First grade is filled with new challenges, as kids focus on
developing skills in reading and math along with a host of other
subjects. Happily, there are a number of edutainment software
titles that will help kids practice their newfound skills at home.
First Grade Programs
All-Purpose 1st Grade Program
& 2nd Grade Excelerator
Advanced 1st Grade
Rabbit 1st Grade: Capers on Cloud Nine!
CD-ROMs, each of which is devoted to a subject.
skill-building activities; arcade games as rewards
story line with 7 educational activities along the way.
different programs for the price of one; the only program
with foreign language instruction
variety of activities, smart features.
playful approach to learning; high incentive to play.
bright graphics; educational games have high value
integrated (4 different CDs); some dated graphics
sometimes grow tiresome.
and animations are sometimes superfluous.
be too challenging for some kids.
looking to add variety to their software collection; kids
who are studying Spanish in school.
fans; struggling students.
who appreciate an ample reward system and lots of variety.
first graders; kids who enjoy an adventure format.
Rabbit First Grade
Pick A particularly engaging program that takes kids on
an adventure as they take part in educational activities is Reader
Rabbit 1st Grade Capers on Cloud Nine! This rather challenging
program is involving, filled with songs and gorgeous animations,
and brimming with valuable educational content.
[Buy Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
has been repackaged along with a music CD featuring Reader Rabbit
songs, a "printable activities" CD, and flashcards: Reader Rabbit 1st Grade. The
graphics in the game are appealing, and parents will certainly appreciate the
title's organization. In fact, its organization is a strong factor in this
comparison, as the other programs suffer from a lack of cohesion.
[Buy Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
hunts and eye-popping graphics, JumpStart Advanced 1st
Grade is appealing to kids. Its activities are rather
educational and quite varied. Plenty of
motivational rewards are herein fact, some parents might find
there is too much focus on rewards. As well, because so
many topics are covered, there is not a whole lot of focus or
depth in any one subject. The program is a little too busy for our
liking. Still, the program helps kids equate
learning with fun.
[Buy JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade]
Grade is an encouraging program that keeps kids busy learning.
It's probably best for Arthur fans, because though the activities
are sound, there are none that truly stand out. Still, the smart
features in this program are commendable, and the educational
content is multi-level and age-appropriate. [Buy Arthur's First Grade
In 1st and
2nd Grade Excelerator, a 4-CD-ROM set, kids will get a simple but
effective Spanish-learning software, Instant Immersion Spanish
for Kids, a paint and print studio loaded with options and
starring Curious George, an excellent math program that allows
kids to explore and experiment entitled Mighty Math Zoo
Zillions, and a so-so reading program called Beginning
Reading 1-2. This bundle is notable for its range of offerings
and foreign language content. None of the programs are
particularly exciting to play, but the package's strength lies in
the fact that each of its featured subject areasmath, reading,
foreign language, and creativityis explored in more depth than
the other titles in this comparison.
[Buy 1st And 2nd Grade Excelerator (4 CD-ROM)
Older first-grade titles that are
still quite worthwhile include Big Thinkers First Grade, which can
be found bundled with two other titles in a very low-priced
package, entitled Big Thinkers
Series Bundle. The first grade title is truly packed with
educational and creative activities. It's harder to find this
title, but if you can get your hands on it, it's truly worth
[Buy Big Thinkers Series Bundle
title that has excellent educational value is Microsoft My
Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade. This is a good program for
your first-grader to play now, and grow into as his or her skills
develop. This 3-CD-ROM set is very valuable and includes an
especially effective and focused reading program. We love this
[Buy Microsoft My Personal Tutor 2.0...
For a fun and
breezy program that helps kids practice language arts skills, turn
Puzzles Grade 1 by School Zone Interactive. It's packaged with
a colorful workbook and contains electronic workbook pages. While
the educational content is not very deep, this program presents a
surprisingly fun way to practice facts at home. As well, most
first graders will find the program exactly the right challenge.
[Buy Spelling Puzzles 1
fabulousand delightfully differentprogram by School Zone Interactive
that is just right for first-graders is Vocabulary Puzzles Grade
1. It, too, is paired with a printed, high-quality workbook. What
this title does is encourage children to play with words through
crosswords, codes, rebus puzzles, word searches, and more. It's
hard to find word puzzles targeted at first-graders, and this
program fits the bill perfectly with age-appropriate exercises.
Fun and educational.
[Buy Vocabulary Puzzles Grade 1
I Can Read with Phonics contains two tried-and-true Reader
Rabbit titles that are ideal for kids who know how to read
basic words, but who can benefit from further practice developing
phonics and sight word skills.
[Buy Reader Rabbit Learn To Read With Phonics! 1st-2nd Grade
who can benefit from intensive phonics and sight word practice
will get a good workout with a package entitled Phonics, Reading,
& Writing Excelerator, which contains the 2 Let's Go Read
titlesprograms that are systematic and thorough, and that
incorporate speech recognition. The two other older titles from
the Imagination Express series further the learning to
creative writing, which may be too advanced to think about for
many first-graders, but they are programs that kids can eventually
[Buy Phonics, Reading and Writing Excelerator...
Focus on Math
workbook from School Zone Interactive entitled Math Grade 1
is particularly appropriate for basic math facts practice. Parents
will appreciate its age-appropriate content, and kids will
actually love playing the fun games and completing the bright,
colorful workbook pages. This title lacks depth, but has loads of
appeal and helps reinforce facts.
[Buy Math 1
Focus on Logic
The best Humongous adventure pack for
this age group is Humongous
Heroes Three-Pack. Three adventures starring fantastic
"heroes" are included: Putt Putt Travels through Time,
Freddi Fish 3, and Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning
Aren't So Frightening. Any one of these titles is worth the
price of the whole package. All are outstanding for
problem solving fun, and probably perfect for the first grade
crowd. Though not as explicitly academic as the other titles
mentioned here, these problem-solving adventures do make kids
think logically, plan ahead, and visualize. The programs require
drawing upon memory skills and are entertaining--and very
satisfying--at the same time.
Heroes Three Pack at Amazon.com]
Leapster Game: First Grade
If you own
the Leapster portable, handheld system, the Leapster 1st
Grade cartridge for the Leapster is an excellent game, with
challenges that are dead-on for first grade practice. The
program's challenges adapt to a child's performance, and
tips are in place for problem areas.