software the American origins aren't apparent. The toddler CD-Rom is aimed at 18 months to 3 years and I've yet to find a single child of this age range who hasn't been totally mesmerised by it. There are several different games to play which can be activated either by pressing keys on the keyboard or waving the mouse around. There's a wonderful game where an animal is hidden between hundreds of coins/balloons/sweets etc. By moving the mouse around the objects disappear with suitable sound effects to eventually reveal the animal who then bursts into song, and not a twee toe curling ditty either. Education is very subliminal - hitting random keys will produce a result just as well as hitting the right key. Eg in the alphabet section, if you hit a letter (by luck or judgement) up comes an animated cartoon of something starting with that letter. If you hit a non-letter it doesn't ignore it or just tell you you're wrong but produces a fireworks display and a gentle prompt. Full of songs, animated click on sections and beautiful graphics, it was a sad day for me when my son grew out of this one.