Noteniks Healthy Eating & Exercise CD will not wow your children with cutting edge graphics, but it will deliver eight simple games that teach kids how to distinguish healthy foods from junk food, and encourage them to stay active.
Healthy Eating & Exercise uses ordinary, run-of-the-mill computer games to deliver its important message. Kids distinguish healthy foods from unhealthy ones in several formats, including dragging fruits and vegetables onto a plate (while leaving the pizza, hotdogs, fries and donuts), navigating a maze to pick up fruits and vegetables, and using a basket to catch only healthy items that drop from the sky.
The games also tout the benefits of active living. In one, kids match an active person with a piece of equipment needed to do the activity. For example, kids will click on and drag a football to the outline of a person playing football. In another game, kids assemble a digital jigsaw puzzle whose completed picture reveals kids having fun being active. After completing a puzzle showing two kids playing with a ball, the voice-over explains "being active doesn't have to mean you have to play on a team."
The games feature the NoteNiks kids, a diverse group of cartoon children representing different ethnicities, genders, and even handicaps. The kids are cute, but they don't animate.
While the eight games are commonplace sorting, concentration, matching and maze games, the software manages to deliver a powerful message about eating healthy and exercising. Most of the content is read aloud to children when they scroll over the words. And while some of the messages are somewhat long-winded, the product does provide an interactive environment in which to learn about good eating habits and exercise. Sometimes kids are more receptive to learning important messages when they are delivered by cartoon characters in a computer game setting.
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