Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for the 'Games' Category

New Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Website

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

A new neighborhood awaits preschoolers and fans of all ages at PBSKIDS.org/rogers with the redesigned “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” website, full of new activities, video clips and memorabilia. In addition, 26 favorite episodes will be part of the national PBS KIDS Saturday morning broadcast lineup beginning September 12 (check local listings) and will be available to stream online later this fall at PBSKIDS.org/rogers for fans to enjoy whenever they want. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” also recently launched a new game on the PBS KIDS PLAY! subscription service (PBSKIDSPLAY.org) featuring Daniel Striped Tiger and will premiere a mobile application later this fall.

“Fred Rogers paved the way for children’s media more than 40 years ago, and we are proud to continue to work with Family Communications to ensure his legacy evolves alongside new developments in media and technology,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Director, PBS KIDS Interactive. “PBSKIDS.org continues to increase in traffic, with an average of 9 million unique visitors a month. It’s clear that kids love our games, and that parents and educators view our content online as a trusted and fun learning experience.”

“At Family Communications, we continue to hear from adults about what “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” has meant in their lives,” said Kevin Morrison, Chief Operating Officer, Family Communications, Inc. “The core values of the series — kindness, civility, reassurance and inspiration — have helped many strive towards being the best they can be. We are excited to continue to infuse Fred Rogers’ values in new platforms with new generations of children.”

The new Web site features an expanded video inventory from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” including virtual field trips with Mister Rogers to visit a penguin exhibit, a dinosaur museum exhibit, an art museum, a pediatrician’s office and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, along with the ever-popular factory visits. The site also encourages parent-child interaction with Parent Tips on every screen to help adults understand what their children are working on through their Web experience.

In the all-new Neighborhood of Make-Believe area, children can explore two new environments — inside Lady Elaine’s Museum-Go-Round and Daniel Striped Tiger’s clock.
In the Museum-Go-Round – never depicted before on TV or the Web – children can create artwork of their own, make a kaleidoscope, or just delight in the simple joy of discovery as they make things spin and go up and down.
Inside Daniel’s clock, Daniel Tiger is getting ready for bed, offering an open-ended activity which gives children an opportunity to reflect on their own feelings about bedtime and separation from the ones they love.  As they turn out Daniel’s lights or get him his blankie or teddy bear, they can listen to a Mister Rogers bedtime song or hear Mister Rogers tell a bedtime story.
And for fans of all ages, the all-new “Neighbors of All Ages” section invites kids and adults to share their memories of growing up with the Neighborhood and provides tools through photo sharing site Flickr to post photos and letters.

Working in creative collaboration with PBS KIDS and Family Communications, Inc., the award-winning, Boston-based educational media developer FableVision produced the new site. FableVision President Gary Goldberger notes, “FableVision feels honored to extend Fred Rogers’ mission to a new generation of parents and children. This new media-rich site supports and guides children as they navigate their way through life.”

Parents and teachers can also continue to access content and resources that support essential childhood themes in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” through PBS Parents and PBS Teachers.  PBS Parents offers articles, activities, tools, recipes and printables that parents and caregivers can use to extend the learning at home.  PBS Teachers provides classroom resources from the series that educators can download and use to support education in community engagement, the arts, mental and emotional health and many more topics.

In addition to the Web re-launch, PBS KIDS and Family Communications selected the top 26 favorite “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episodes to air on PBS KIDS Saturday mornings this fall.  These episodes will also be featured on PBSKIDS.org in the coming months. The 26 iconic episodes feature classic moments including:

Appearances by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Dance Theater of Harlem and performers of STOMP;

Visits with author-illustrator Eric Carle (best known for “The Hungry Caterpillar”) and beloved folksinger Ella Jenkins;
Favorite visits to factories showing how people make everyday things like crayons,  construction paper, erasers, flashlights, macaroni, and zippers;
Field trips to a recycling center and the zoo, as well as a ride on a school bus and a visit to the pediatrician’s office;
Two operas, “Windstorm in Bubbleland” and “Spoon Mountain”;
Songs, Make-Believe stories, and conversations about kindness, anger, frustration, making mistakes and even the most difficult feelings surrounding divorce.

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” can also be experienced at PBS KIDS PLAY!, an award-winning subscription service that includes curriculum-based games featuring characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. A new Mister Rogers game, Daniel’s Musical Band, launched on PBS KIDS PLAY! in August. The first “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” mobile application, My Journal, will also debut this fall. The application will encourage children to identify and talk about their feelings about their every day experiences like school, playtime and friends. Both the new game and the application feature an animated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe character Daniel Striped Tiger.

