Cooking with Dora
Instead of going on adventures around the world, Dora is bringing her can-do attitude into the kitchen. Her friends and relatives need help preparing food dishes for a festival, and Dora volunteers to help.
Kids join Dora and help her as she learns to cook. There are 11 mini-games based on real world food preparation steps. Some include chopping vegetables by tapping on the DS screen, spreading pizza sauce by coloring on the surface of the screen, shredding cheese by moving the stylus in a circle and tossing a salad by tracing arrows. All of the cooking activities use the DS stylus on the lower screen and are geared toward the abilities of pre-readers.
Early Math Too!
While the cooking mini-games are creative and fun, what is even better is the way many of them incorporate early learning math concepts. Kids will count ingredients, arrange them in patterns, sort them by size, classify them (by color, size and shape), identify length and size, recognize parts of a whole and much more.
As children play, the game keeps track of their math abilities and presents more challenging concepts if they are constantly succeeding. It will also make the concepts easier if a child is struggling; plus, Dora will offer hints when needed.
Two Ways to Play
Kid can play the game in two ways: as an adventure or by exploring a recipe. There are four recipes, and each contains about eight cooking minigames. If you go through the adventure, Dora will cook these recipes with her parents, grandmother and a teacher in the process of getting ready for a Food Festival. These adults share their love of cooking with Dora and make exploring each of the steps of the recipes fun. They are always supportive.
While this game is similar to the popular Cooking Mama series in that each step of a recipe is delivered as a mini-game, Dora's Cooking Club is different because the mini-games are never timed and most contain stealthy math activities.
More on the Stealth Math
Here's how some of this stealth math shows up. When making enchiladas, kids will be asked to tap on a group of chilies that shows a requested number on top. They are also asked to drag more beans into a bowl. When they do, each bean is counted aloud; and kids will watch the number of beans go from 13 to 19 by their actions. Likewise, before adding onions to the bowl, kids will be asked to put the numbered slices in numerical order. In other recipes, they will be asked to arrange vegetables in patterns or sort ingredients by geometric shapes.
Dora's Cooking Club is perfectly suited to its targeted audience of preschoolers and kindergartners. All of the directions are spoken aloud and shown by illustrations on the screen. The game mechanics are varied, but always age appropriate. For example, you slice by tapping on a carrot and prepare pizza dough by spinning the stylus in a circle.
Since Dora speaks in both English and Spanish, this game helps kids to learn how to count and identify foods in two languages. They will practice cooking popular foods, including pizza and enchiladas. Plus the manual provides three bonus recipes that parents and kids can make together in a real kitchen.
The game even offers parents some feedback about the activities their kids have explored in a Progress Report section. It lets parents see which math activities their kids have mastered and which ones they are still developing.
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