Winnie the Pooh
The Winnie the Pooh CD allows you to visit all of your favorite characters as you help them out with tasks in their homes. The skills include sorting, counting, listening/sound matching and language (Spanish and French). Each activity has three levels for children to progress through. The game culminates in a birthday party for Eeyore.
Although the activities are engaging, it would be nice if this collection included some free play activities where kids could interact without there being a right or wrong answer. Even the coloring page and music sections have expectations with no opportunity for open exploration.
Lack of free play aside, many of the activities can be done over and over, even once the child has completed the entire story. If your children love Winnie-the-Pooh, this CD will delight them.
The activities on the Mickey Mouse CD are based at diner/garage and include finding patterns, similarities and differences, and opposites. There is a music free play activity that allows you to play music by rolling the mouse over certain objects in a garage. The objects are limited, though, so kids may tire of it quickly. The other free play involves designing your own car and may have more appeal to this age set. You can mix and match parts of the car to create your own design and then paint it with various colors and patterns.
One of the biggest flaws on this CD is that it’s unclear which parts of the scene are going to lead to an activity. To make matters worse, the exit button is vague and doesn’t ask for confirmation. It will be easy for preschoolers to accidentally exit the game and then have to sit through game credits before restarting.
Although this CD has more opportunity for open play than the Pooh CD, your children are more likely to tire of some of the activities. Still, bundled with the other two software packages, this is a great value and will provide many hours of play.
Stanley: Wild for Sharks!
Stanley has a passion for aquatic animals and, with Stanley’s pet fish as a guide, your kids will learn more about sharks, stingrays and more. There are also activities that encourage problem solving and math. This CD follows a story format with puzzles and games along the way and is geared towards a slightly older child than the other two CDs in the set.
Stanley Wild for Sharks is the CD your kids are most likely to play with over time. As you progress through the story, you unlock various games that are then available for replay. These games bear a closer resemblance to the simple arcade games older siblings might be playing, requiring the user to dodge obstacles and collect gold coins. Unfortunately, they also require a much higher level of hand-eye coordination. Younger children will be frustrated by these games.
Overall this collection of CDs is a great value for the money. It’s high quality and will entertain and engage the kids. As expected from software geared towards this age group, the Disney Learning CDs gently redirect children from incorrect answers, so you can expect a positive learning experience.
- Windows 98/Me/XP (Runs ok on Windows Vista)
- Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 and below