Fun School 3: For Under 5s
There are six games in the Under Fives pack, and despite the title's implication they're great fun for all ages. Counting has you helping Teddy climb the steps to reach his honeypot. This is achieved by counting the amount of objects on screen. A prompt appears asking how many objects there are and a correct answer moves Teddy a step nearer the honey. In level one Teddy only has a couple of steps to climb, but as you play each honeypot is harder to reach because there are more objects to spot.
In Matching it's Teddy's friend that needs the help. He's more interested in climbing a tree to deposit money in his piggy bank, than anything to do with honey. This is done by matching shapes with their partner. If you're right teddy's friend climbs the tree and drops a penny into his piggy bank.
Actions is all about Teddy doing things. Along the bottom of the screen are words that make Teddy do different things. As the game goes on you're asked to identify what Teddy is doing: answer correctly and part of Teddy's new house will be built. In Gallery Teddy has been very naughty and swapped the labels on the pictures. The task is to move the right label to the right picture.Teddy and his friends are at the fair in Letters: they all want an ice cream but first Teddy has to ring the big bell. A letter of the alphabet appears on the screen and it's your task to match the letters and earn your friends an ice cream. Painting turns you into a budding artist with the chance to paint green skies, purple grass and yellow cows (sounds just like our art editor).
The Five to Sevens package also contains six games. In Journey Freddie Frog has to be guided to a destination set by the computer. In Collect Freddie Frog has to tidy up his pond. Lots of numbers and symbols clutter up his beloved lily pads. It's up to you to guide him around and collect them up so that they form sums. A visit to the Toyshop is next: first you need to match the words to the toys and then buy them with the money provided. Electricity tests your knowledge of conductors, insulators and the like. You're presented with a circuit and asked whether a connection has been made. Funtext is a game that involves searching for information using a Ceefax style list of information which can be called up using page numbers.
Time is the final game, with you being asked to study a clock face and then using the words and numbers at the bottom of the screen to tell the time.
Both Fun School packages are great fun and serve as excellent teaching aids. I wish they'd been around when I was a nipper! Even if the parents or teachers aren't computer aces, the programs are easily mastered and very well explained for the kids. I'd recommend the Fun School range of games to anyone: as it says on the packaging - Give your child an unfair advantage.