Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jump Start Review....and Giveaway

I'm going to switch gears for a moment, from my usual dialogue about my love of running and food, to my main love in my life.....my kids.  For this review you'll have not only my opinion, but Luke (age 6), and Eliza's(almost 4) as well.

We had the chance to review Jump Start, which is a browser based virtual world of learning and games.  This is an educational website for kids age 3 - 10 where they learn how to navigate among the many areas such as The Neighborhood, Town Square, The Jungle and The Beach, along with additional games that you can download.

The three of us had a great time with this game.  There are so many different places to play, the number of choices is almost overwhelming, but there is a dog named Frankie to help you navigate through.  Right off the bat I noticed how L&E interacted with each other while they explored the different areas, they weren't competing against each other, they played together, with Luke helping Eliza with the more difficult parts.  They laughed out loud at certain things, like the Matching Duckie game, and both got excited about hatching a baby dragon in the Enchanted Sanctuary.

To play the game, the kids made an avatar, as they played games they acquired coins that they could redeem in different stores, like the Pet Store.  There is a star in the top corner of the screen, showing what level they had achieved in the game.  In the lower left corner is a map icon, which brought them easily to whatever part of the game they wanted to be. As they played there were other avatars running around, of other children playing the game at the same time.  Through facebook you can link up with other players, although we didn't do that, it helps to earn more coins.

Luke is a great reader, it's easy to challenge him just by picking the right level book.  Right now he's learning basic math skills, which he was able to work on with the Stadium games, such as Basketball.  You can choose addition, subtraction multiplication or division, there was a question written on the basketball (ex: 5+1) and Luke had to click on the correct answer to keep the ball from falling. 

Eliza is all about her Littlest Pet Shop games and dancing, so she loved Storyland, and making her own houses. We started playing Jumpstart last month, and it was neat how they had Fireworks go off in the Main Street section for the Fourth of July.


I found the blog for parents helpful when we weren't sure how to proceed with something, a perfect example was when the kids wanted to venture to the Enchanted Sanctuary, to raise their own dragon.  They first had to earn enough coins, then within the Sanctuary they had to find and capture 15 hearts.  They competed with other avatars to get the hearts, so that caused some excitement.  After finding the hearts, they were told to look for an egg.  It took a while to find one, but once they did a Fairy told them to bring the egg to a hatchery.  They were able to choose the gender of the dragon, and the colors.  We had to check back a few times to see if it hatched, once it did they had fun feeding and bathing it, watching it grow, training it, and letting it fly.

I realize that technology is a big part of the kids lives, it's pretty much unavoidable these days.  They play Wii and Playstation for entertainment, but what I liked about JumpStart was that they were being entertained and learning at the same time.  Luke can navigate my laptop very easily now, a couple of times he took over when I was trying to get the avatar to swim or jump, he especially liked the Launch Pad that allowed the avatar to fly.  Overall, the three of us give JumpStart a thumbs up.

Now the fun part.  If you would like a chance at winning a three month membership to JumpStart, please leave me a comment, telling me what kind of games you enjoy playing with your kids. 

For additional entries:

1. let me know you are a follower of my blog, or become one, and let me know in a comment.
2. spread the word about this giveaway, any way you choose, via blog, twitter or facebook, and leave me a comment.

Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Wednesday, July 21.

Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

23 comments:

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

That seems very cool Molly! No kids here so I don't want to steal a chance from someone who could use it but a fun giveaway!

Emz said...

Completely awesome. I had never heard of this. I must agree.... that technology is a big part of the kids lives & that it's pretty much unavoidable.

Jill said...

Hi Molly, Jumpstart sounds really cool! I'm not in need of that as my kiddos are now waaaay old (not sure how that happened as I haven't aged in years! ;) ) so enter the giveaway but did want to say HI!! :)

Emz said...

I'm a follower!

Emz said...

I like any game that requires more movement than just the hands! ;)

misszippy said...

I'll link on my blog

NY Wolve said...

I haven't heard of that, but it sounds cool. I am between the two -- my 10 year would find it too young (she is so sophisticated, don't you know), and my 2.5 year old is on the 'puter yet. when she is I will have her check it out.

Angie Bishop said...

I follow!! I think this looks pretty cool!
My littles love to play on PBSkids.org and they learn new stuff all the time! Some tech is great :)

Angie Bishop said...

I posted a link to my blogs sidebar!

Teamarcia said...

linky poo on my blog for you!

Running Diva Mom said...

Thanks for alerting me about this giveaway! I’ve been out of touch with bloggy-world the last couple of weeks!

My 6 ½ year old daughter would love this!!!!

I follow your blog!!

Running Diva Mom said...

will link on my sidebar ......

Momma Such said...

My boys are reviewing this right now too and they love it! (Don't enter me in the contest.)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

COOL I am a follower

Erika said...

Never saw anything like that before! pretty awesome! I'm a follower!

Erika said...

Linked it on my blog:)

Erika said...

we only play wii at my house right now because it's a game where we are active and not sitting on our butts! We got resort sports and all of the monkeys love it! Only other games are played outside (hide and seek and such)!

Cynthia O'H said...

I find that the best way to get kids to learn something is to trick them into thinking it's a game - or developing a game to consolidate a skill.

I'm a follower.

Cynthia O'H said...

I'll link this to my blog.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I wish real life had a dog named Frankie to show us the way... :)

Sounds pretty cool!

Black Knight said...

Congrats on your great PR, sorry if I am a bit late. Very nice game. My kids are a little grown (31 and 25). Ciao.

Yvettewithdt said...

We play club penquin and Free Realms
yvettewithdt

Yvettewithdt said...

Following your blog
Yvettewithdt