Share this page on:

Send Us Your Wii Games!

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Great news for game producers! KIDS FIRST! now accepts Nintendo Wii games for review. To celebrate this new venture, KIDS FIRST! is offering discounted submissions for any Wii titles submitted by between now and September 1, 2009. Anyone submitting Wii titles will receive a member’s rate even if they are a non-member.

Already this summer KIDS FIRST! jurors have been getting interactive with visual media as they review games for the Nintendo Wii. This move has been a great hit with both adult and child jurors. Each title provides many hours and days of entertainment as the kids and grownups grab their Wii remotes and get off the couch to learn how to become a band leader in “Major Minor’s Majestic March;” how to climb trees quickly in “Go Play Lumberjacks;” how to do tricks on the trampoline in “Go Play Circus Star;” and how to get their groove on in “Dance Dance Revolution Disney Grooves” and so much more.

The Wii craze is taking the nation. Sales last Christmas for this family gaming system sky-rocketed, despite the troubled economy. Schools have Wii gaming competitions for fundraisers and libraries gather groups for some relaxing play time. With the ever-growing popularity of the games, we at KIDS FIRST! feel it’s important to support the family-friendly media kids interact with. To see some of the KIDS FIRST! jurors in action, check out our “Dance Dance Revolution Disney Grooves” review.

To learn more about submitting a title for KIDS FIRST! review, check out our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/.

To learn more about becoming a KIDS FIRST! juror or to sign up for our online training classes go to our website http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/

Share this page on:

Congratulations to Award-Winning”PAMOJA MTAANI” (“Together in the Hood”), Behavior Change Video Game

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The “PAMOJA MTAANI” (“Together in the Hood”), Behavior Change Video Game, created by Warner Bros, won the Global Business Coalition’s Business Excellence Award.

As a key component of the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, this open world five player LAN-Based PC game educates youth in Kenya.

The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria honored Warner Bros. Entertainment with the Core Competence Business Excellence Award for the video game “Pamoja Mtaani” (“Together in the Hood”) at the GBC Business Excellence Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C on June 24, 2009. “Pamoja Mtaani”, Swahili for “Together in the Hood”, is an open world, five player LAN-based PC video game created by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in collaboration with technical experts within the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and noted serious games developer, Virtual Heroes, Inc.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, in partnership with PEPFAR, applied its core competence to develop an action-based videogame pilot that is delivering targeted HIV prevention messages to East African youths. The videogame combines traditional gameplay with messages aimed at changing behavior, focusing on key behaviors that can reduce HIV infections among youth. The game development is part of The Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, a  public-private collaboration among PEPFAR and businesses with critical core competencies such as messaging, new technologies and market research.

The “Pamoja Mtaani” videogame can be played at select youth venues in Nairobi, which are an integral component of this new initiative to revolutionize HIV prevention. The game, intended to engage youth through fun interaction, is designed to help influence HIV risk perceptions, attitudes and behaviors among young people in Nairobi.

Share this page on:

Professor Garfield Foundation Makes Learning Fun for Kids With Learning Disabilities

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Cartoons help make learning fun, even for kids who struggle with reading. Did you know that financier Charles Schwab was dyslexic and passed his literature classes by doing book reports based on comic-book versions of classic stories? Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield comic series, incorporated the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation SparkTop.org content with the Professor Garfield Foundation programming in 2007 to create a fun website where kids go to have fun and learn. The programs are designed specifically for children with learning and attention problems, although all kids benefit from the free edutainment.

“One of the unexpected joys of being in this line of work has been hearing from the parents of children who learned to read thanks to the Garfield comic strip,” said Davis. “After nearly 30 years of doing the strip, we’ve heard this often enough that we’re convinced the strip is a great teaching tool – the simple combination of words and pictures stimulates learning. That’s why we created the Professor Garfield Foundation and the Professor Garfield website. We all learn in different ways, or as SparkTop.org says, ‘No two brains spark alike.’ It’s very gratifying that the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation elected Garfield to carry on their vision. It’s a responsibility we take seriously. It will encourage us to redouble our efforts to help kids grow and learn.”

Share this page on:

Safety is No Game

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Microsoft is stepping out to help families keep gaming safe and fun. This fall the Xbox 360 will debut its Family Settings program. Parents or system owners can set permissions that allow all members of the household to enjoy Xbox 360 in a user-appropriate environment from games to DVDs and Xbox LIVE memberships and managing access to Xbox LIVE. You can even set a time limit for how long a game/DVD can be played on a daily or weekly basis. Read more about it here.

Share this page on:
Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook