Monday, December 12, 2011

JumpStart Review and GIVEAWAY: The Online Learning Videogame Perfect For Flu Season!

You might be thinking this is an odd title for a post; however, with the flu going around my kid's school in full force it was bound to happen-LoLo got it of course the morning of a big school party we had planned (at OUR house)! So, with the party cancelled, LoLo in tears, and me with 3 kids trapped in the house we had to find something new to do.  JumpStart.com to the rescue!

LoLo is 4 and a half, and just getting interested in video games, but it is really hard to find ones that are easy enough for him to play AND educational!  I have used many JumpStart products in the past in my classroom such as MathBlasters and JumpStart software programs for reading, but I had yet to explore the whole realm of online games offered at JumpStart.com and MathBlaster.com.
JumpStart View

JumpStart.com is a great site to explore (even without your membership) which has tons of information for parents, teachers, and kids.  Their name has always been synonymous with great learning for me, and their online games really held true to my high expectations.

Here is what you get with an online membership:
Explore and play with friends
Access 1,000s of member-only learning games
Practice 100s of additional skills for school
Download 4 PC games ($80 value!)
Hatch, raise and train mythical creatures
Access to MathBlasters.com as well

Online membership can be paid monthly, yearly, or for a lifetime starting at $7.99.  LoLo had the best time exploring the game and is begging me everyday to play it again (which is the perfect "take a nap" bribe!).  I feel like the cost of membership is really worth it for all the games and learning lands that are available and being constantly added.  The manufacturer recommends the game for ages 3-10; however, I disagree and feel like it is more appropriate for ages 5 and up due to the difficulty of finding your way around and sometimes maneuvering your avatar.  LoLo had some trouble figuring this out at first, but is now a "Master" (or so he says).

Here is a little bit more about some of the fun things to explore according to JumpStart.com:
"There are many places to explore once you launch the game, some of which you may already be familiar with. The first is an area called StoryLand, aimed at 3-5 year olds. Children can also explore AdventureLand and MarineLand, designed for kids in kindergarten to second grade. In addition, children in 3rd to 5th grade may be interested in checking out FutureLand, geared towards older children. We also just launched our most popular area, the Enchanted Sanctuary, where kids can hatch and raise their own dragons!"
 
I agree that the StoryLand was perfect for ages 3-5, but it was just too tricky for LaLa (3.5) to maneuver herself around.  Once I placed her on an activity she did great, but she still needed some help clicking the items.  She really did enjoy playing it and watching her avatar do some funny things (like dance, play air guitar, jump, swim, etc.).

Winter Wonderland - Map
LoLo's favorite area was Winter Wonderland (see pic above of layout) where you can ice skate, build snowmen, etc.  I love that they are always adding new themed features to the site with new games and activities.  He loved that he could hop on the Christmas Train and ride around town too!  He also thought it was fun to dress up his Avatar in a Santa hat and ice skates!  I discovered that the JumpStart blog had some great resources for parents too that told me all about the new Christmas themed items that were recently added to the game.

Overall, JumpStart.com membership (which includes MathBlaster.com membership as well for older kids) is well worth the price.  It is the perfect thing to download and try out for a month when your kid is trapped inside on a snowy day, or home sick with the flu!

GIVEAWAY:  Get a FREE 3-Month membership to JumpStart.com!  Enter to win this awesome giveaway simply by following JumpStart.com on Facebook through the Rafflecopter widget below:




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the YouTube video below to get a better idea about what JumpStart membership is all about:



  
Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.”

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