For my daughters main Christmas present of 2012 I bought her an Innotab 2 childrens learning tablet, a fantastic purchase and it's a shame that Santa gets all the credit. I had bought her the Toy Story cartridge for it, because at the time I couldn't get a hold of the one I knew she would really want; The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartridge. I asked people if they saw one could they get it for Lily's Christmas and eventually one of her mums friends came up trumps (it even surprised me, I thought he had bought her a different game, so it was a nice surprise when Lily opened that present).
== The Product ==
The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartridge is compatible with both the Vtech Innotab and the Innotab 2. It says it is aged for children aged 5-7 but I thought it would be fine for my daughter and any of the stuff she doesn't understand I would help her with. The cartridge is based around Disney Juniors 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' and includes all the favourite characters, the only thing that's missing is the theme tune. The cartridge is broken down into 3 sections; The story, learning games and creativity. The cartridge is designed to help with the curriculum and in the instruction booklet under each application it informs you what part of the curriculum it is helping with e.g. Under 'Pay Pete' it states the curriculum for this app is Numbers/Counting/Addition. As a parent this can help when helping your child learn using the Innotab.
The interactive story included is 'Mickey Go Seek'; Donald and Mickey play hide and seek and Donald has the best hiding place ever. With the help of Toodles, Mickey sets off to find Donald meeting various characters along the way. As with all innotab e-ebooks, certain words are highlighted and on touching them they give you a definition. Lily also loves the way that you can touch the various animated characters in the story and they perform an animation, I knew she would like that part as she plays with my touch screen phone on apps such as, 'Talking Tom'.
Fly the Toon Plane - In this game Pluto has let some balloons go and it's up to you and Mickey to get them back. Your child controls the plane by tilting the Innotab left, right, up and down to collect the balloons, this is good for teaching your child left and right. During the game a pattern of shapes appears in the top right corner and your child has to choose the correct balloon that corresponds with the pattern, e.g. a row of triangles in the top right corner and the balloons available are, a square, a circle and a triangle, obviously the triangle balloon is the correct answer. It does get harder the further into the game you go, with the patterns becoming increasingly more difficult. This is good for shape recognition, and Lily found this quite fun.
Pay Pete - At the moment this is the game Lily plays a lot. It is a maths based game and sometimes she does struggle when getting the correct amount and the correct number of each coin to pay pete, but she is getting the hang of it. This game is probably based for the older children i.e. the age range this cartridge is aimed at. The game is split into two parts with the first part sorting the money into the correct piles 1p's, 5p's and 10p's, Lily picked this up quite quickly that it really surprised me. Once the money is sorted there is a cut scene and Pete asks for a certain amount of money (this changes each time so a child won't be able to follow the pattern when doing the working out, which I think is great). Your child will then move the correct amount of money to the top of the screen out of their 10's, 5's and 1's e.g. if Pete asks for 17p your child will move 1 x 10p, 1 x 5p and 2 x 1p's to the top of the screen. Once this is done your child clicks the tick and a cut scene follows with Mickey working out the maths and informing you if you are correct. Usually you will need to do this again, as Pete wants you to pay for Pluto as well, so your child will have another maths sum to do. I think this is a great app for developing your child's maths skills and practice makes perfect, young children won't even realize it's maths they are doing, which makes it even more fun for them.
Bounce by Circle Lake - Mickey bounces along through this game on springs, the layout reminds me a little like Mario. To make Mickey jump higher you touch him, along the way you have to reel out a ruler to measure a distance and then you have a choice to make does the ruler say X number or does it say Y number. This is quite good for number recognition and is similar to some of the join in puzzles shown on the programme, so Lily found this quite easy to understand once I explained it to her.
Puzzle Maker - With the puzzle maker your child can make jigsaw puzzles by adding different characters to one of the different backgrounds. Once this is done they can save it and choose how many pieces they would like, the choices are 4 and 8 pieces. Your child gets to play with the puzzle by dragging the coloured pieces onto a black and white background, if you put the piece in the wrong place it tells you that it doesn't go there. Lily loves jigsaws and after a couple of goes and a bit of explaining by me, she got the hang of it.
Colour and Drive the Train - In this application, your child gets to decorate the clubhouse train, either by painting it or by adding things to it. Your child does this by using the touch screen menus on the right hand side of the screen, clicking on a menu item and then clicking on the train. Once your child is happy with their decorated train he/she can drive the train by tilting the tablet left to go forwards or right to go backwards. When Lily first used this cartridge she spent hours on this. On the drive the train part of this app, you can touch the different characters, in this case Mickey or Pluto and they will utter something.
Photo Fun - With this app you can take photos next to your favourite Disney characters using the onboard camera or if you prefer, you can take photos with various pieces of headwear. I didn't think my daughter played with this app, but upon looking through it, I have noticed a couple of pictures of the back of my head next to an image of Goofy.
Seeing as my daughter was given this for her Christmas I had to Google the price, and on amazon.co.uk they have them for sale for £14.62 including delivery, which isn't too bad when you think of the price of PS3 and Xbox games (I know they are totally different things, but I was making a comparison in the enjoyment that someone gets out of them).
Overall I am very happy with this, Lily usually has her Innotab out nearly every day and this is the cartridge she plays with the most,. It's not something just to keep her quiet, as she is always asking for help with it, and I can tell she is learning because it is a different thing she needs help with each time, except for the maths section, but that will take time. Because it is a fun way for a child to learn, your child won't even see it as learning. Although the age range for this is 5-7 years I think it all depends on the child and as a parent you would know what your child's capabilities are. Some of the things on this will take a little longer for Lily to fully understand them, but it is fun watching her having fun with learning.
Join your favourite characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for an adventure with this Vtech Innotab game. When Mickey and Donald decide to play hide and seek, Donald hides so well that Mickey can only find him using the Mouseketools! Track him down and play games by tilting the pad or using the touch screen. As you search for Donald, you'll also learn reading comprehension, maths, colours, patterns, logic and creativity. This game is designed to be used with the Vtech Innotab tablet , and isn't a stand-alone product.