Review by Christy Matte, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2012
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VTech InnoTab Software - Hello Kitty

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Playful early learning games with the popular kitty

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Pre-K-K This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: A nice range of games and activities make for a broad appeal.

Cons: Lack of game save and auto-leveling hinders full learning potential.

Bottom Line: Not a lot of depth, but fun for reinforcing early learning concepts and independent reading.

The e-book with narration and highlighted words is nice for emerging readers, as well as ELL students. The learning games are better for reinforcement, but make sure to suggest a level for kids to start on. This is a good title for quiet time, indoor recess, and engaging a student who has completed other work.

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Editor’s Note: This game’s publisher, VTech, experienced a breach of parent and student data on November 14, 2015. Click here for more information.

VTech InnoTab Software - Hello Kitty is a collection of three learning games, two creative activities, and an e-book. They all revolve around a birthday party for Hello Kitty's twin sister. Kids can read the story alone, or with a narrator and highlighted words. A small glossary is available to help with words kids may not know. Then they can take on the learning games, all of which focus on math concepts, and add some memory tasks and information about musical instruments as well. Kids will practice counting, shape recognition, addition, and comparisons (bigger/smaller). The creativity area allows kids to take Hello Kitty-themed photos and make cards.

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The games reinforce some simple math concepts but don't delve too deeply into the content. The learning is well-integrated into some of the games, but it others it seems as if it's more of an add-on. However, kids will enjoy the related activities, especially the one involving cake decorating. And the e-book nicely highlights words as they're read.

Kids may be frustrated by the repetition in the games and by the lack of automatic adjusting of content as they play. However, the game does offer two levels of difficulty. Without a save feature, Hello Kitty is more appropriate for reinforcement and reward than full-out learning.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

With a nice range of activities, kids will enjoy exploring and will likely find a few things to play over and over.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

All of the level selections are made by the user and aren't saved between sessions. No automatic adjustments are made for difficulty if kids struggle with or easily complete a level.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Lack of data in the game sessions means kids have to choose their level each time they play. There are no additional resources or tools for parents or teachers.


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