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Great for quiet time, indoor recess, and stations, Sofia the First can be paired with lessons on patterns and classification. Teachers can bring the theme back into class by making crowns with jewel patterns or similar activities.Continue reading Show less
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 - Sofia the First brings kids into the world of Sofia, Disney's youngest princess. The included e-Book mirrors the story from the original TV movie, Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess. In it, Sofia goes from commoner to royalty when her mother weds the king. She has to win over her step-siblings, learn how to act like a princess, and then tackle the villain who (naturally) lives at court. The book is read by a narrator with highlighted words. There is also a glossary that kids can access by touching certain words in the story.
Kids are then invited to join Sofia as she attends her classes at the Royal Preparatory Acadamy. It's Jumble Day and all of the classes have been moved to new rooms. Sofia must seek out classmates around the Academy for clues to the correct room. She may learn that the door on the left has two blue bunnies, while the door on the right has three purple horses. Once the kids have all of the clues, they must help Sofia choose the right door. The classes include Magic, Dance, Art, Table Settings, and Riding, and once she successfully completes each one, they are unlocked in free play mode. Magic class requires kids to match pairs of rhyming words. In Dance class, kids help a not-so-confident Sofia succeed by tapping on numbers in order (similar to a game of Simon, but it's matter of counting or skip-counting up or down). Table Settings is all about recognizing and matching simple patterns - all blue glasses, or three different-colored gems on each side of the plate. Riding takes Sofia on Minimus, a Pegasus, as he soars through the skies. Kids must avoid obstacles and fly through colored hoops following a simple pattern. Art class allows kids to color in one of four coloring sheets using a paint bucket-type method. Once the sheet is colored, kids can use a magic wand to make parts of it come to life. Pictures are saved in a gallery. In addition to classes, Sophia helps some squirrels collect and count acorns, sorts books in the library (by topic or by the first letter of the title), and fixes a royal necklace by placing the gems back in place (like a jigsaw puzzle). Kids can also use the photo lab to take pictures using props and characters from the game.
Unlike some VTech titles which spread themselves a bit too thin in terms of educational content, VTech InnoTab Software - Sofia the First repeats two of the concepts (patterns and counting) in the activities, making for a deeper learning experience for kids. The story is light and somewhat stereotypical (princesses focus on table settings, art, and dance), but Sofia is a spirited girl who is also very kind, making her relatable for young children. There is no auto-leveling, which is fine for this age, but some of the activities come in easy and difficult modes. Young kids will need some guidance figuring out which to choose.
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