Over the last couple of weeks, we have had the opportunity to review an Ookariffic game designed to teach young children (pre-k-2nd grade) how to read fluently and well. Ooka Island is a downloadable 3 D hero adventure designed to teach pre-reading, reading, spelling, and writing skills through fun and educational activities. "The Ooka Method combines phonological development and language rich text with comprehension activities so children have the opportunity to achieve effortless reading."
To start the island adventure, children follow Zobot the robot for 20 minutes through a customized path of seven learning activities including:
The Cave of Sounds- Children navigate through an underground cave on a roller coaster by choosing the choosing the correct sound. Teaches letter sound correspondance, auditory recognition, identifying initial and final consonant.
Alphabet Mountain- Children get to go rock climbing and skateboard down a huge mountain! Teaches lower and upper case letter sequencing.
Bubbly Trubbly-Children get to pop giant bubbles in a fountain and put them in auntie Kay's basket. Teaches letter sound recognition.
The Cake Factory-Children decorate cakes to feed to the ooka elves. Teaches segmenting, blending, decoding and letter sound correspondance.
Submarine Listening-Children operate a submarine and send Fliggs flying into the water. Teaches identifying vowels.
Word Ball-Children kick soccer balls into the correct goals. Teaches decoding and identifying words from syllables.
Clumsy Wacky Moving Company-Children help save items from falling over the waterfall. Teaches blending and rhyme.
Then, the child unlocks a book from the popcorn library and completes the vocabulary and comprehension questions for that story. There are over 85 books in the popcorn library that your child can read with Zobot, Auntie Kay, or by themselves.
After the popcorn library, your child is rewarded with 8 minutes of free play where they can visit any unlocked area of the island, play in the pencil playground, or "purchase" (through mist that they have earned) clothing or costumes from the mist mart. When free play ends the cycle begins all over again.
Download a copy of the Ooka Island Guidebook by clicking here.
You can download Ooka Island to Windows XP, Vista, or 7 or to Mac OSX 10.5 and up. You must have a high speed internet connection and 3 GB of available space.
The cost of Ooka Island is as follows:
Use this promo code to save 30%!
To purchase click here.
My 7,6,and 4 year old boys all have had an opportunity to play and explore on Ooka Island. They love the music, activities, graphics, and story books! They love getting to play in the pencil playground and buying new costumes in the Mist Mart! They all love the adventure aspect of the game.
The games are easy to operate and just require pointing and clicking the mouse. My 4 year old loves to play, but does require quite a bit if assistance in some of the activities so he will be able to click on the correct answer. Christian likes skateboarding down Alphabet Mountain the best. My 6 year old can play completely unassisted. He can start up the game, log in, and play all of the activities with no help. Anthony says his favorite part is the Pencil Playground. He also says that Ooka Island is really teaching him to read and that he is Ookariffic! My 7 year old (2nd grade) also enjoys playing and learning with Ooka Island. He has reading difficulties and the games in Ooka Island have helped reinforce some of his knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Alex also liked skateboarding down Alphabet Mountain the best. I like the books in the popcorn library. The child gets to read the book from two different perspectives which I think gives them a better understanding of the story. Then ,they answer comprehension questions to show they understood. After a book is unlocked it remains in the popcorn library so your child can go back and read their favorites again.
As you might have noticed from the above system requirements, The Ooka Island Adventure is a huge file to download to your computer. We have what is considered high speed internet, but we are in the country and it really isn't very fast. It took me over 8 hours to download and install this program on my computer. Once installed we have had no problems running it. There is supposed to be an area (the lighthouse) where parents will be able to access reports on their child's progress. This is a new game and at the time of this review, those reports are not able to be accessed. So, if you want to know how your child is doing you have to sit with them and play. One other thing that we had difficulty with was understanding the voice in the cave of sounds. Even with the volume turned all the way up, you have to listen very closely to hear and understand what sound is being said.
To see what other crew mates had to say click here.
I received a complimentary 6 month subscription of Ooka Island for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.