Play and Learn


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.


  1. Erica says

    Sometimes I’ve got stuff to do, and the only way to get my not-at-all-independent child to play without me is to give her a game to play on the computer. This would be awesome! Thanks! I’ll spread the word…Erica, gumbi1313 at msn dot com

  2. Crystal says

    My son would love either of these. He’s starting to get bored with Caillou, the only computer game we have for him. He could use a new challenge!

  3. Tessa says

    I would love to have these for my children! They love playing on the computer and I love having great games for them to use. Thanks!

  4. Liberty says

    DD would just be in love with something new on the computer! I really appreciate the reviews as it is so hard to just go choose something without another mom’s opinion! Thanks! :)

  5. LisaW says

    oooh! count me in! I think my twins are just about ready for something like this–and this one sounds great.

  6. Heather Turner says

    This would be great for my son. He’s been messing with the computer because he is curious. We currently don’t have any computer games for him so this would be a great start! I would love for him to be having fun while learning! Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Teresa Holtyn says

    My 4 year old would love this! She likes to play on the computer but I don’t have any age appropriate games. These sound perfect!

  8. says

    I too think that there is some value in educational programming and computer activities. I haven’t tried either of those but I bet my 4 year old would love them!

  9. says

    I have blogged (for an extra entry) about this contest over at my blog since I have always admired what you offer not only in great giveaways, but what you have to say!!!

    I completely believe that our kids need to continue reading and writing and learning over the summertime to keep their brains working (plus, it makes them ready for the following school year).

    I’d so love to win this learning program for my little girls (Patience 6 and Piper5).

  10. says

    I let the kids play games, obliviously or I wouldn’t have entered the Wii contest. But I like to keep it limited at the same time. I love the jumpstart games but since we got the mac it doesn’t work because it isn’t compatible. Do you know if the other game will work on our computer? This is the one big downfall of the mac that I’ve found so far.

  11. charline s says

    My grandson could use these as he will be starting school when it starts back. and he gets rather bored with the games we have now.

  12. says

    Thank you for the ideas. My two toddlers watch a lot of PBS during the day. It’s all educational so I think it’s okay. They havn’t mastered the computer yet!

  13. says

    My niece is in love with the computer right now. She loves to play games and watch shows and type and anything else she can do on it. She would love these games.

  14. says

    My little one is starting to get into the computer I let him play on PBS with me of course so he would love something like this Thanks I have your button on my side bar!

  15. says

    My oldest son has the jumpstart world for second grade. My youngest (preschool age) loves it and wants to play but the content is too advanced for him. He has done some of a Kindergarten version of this – but again it’s not preschool level. I was thrilled to see that a preschool world exists and would definitely be interested in winning. Thanks!

  16. Betty N says

    These would be great for my 3+ grandson! When he comes to visit he wants to use grandma’s computer and I don’t have much for him to do on it. This sounds perfect!

  17. Anne says

    These would be fun to participate in with my grandkidlets!! I think they would love to play on the computer!!

  18. Cindi says

    Hi! I would love to win a set for my 6 year old nephew. Please enter me in your drawing. I always appreciate it…..Thanks,Cindi

  19. Bhavana says

    I think these are great! I make sure my children get the same amt of screen time it computers or the tv. They certainly have learnt tons from these venues!

  20. anne s. says

    This would be perfect for me b/c i have a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old. It would be amazing entertainment for the summer!

  21. Susan C says

    My four year old grandson is not allowed to touch the computer at his house, but I let him play with mine. It would be fun to have one of these games for when he visits.

  22. says

    I would love to win this, my son is so crazy about the computer right now! And anything new he can learn, he just soaks it up!

  23. Tara Hill says

    My son already likes to look at the computer screen! I know he would love this game soon! Thanks!

  24. Deanne S says

    My son is just getting started on the computer and he loves it. I’m always looking for new and exciting products to hold his intrest as we learn about letters so this would be perfect.

  25. Cindy O says

    I am getting ready to start my toddler on preschool learning games on the computer and would love these. I am sure my new problem would be getting her off the computer!

  26. says

    I would love to win a set! As a homeschooler, I always try to supplement their learning with educational games in addition to their deskwork. We all know how well a computer can hold their attention – all the better if they learn something while playing! :) And what a great tool to reinforce what their learning during school time.
    Thanks ladies!

  27. kerri says

    My daughter loves doing the computer she feels so big shes 4 and loves to learn i am not kidding either she loves to read and sound out words it is so much fun with her because you can see it in her eyes how proud she is when she hears good job and it really sweet

  28. Sandy F. says

    this would be a great thing for my son and i to do together when the baby takes a nap. count me in…thanks!!!

  29. Christine says

    These games are right up my son’s alley. Right now he is really into educational activities like education computer games, flash cards, and board games. He would love these!

  30. Tanya Moyer says

    I’d love to win Mia’s Reading Adventure! My 6 year old is really into reading right now, and during this summer break, she is into computer games, so this would really be a big hit! Thanks for offering this – it’s a great giveaway!

  31. says

    Too funny…my daughter and I were just looking at Mia’s Reading Adventure in the Mac store the other day! I think it would be a great learning tool (and she thought it was pretty neat too). We’d love to win these!!

  32. christine says

    I would love to have either of these games for my Daughter, or both :) I like to put learning in with playing, and with this game it looks like my Daughter would have fun doing both…. Thanks, Christine

  33. Sandra says

    My son really loves practicing his computer skills…I would love to give these a try.

    owatz (at) telus (dot) net

  34. K. Cleaver says

    Two of my sons are just at the right age for this. Sounds like something they’d learn a lot from.

  35. Peggy Miller says

    If they are going to play on the computer, they may was well be learning in the process. Good prize!

  36. Catherine KingChuparkoff says

    Mias reading adventure looks darling, and we love anything in the jumpstart series…

  37. Jennifer Harriman says

    my daughter could really use these, she is bummed because she missed our cut off date here for kindegarden and will need to go back to preschool for another year. She’s so smart and loves my computer. This would be an awesome surprise for her

  38. Christy Hickman says

    I would love to win this for our son who will turn 3 in December. We also have one on the way that would benefit from it also. Thanks for the chance to win it!!

  39. Jennifer Schroeder says

    What a great learning opportunity for my two young sons. Thank you for the opportunity to win this!

  40. Sara says

    Thank you so much for entering me. I would love to have this for my son, he is so into learning and loves to sit on our lap at the computer right now and this would be perfect for him!

  41. says



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