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Blue's ABC Time Activities, created by Humongous Entertainment, is a wonderful pre-reading adventure for young children! A child learns language skills and has fun at the same time. The software is based on Nickelodeon's preschool program "Blue's Clues," and features Steve and a cast of two-dimensional animated characters, among them Blue, a fun-loving, spotted blue dog. There are word puzzles, alphabet mazes, bathtime rhymes, and jungle animals that help kids learn. The price for Blue's ABC Time Activities is $19.99. There is also a Blue's Birthday Adventure, price $29.99. Both games can be used with a PC with Windows or a Macintosh. The Humongous Entertainment Web site is a great place for both parents and kids to visit. There is all sorts of information, games and such.

Blue's ABC Time Activities is designed for preschoolers ages 3-6. The game has adjustable levels of difficulty and emphasizes early learning skills such as:

  • Initial letter recognition
  • Upper and lowercase letter discrimination
  • Alphabet recognition and sequencing
  • Phonics
  • Visual and Auditory discrimination
  • Consonant blends
  • Word formation
  • Early vocabulary
  • Rhyming
  1. Multi-level learning activities reinforce pre-reading skills;
  2. Collect letters to create silly stories in Blue's Word book;
  3. Print Blue's Word Book and other activities to share with family and friends;
  4. Difficulty levels automatically adjust to meet each child's skill level;
  5. Easy-to-use, in-depth Help File on disc.

Installation. The program was very easy to install. One excellent feature of Humongous products for users who have limited disk space is that they don't take that much space.

Interface. The interface is well-done and children love to see the same characters they already know from the television series. The graphics are bright, the music and rhymes are appealing to parents and children.

Storyline. Blue has an interactive Word Book where she keeps her stories, but she needs to collect some words to finish the sentences. There are seven activities in Blue's ABC Time Activities, including the Word Book where children can create stories with the words they collect while playing the other six. The characters and items in the Living Room represent the activities, and children can click on anyone of them to start an activity. The activities include the following:

  1. Alphabet Maze--Shovel and Pail have created an alphabet maze in the backyard sandbox. Children need to follow the alphabet to reach them and collect words as they proceed. These activity teaches children ABC sequencing and letter identification.

  2. Bathtime Rhymes--Slippery Soap needs kids help to make some rhymes. In this activity, children can help Blue stir up the suds in the tub and watch four bubbles with pictures in them rise up. As Blue stirs up the bubbles, they are learning vocabulary words.

  3. Felt Friend's Word Puzzles--Felicia is waiting for kids to play with shapes and words. Children need to click on the scattered puzzle pieces and letters and put them into place on the outline. As each puzzle is finished, it becomes an animation. There are 20 different puzzles to play with. Good activity for letter and shape recognition.

  4. Mailtime--Mailbox has a message to deliver but there's a problem. Some of the words are missing letters. She needs help to fix them. Kids learn to identify letters and upper and lower case words when they help Blue in this activity.

  5. Safari Snapshots--The Lion Price is ready to take kids and blue on a jungle safari, and he wants to take pictures of all the animals in the alphabet. Blue has a camera but needs help finding the animals.

  6. Snacktime--Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper have been shopping but their list is torn and they need help matching the snacks to the letters on their list. This snacktime adventure emphasizes phonics, vocabulary and auditory discrimination.

  7. Blue's Word Book--Blue is creating stories to share with Steve, but she needs help with collecting words. A letter of the alphabet is earned for each correctly completed task, and words are then made from the accumulated letters. Children can visit the word book at any time where color coded words are inserted into identically coded stories. As each story is completed, Blue draws an accompanying illustration. The book pages can then be printed. This is a great pre-spelling, early vocabulary and word recognition activity.
For those parents who are concerned with teaching their children the joy of reading Blue's ABC Time Activities is a must. It puts strong emphasis on the fun of reading. Blue is a lovable dog, and each of the supporting characters possess their own unique charm. All the activities are easily understood and completed, with catchy songs and rhymes. Blue's ABC Time Activities is a great buy as well as a great investment in your child's education.
Processor: Pentium/90MHz or higher
Operating System: Windows 95 or higher
Memory: 16MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 80MB
256 color monitor (460 x 480)
4X CD-ROM drive
Sound Card

Graphics: Adobe ImageStyler
Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series