Cookie’s Counting Carnival is a game for both the Nintendo Wii and the DS that is designed with toddlers in mind. Although the controls for each game are slightly different, the content of both are essentially the same.
For the Wii version, kids will simply need to hold the WIi-mote sideways, and tilt to the left or right to select the on-screen objects, and are asked to jump in order to make their selection. In the DS version, it’s as simple as clicking the touchscreen with the stylus to make your selection.
Cookie’s Counting Carnival uses a variety of different mini-games to teach a basic math concepts, including counting, number recognition, shapes and patterns. Starring Cookie Monster, Big Bird and narrated by a puppet who works at the Carnival named Chris, the game features a great selection of games that were designed with little ones in mind.
At the start of the game, you can choose to play through all the games in the carnival, or select certain ones to do.
In one mini-game, kids will need to swing the Wii-mote (or tap the touchscreen) to ring the carnival bell however many time s Big Bird requests. The number will be between 1 and 20, and Big Bird counts along onscreen. In another game, kids will need to show recognition of simple patterns by selecting the correctly colored object that completes a sequence. In each game, Cookie and Big Bird offer encouragement, and there are never any negative consequences for incorrect answers, or even activity.
The Wii game also offers an “Assistance” mode which can allow parents to help young kids as they play along. So while your child works as Player 1, you can help with the Player 2 Wii-mote to ensure they have success. We actually did run into a problem with this, though, as our youngest son, who is one-year-old, grabbed an extra Wii-mote to pretend as if he was playing along, and ended up taking over control from the main player.
Both the Wii game and the DS game also come with very cool accessories. The Wii version comes with a Cookie Monster Wii-mote cover, and the DS version comes with a very useful oversize retractable stylus that even we prefer to use for this and other DS games.
Cookie’s Counting Carnival is designed with toddlers in mind, and it absolutely shows. While the basic and elementary counting and number activities may be too boring for older kids, this game is perfect for younger siblings or toddlers who need something that is simple to play. This game is also educational as well, teaching basic math concepts in a fun, interactive way. We love that Sesame Street and Warner Bros. Interactive have chosen to make young kids a focus, and would love to see more games like this in the future. (EDITOR’S NOTE: There is at least one, if you like this one make sure to check out Elmo’s A to Zoo Adventure, too)
Gameplay Helpers for Smaller Hands: Available for Wii and Nintendo DS systems, special gameplay helpers simplify gameplay controls and make them more accessible for preschoolers with small hands and developing skills. They will come packaged with the game at no additional cost.
• The Wii gameplay helper is a soft and fuzzy character cover with special grips that slips over the Wii Remote, minimizing unnecessary buttons and making it easier and more fun to hold.
• The Nintendo DS gameplay helper is a jumbo click stylus designed for smaller hands, simplifying interaction with the touch screen. It features a retractable tip and wrist strap for safety and its soft grip provides for a comfortable grasp.
Parent’s Page: Parents may review games their child has played along with relevant curriculum for each. Using this option, parents can customize up to four profiles, set functions including difficulty level and game limits.
Parent Can Play With Their Kids: Parental “drop-in” feature allows use of the second Wii Remote to assist the child through the game, without taking away the child’s remote.
Broad Range of Games: The game features 20 distinct learning games based on a variety of activities, including counting and numbers, sequencing, number identification, enumeration, plus pattern shape and color identification.
Audio Direction: Game instructions are provided by audio rather than text direction for children with developing reading skills.
Easy to Play: The games are entertaining and intuitive enabling preschoolers to play by themselves. They require minimal button usage. For the Nintendo DS, there’s no button pushing – only screen tapping.
Player Adaptability: The game difficulty adapts to child’s level.
Active Gameplay: With Wii, game movements are Jump, Tilt, Pump, Scoop, Shake, Sweep and Toss. All are performed with two hands with a “‘handlebar” grip.