Monday, April 4, 2011

Go, Go, Kabongo

Go Go Kabongo is an educational game website geared to children ages 4 -7. 

Their games develop cognitive skills.... all with the goal of building more confidant readers.

You can play Go Go Kabongo for free.  To purchase additional habitats the cost is $4.95 each. That is a one time charge.  No subscriptions. No renewals.

Right now if you sign up they will give you access to two habitats ( Laughter Lake and Galaxy Gardens ) for free. We played in all three habitats and I would consider the price to be very fair and reasonable for these engaging games.

How we used Go Go Kabongo:

I set up an account for both Jeremiah 4 (he was 3 when we started the review)  and Hunter who is 8.  I will say that Jeremiah enjoyed "doe doe tabon-doe" much more than his older brother.  Jeremiah played it once or twice a week, and it held his attention for longer than an hour on some days.  It was nice for me to have him in the kitchen while I made dinner, and know that he was learning something at the same time.  I love the learning through play that Go Go Kabongo provides.

Hunter liked earning skate park pieces for completing games....and being able to use the "stickers" that he won to create a picture, but much past that, it didn't really draw him in.  (He was a year OVER their age spectrum...  but he did give it a try because he knew mommy was reviewing it)

The website sends you these great emails letting you know what level of the game your child is on, and reminders when they haven't played for awhile.... ( we got those for Hunter who was not the most regular player)  I liked the reminders. It was great to see the progress they were making, and see the explanations of the skills each game was fostering.

They also include a suggested activity in the email.  They vary from week to week, but they are a great tool to help build word skills.   It is usually something that can be done when you are driving around, or even at the dinner table as a family.  To find more ways to develop the skills used in the games away from the computer, check out their Activity Time page.

What in the world does Cognitive development mean?  (I include this question because really big words/ concepts can sound important, but if we don't know what they mean..... what good are they??)
Cognitive development is the process by which children improve their ability to think, learn, and reason (both concretely and abstractly), and that is how they derive meaning from the world around them.

Now that you better understand the term, I hope you understand why developing those skills are pretty important.  To learn more about cognitive development and how it relates to building reading skills, there is a list of sites and articles on the Kabongo website. 


Jeremiah's favorite games were Critter Sitter, Scuba Dude and Crazy Maze...and Photo Safari.  I think that we will continue to use Go Go Kabongo as a pre-reading, educational game in our home. 

Things I offer up for consideration to the game creators:
  • The sound quality of the person or computer voice that is giving letter sounds is awfully hard to hear.  I tried with headphones, and was still confused as to what sound I was looking to find on Desert Dash.  Often we got the right letter on accident. Maybe it could be repeated a few times?
  • Is there a way to keep the mazes simple on Crazy Maze?  I couldn't get the letter ball to bounce right over things... and I'm 40.  Not 4.  While Jeremiah played this game often, he would just become frustrated when the ball wouldn't jump over what he was trying to get it over.
  • The characters are wearing on a weary mom's ears.  They tend to sound like a cartoon version of Bill and Ted's excellent adventure..... dude.

If you have a child 3 1/2 to 7, Go Go Kabongo could be an affordable resource for you to use from Pre-K through say the 1st or 2nd grade.  Take the time to go and browse their website and sign up to try it out!

Lots of other families reviewed this website, please take the time to read their reviews and see how the program worked for them!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and for the purpose of this review, I was given access to the Twister Top habitat, free of charge.  No other compensation has been received, nor am I obligated to present a positive review. Thank you for taking the time to read the disclaimer...... it will self destruct in 10 seconds.... 9....8......7.......

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