Monday, September 12, 2011

Giveaway & Review: JumpStart

J-man is learning to control the mouse and use the keyboard.

What it is:

My kids have enjoyed learning and playing as we have explored the online worlds of JumpStart and MathBlaster to the point where they ask me if they can have a turn with it more often than they ask if they can watch television or play the Wii. JumpStart learning offers a free limited membership or a paid membership for $7.99/month, $74.99/year, or $149.99/lifetime, and you can add up to six players in the account. The extras for the paid membership include:

  • Access to thousands of member-only learning games
  • Practice hundreds of additional skills for school
  • Download four PC games ($80 Value)
  • Hatch, raise and train mythical creatures
  • Bonus membership to

What we like:
JumpStart includes several areas for kids to explore. StoryLand is geared towards preschool age,  AdventureLand and MarineLand are suited for early primary, and FutureLand is appropriate for later elementary. My kids' favorite "place" is the Enchanted Sanctuary, where they have hatched their own baby dragons which they feed and play with. 

Kids begin by creating and personalizing an avatar called a "Jumpee" by picking out hair color, clothes, and accessories and giving it a name. They can also adopt pets and furnish a house. My detail-oriented boys spent focused time getting theirs just right. 

What they learn:

As kids navigate through the virtual world, they will practice reading, math, art, and critical thinking skills through the various missions and challenges. They also hone their computer and keyboarding skills, which has been a real plus for my youngest. Although the play seems to outweigh the learning, there is learning involved, and because it is fun, kids beg to do it. 

MathBlaster, an outer-space adventure, is especially fun for my older elementary child, and it includes math concepts from 1st to 6th grade through training as a Blaster in the Intergalactic Space Patrol.

The JumpStart site is also loaded with extras for parents and teachers, such as crafts, science activities, and worksheets. There are parental controls as well, so kids can play freely in a controlled setting. 

JumpStart is generouly giving away a free 3-month subscription to both JumpStart and MathBlaster to one lucky commenter on this post.  Simply leave a comment for a chance to win! This giveaway will remain open through September.
{This giveaway has ended!}

{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.}