Jump Start Learning Games for children are extraordinarily fun while teaching basic skills or just having them practice newly learned skills! I received this game from an eBay purchase for free when I bought another Jump Start game for my daughter. I expected it not to be as much fun as the other ones and just to be reading stories or something. I was pleasantly surprised to find games in an environment of Indiana Jones, fedora hat and all!
The Goal of the Game:
The main goal of Jump Start Reading for Second Graders is to find the Lost City of Ursula. It starts off with the stone tablet of directions breaking in half and the bad guys getting the other half! The player moves the main character (a frog in a fedora hat) around and selects the options in the games, he along with the lightning bug are the good characters while the snail and a chicken are the bad guys. There are six different sites to visit as well as the frog’s home. Each place has games to play to get to the jewel room to collect more jewels. We find out that the rubies and diamonds power up the machine that a genie pops out of—not a genie exactly though…an elder who will tell us more pieces of the puzzle and more about the Lost City of Ursula.
After each site is visited, the jewel collected after the game is completed, then the player clicks on the map and selects a different site to visit or the same one again. The sites are Ayers Rock (Australian Outback), Cumae (caves), Atlantis (seafloor in submarine), Dig Game (vines at dig site), Machu Picchu (Mountains), Egypt (pyramids), and Frog Manor (the frog’s home).
At Ayers Rock, a dog with an Australian accent tells a short story and then asks questions about the story. At Atlantis, the player moves the submarine over letter combinations to choose long vowel sounds to complete a word. At Cunae Caves, there are moving stones that the player has to jump on to get to the correct answer…hop on words to make compound words and there are obstacles to avoid. After each game, you go to the jewel room to collect a jewel…this is just clicking on a door for the jewel to pop out. Each of the games has obstacles, bats will hit you on the head, the chicken throws stones, a deer steps in your path, the chicken lays traps down or springs to bounce you back. To unlock the door of the frog’s home, players need to solve riddles…find synonyms, antonyms, homophones, and more. At Egypt, players choose the right word for the sentence, words fly by on flying carpets. Fill in the blank with past tense verbs or plurals. “The itchy dog ROLLED in the sand.” Many words are not spelled correctly in this game. Dig Game has the frog climbing vines to the correct words. The player needs to find which words are nouns (or whatever the game asks for)….there will be about five different word options and all but one will be a noun
At times the bad guys show up and play a game against you…this amounts to selecting a letter to place on a board to make words. Each gets a turn until three words are made. The bad guys have never won in our experience.
Mini-games are at the start before entering the sites. In these, the player has to find words inside a word maze by the clue given by clicking on the first and last letter of the word. There is no time limit for any of the games but the characters will urge you to hurry.
No points are given for playing the games. Player can move to any room he wants and play games in any order. Collecting all the jewels will increase the difficulty and level. The travel notebook has a description of parts of speech and also more games to play to practice skills.
Graphics and Sounds:
Many parts of the game atmosphere are interactive….clicking on a statue in Frog Manor will cause it to do something, clicking on the sky in another section will cause a bird to fly by. The graphics and sound affects look like a movie! The characters encourage the child to try again for missed answers. The game never ends over missed answers but keeps on going. The jewel count is shown at the bottom of the screen as well as the Map and Travel Notebook. The sentences and words are read aloud for the child as well as lit up as each word is read.
There is no way to bypass the characters’ speeches even if the child has already played several times at that site. Many exciting graphics that my daughter oohed and aahed over like the blooming flowers shooting fireworks once she completed one game. Before each game, the frog explains what each item is like contractions or synonyms. The graphics and sounds remind me of Indiana Jones, even the fedora hat on the frog!
This game not only teaches reading skills but also keyboard skills as the child will be using the keyboard to answer questions. Space bar, arrow keys, mouse, and other keyboard skills are practiced in the different games.
Here are the skills that the games work on: adverbs, reading, listening, blends, compound words, comprehension, contractions deduction, digraphs, nouns, rhymes, vowel teams, contractions, homophones, past tense verbs, plural nouns, synonyms, verbs, alphabetizing, and spelling.
Each game may have some of the same skills but different combinations of words so it never is boring. All in a fun way playing an Indiana Jones like game! It says for second graders but can be used for older children needing practice and younger children who are ready to move up into higher level reading skills.
Children can’t learn from this game unless they will play it. So did my daughter enjoy it? Out of all three Jump Start games that I purchased at one time, this has been her favorite. She did not like the obstacles as the bugs knocking her off the vines worried her a bit but once she saw that they did not kill her character but just knocked her down…she was fine with it.
The game plays well on my computer and never froze up nor slowed it down. I do find exiting the game to be slow, it takes a couple of minutes for it to go away. But going among the games and sites within this learning game was quick and efficient.
Your child’s progress is saved not only so they can see how far they have come in the game but also for you to keep track. You can see if they have tried a game and never successfully been able to complete it so you know they need help with that skill. Or you can see what they have already learned and were able to complete successfully quickly. It keeps track of multiple players if you have more than one child.
A fun game that children can practice reading skills while having tons of fun. Unique Indiana Jones type setting will intrigue most kids! This game was a total surprise for me! Since my child was already reading, I did not expect it to challenge her but working on contractions and other skills help her practice putting together contractions and more. Well worth the money for this learning game that is fun!