Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
After completing each level, kids have the chance to record a message or email the person who helped them create their account.
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The romanticized world of firefighting gets interactive in Big Kid Life Fire Fighter. There's mild scariness here, with fire and smoke. But mostly kids are solving problems about how to put out fires, go on rescue missions, and find their way through buildings. The first step is choosing an avatar and a truck. The game has three levels, and longer trucks mean more challenging courses with more fires to put out. Also, the harder the level, the more difficult it is to maneuver through a house.
After kids have made their selections, it's time to fight fires and smoke monsters! Little firefighters will rescue animals and extinguish blazes with their avatars, who turn red if they run into smoke or flames -- but kids aren't penalized for not extinguishing flames quickly enough.
Problem-solving skills are paramount as kids work their way through a building. For example, how do they get to the next floor when the ladder is blocked by a wall or boxes? (Fortunately, a narrator provides suggestions.) The final step is to climb a ladder as kids move toward an exit door, which has a star on it. Before they can get out, though, they have to solve a puzzle at a box on the wall. A question must be answered correctly, and all questions are early preschool-level, about shapes, colors, numbers, or categories (of the "which does not belong" variety). When kids complete tasks, the narrator recognizes them for their hard work and encourages them to do it faster next time. It's a solid and age-appropriate game, from the high-interest role play and parent communication to the help and guidance the game offers.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
Key Standards Supported
Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
Sort words into categories (e.g., colors, clothing) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.