Paint'n Play Review
Paint'n Play Review
by A.C. Vogt
This is my first review of a program and I offered my services as I have started earnestly to expose my two children to the amazing world of interactive computing. Sunny, my daughter, is four years old and Eric, my son, is three years old. They are both very active and extroverted children (poor parents) and it is always a big challenge to keep them entertained. At the same time as I received Paint'n Play for the review I had another parcel coming in the door with software from The Learning Company, containing Reader Rabbit 1 and Reading Journey. My wife is Japanese and as I am too lazy to teach my children proper English, (I am having a hard time expressing myself properly although being Swiss gives me some lame excuse) they have been exposed only to Japanese so far. So I put the review of Paint'n Play together with Reader Rabbit 1 to see my children's reaction.
The first evening of 40 minutes was spent trying to get them to the point that they could use the mouse properly to access the functions of the program. Paint'n Play is laid out very easy and both were able to operate it by themselves after the first evening. The five different painting projects were filled in and it became apparent that without intervention from my side, the paintings turned out to be in the two-color range. Another little problem that cropped up is that some points on the paintings were difficult to fill in as the paintbrush is too large for small spaces or not sensitive enough. The accompanying music is soothing but makes no distinction between different colors and spaces to be filled in, it's a general pattern of music that is repeated. After 30 minutes or so, both children got tired of it and I turned to Reader Rabbit 1 as an alternative.
The second evening my daughter was able to start and run the program by herself but after 20 minutes she asked to use Reader Rabbit 1 instead of Paint'n Play. My son continued with Paint'n Play but instead of finishing a painting, he started shutting down and opening different paintings. After 15 minutes he left the computer and asked me to put on another program.
The third evening my daughter did not want to play Paint'n Play but started with Reader Rabbit 1 on a second computer that I had set up. My son used Paint'n Play but after a serious start reverted to the pattern of the evening before, which was opening and shutting down different paintings.
The layout and music of Paint'n Play is pleasing and it is a very easy program to use for anybody. Children above the age of two should have no problems in mastering it within one evening although I can't see children above the age of four using it over and over. My children got bored with it very quickly and with only five paintings to be filled in, I think that even children with a talent for arts get bored very soon.
A. C. Vogt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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