Caillou is an animated boy who kids can't help but love. He is
curious, fun, and loves to learn--and he faces all sorts of
everyday dilemmas that preschoolers can easily identify with. We
were delighted to find that the PBS Kids show has made its debut
on CD-ROM. Best yet, the two titles available are very
worthwhile. Magic Playhouse and Birthday Party are unlikely to
disappoint little fans.
this title will please both parents and children. Caillou Magic
Playhouse is much
like an all-purpose preschool and Kindergarten title--it covers a
number of early learning skills like pre-reading and pre-math in
its 8 activities. Players start out by exploring the rooms of
Caillou's home, searching for 6 pieces of (easy-to-find)
"treasure". As they click around each room, they uncover
animated surprises and activities. Each game opens with a related
animation from the show and an instruction screen, and, once
complete, children are rewarded with a video from the puppet
segment of the television show.
of the activities are multi-level:
- Building Blocks: Kids build a
pictured toy, like a boat or car, and then identify it from
the shapes (level 1), spell out a word given the letters
(level 2), or spell out a word without clues (level 3).
- Caillou's Crafts: Kids select
activity pages to print, including coloring pages, connect the
dots, a cut-and-paste craft, and puppets.
- Tap the Tune: Rosie claps
along as kids help Caillou repeat the patterns that Julie taps
on the xylophone. As levels advance, the length of the tunes
- Sing & Dance: Players
select a song, like Frere Jacques, choose dance steps, then
watch as Caillou dances along to the song.
- Fly By Butterfly: Leo asks
Caillou to catch a certain number of matching butterflies. As
levels advance, the patterns on the butterflies' wings become
- Silly Stories: Children create
a silly story by selecting a friend, place, and 2 objects that
are included in the story. The words are highlighted as they
are read aloud, and kids can hear the pronunciation of any
individual word simply by moving the cursor over it.
- Sort the Socks: This matching
game involves finding pairs of socks with designs that become
more detailed as levels increase.
- Sky Spy: Kids identify objects
(such as a dog or triceratops) in the clouds.
This program is well done for the
most part. The video clips are short and interesting, the
activities are valuable and entertaining, and the design of the
program works rather well. Congratulations and instructions are
sometimes excessive, however.
We tend to prefer the other
available title, Caillou Birthday
Party, but the differences between the two are minor--both titles
are designed similarly.
- Educational activities
that address a variety of early learning skills.
- Plenty of
- Pleasing graphics and
video clips from the show.
- Encouraging feedback
- Instructions are
||By: The Learning Company