Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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Review: Super WHY! Touch and Learn Super Duper Computer

Our kindergartner Jake has been a big fan of Super WHY! for years. In fact, I think he has personally turned his younger brother and sister into Super WHY! fans as well. This Touch and Learn Super Duper Computer caught my eye because it is rare that I come across a learning toy that appeals to both toddlers and kindergartners.

Our nearly 3yr old twins are just entering the age where they can use this toy with assistance at the "easy" level and our nearly 6yr old son can already play the "hard" level games. On the one hand, it is wonderful to buy one toy that all 3 children find to be engaging, but on the other hand, we have 3 children fighting over one toy.

What I thought about this toy laptop from Learning Curve:

1) This toy computer is definitely designed to be attractive to children. My kindergartner thought it was pretty cool that it was designed to resemble the actual Super WHY! Super Duper Computer on the television show. There are actually some false buttons along the left and right sides that have no function except to add a coolness factor.

2) This computer is extremely user-friendly, thus being perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. The access password is only two letters. To get started, your child simply chooses a character, one of the 3 levels of play, and then one of 3 games available for that character. When a particular game has been completed, the computer asks if your child would like to play again.

3) I very much like the idea of the touch screen. It is fairly accurate for the most part and works with a fingertip as well as the built-in pen. Once in awhile, my son had problems selecting the right target when there were more than one close together. For example, on one activity there was a set of drawers and he had trouble getting the correct one to open.

4) As you can see in the photo below, the screen has somewhat of a mirror shine, so I could not read the screen very easily while I was sitting next to Jake because of that reflection.

5) I like that the activities are based on well-known stories, such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." I do wish there were more than just 3 activities per character.

6) I like that the games on this computer are offered in 3 levels of difficulty focusing on some basic skills, such as rhyming, reading, and opposites.

Overall, I think this toy would be best for a preschooler. Our twin toddlers are on the cusp of being able to use this toy. Our kindergartner, who is a little ahead for his age as far as reading skills go, is barely challenged by the most difficult level of games. If you purchase this toy computer for a 4yr old child, then you should get about two years of use out of it, which I think is a decent value for a learning toy.

Thank you to Learning Curve for providing us with a review product free of charge.