Thinkin' Science, by Edmark is an excellent way to spark or fan your child's interest in science. Made especially for children in first and second grade, this program allows them to explore and interact with many concepts most children don't learn until later on, from elementary physics to the scientific method.
Each of the five topics are introduced by one of the Science Scouts. Bobbie introduces "Fun Physics" and "What did you see?" Einstone guides kids through "Mystery Cave" and "Night and Day," Buddy helps kids in "Animal Tracking." Each activity is also overseen by Carrie, who provides different tools for each activity.
After solving a certain number of problems, the child is rewarded with a treasure: usually a picture that the child can color, cut out, and glue to a piece of poster board or a manila folder. Scissors and tape are required to assemble some of these treasures.
Another feature of Thinkin' Science is "The Science Web," which allows children to explore the topics covered in the program. If they are stumped by one of the problems in the game, it is to the Science Web they can go for answers or additional information. Some of the information can also be used for school reports or essays.
Each of the sections of the game has its own grow-slider, allowing the questions and challenges to grow with the child. Parents can also set the grow slider back or forward if the child is having too easy a time of it or having serious difficulties with the problems. Or, you can use the grow sliders to measure your child's progress.
"Day and Night" lets children find out the connection between the earth's rotation and night and day, and also the seasons. By rotating the Earth for Einstone, the child can make it afternoon, day, evening or morning.
"Fun Physics" asks children to first observe the movement of balls on ramps. Using these observations, the child is asked to make one ball get to the finish line faster than another. It also uses catapults and pendulums at higher levels of difficulty.
"What Did You See?" has Bobby asking children to memorize the positions of animals in a scene. Afterwards, the child must place the animals in the correct position after they are moved.
"Animal Tracking," with Buddy, asks children to match tracks to one of several animals presented on the screen. Tools allow the children to examine the number of toes an animal has, see the shape of its foot, make the animal move across the scene, leaving tracks, or see the dimensions of an animal's foot at higher difficulty levels.
And finally, "Mystery Cave," with Einstone, asks the children to identify what object is in a cave by using their senses to compare what they find out with a list of objects. They can check the mystery object's size, weight, general shape, texture, smell and color. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide
Graphics are wonderfully clean and clear. The animal pictures in "Animal Tracks" are wonderfully done. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide
Each Science scout has a different voice and way of acting, and the sounds complement the game's action nicely. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide
This game is very enjoyable. Kids will get a real sense of accomplishment out of solving the puzzles and challenges presented in the program. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide
Kids will not likely give this up until they outgrow it, and even then they might return for old times' sake. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide
The manual goes over the activities in detail and gives parents ideas on what to do to expand on the activities presented in the game. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide