30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
How to think, not rote learning - and they think it's a game,
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This review is from: Zoombinis Island Odyssey (CD-ROM)
The striking thing about Zoombinis is you never see a number on screen, just mechanisms and patterns and things to solve. From my point of view, the approach means it is stimulating and training *how they think*, rather than their rote ability to do calculations. From the kids' point of view, it means this feels like just a game, not an educational CD at all. Lots of CDs aim or claim to make education *FUN!!* but most fail, usually in an irritating, patronising way. Zoombinis deliver: my 6 and 8 year old boys play these almost obsessively (the younger one watching and suggesting, which isn't always peaceful!) as if it was some video game designed *solely* for fun. Whoever put these together really knows how to get players hooked. If you need to improve their times tables or number bonds directly, go somewhere else, but if you want them to enjoy learning, be intrigued, and be already comfortable with many concepts when they encounter them in the classroom, start here. My elder son asked me the other day what a cube would look like in four dimensions (I had no idea, but I'm told it would be drawn like the Aquacube in this CD), so I think they work! Oh, and one excellent detail: they custom-design their Zoombinis at the start, just like you can design characters in Playstation etc games. This might seem cosmetic and superficial to an adult, but I think it is very important to the kids. My boys' ones always have shades and mohicans, but there are enough pink trainers and ponytails available to make the girliest of little girls feel at home too.