Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 157 / OCTOBER 1993 / PAGE 106


Edmark's preschool introduction to numbers and geometry, Millie's Math House, is one of those rare and delightful programs parents can use with very young children. Rated for ages 2 to 6, it comes with nursery theme music, talking animals, and screen images as animated and colorful as a cartoon.

The program is designed for use both at home and in a preschool environment. Parents and teachers participate in the learning, supplementing the concepts taught onscreen with fun-filled activities outlined in the manual. The program features an adult mode, accessed via a three-key combination, that not only offers tips on home and school play but also outlines how the games are played, what each game's learning goals are, and how much you should expect children of various ages to accomplish.

The program features six games. Each is accessed from a screen which features Millie, a cartoon horse, sitting in her “main room.” On the wall of the room is a shelf with toys. Click on a toy to access a game: Build-a-Bug, Number Machine, and Cookie Factory teach numbers and counting; Mouse House, Bing & Boing, and Little, Middle, & Big teach shapes, sizes, patterns, and relationships.

Millie's Math House uses cartoon graphics to introduce numbers and geometry.

Each game has two modes. The Explore and Discover mode allows children to browse the game, clicking on objects and numbers. As they click on objects, the game will read the names of game elements or play sound effects associated with those objects.

The Question and Answer mode presents children with a challenge. For instance, in Bing & Boing's Explore and Discover mode, children click on pictures of animals (a dog, duck, and pig) to hear an animal sound and on shapes (a triangle, circle, and square) to hear a noise. In Question and Answer mode, the game arranges the pictures in sets of two or three and plays the associated sounds. Then it challenges children to arrange objects to match the pattern and sounds it has presented. If your sound card has a recording feature, you can record your own sounds and use those in place of the ones in the game.

An outstanding manual offers game information, along with tips for extending the play into household or classroom situations by reinforcing the concepts in the game. That's just one of the beauties of the program. Learning isn't something that should stop at a keyboard or in a classroom. Millie's Math House treats math as an activity kids will take through life.



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