I know that there’s some controversy about screen time–TV, video games, and computer–especially for preschoolers. That said, my children both watch educational TV (and if I’m being honest, since my second child is so much younger than his big sis, he also watches her nine-year-old non-nutritive TV as well).

They both love computer games, and could navigate the computer easily shortly after celebrating their third birthdays. Computer games are fun, they are educational, and they keep them quiet. What more could I ask for?

If, like me, you like to let your children indulge in computer games, or if you’d like to start your preschooler off with some fantastic activities on the computer, here are two new games that my four-year-old son has been enjoying:

Mia’s Reading Adventure: The Bugaboo Bugs

This game by Kutuoka looks gorgeous, featuring TV or movie-quality 3D animation. In fact, when Kyle wants to play this game, he asks to watch “the movie” on the computer. There are two ways to play–either individual games, which I pull up for him, omia.jpgr the adventure which is more like a video game, which big sister Amanda prefers. The game says it’s appropriate for Kindergarten through grade three. My son just turned four and knows his letters and sounds, so there are some pre-reading games that he can play with my (or big sister’s) help, such as rhyming words or filling in a missing letter in a word. My fourth-grade daughter also enjoys it (although she says she’s just helping her brother play), and finds the adventure portion to be a challenge, so I’d say that age range is appropriate.

The game focuses on literacy skills such as sight word recognition, phonics, rhymes, spelling and more, as Mia enlists the help of the player to help rid the old Victorian house where her family has lived for generations of the Bugaboos before they all get exterminated.

This is a DVD-Rom (which allows for more content on the single disk to showcase the rich graphics) and will run on Windows Vista, XP or 2000 and Macintosh.

Kyle and Amanda enjoying Mia Reading together

JumpStart Advanced Preschool World

This is another amazing game using 3D technology. It is geared for ages 3 to 5, and my computer savvy 4-year-old picked it up fairly easily, but I can also see that it will provide hours of challenging fun.

This is an adventure type game, where the preschooler navigates through the world. There are some features which will appeal to some kids, especially if they are reluctant to play the “educational” portion of the games:preschool-world.jpg

  • on each visit to Preschool World (or as many times as they desire), players can change the clothes of their virtual self and also change hair color, skin color, and other features.
  • upon completion of one of the games, players receive special deliveries into their mailbox
  • the player can also personalize his house–selecting the windows, doors, roof and color.

Kyle loves these special features that help make the game his own, so much so that he’s probably not noticing that he’s learning number and letter concepts, vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and so much more which will help get him ready for school.

This 4-disc game requires a lot of memory (1.4 GB), and runs on Windows XP or Vista, but in spite of its mass, it has run quite easily on my computer.

If you’d like to win one of two sets of both of these games, spread the word, and leave a comment on this post. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian addresses. The winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Creative Summer Days event on June 24.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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