Monday, November 14, 2011

Wii game review: Ready, Set, Grover!

We drove to and from Vancouver BC this past weekend, which meant my kids spent a lot of time sitting in the car. When we arrived home last night it was already dark (at 4:30!) and also raining. So sending the kids outside to play wasn't really an option.  Fortunately, we have a new Wii game in our house that is designed to get kids up and moving! It's called Ready, Set, Grover! and it's fabulous. Here's a bit about it, from the product's website:

  • Promotes healthy habits for life including physical activity, good nutrition, hygiene, and rest and relaxation.
  • Provides easy to follow audio-visual directions.
  • Use a second Wii Remote™ to drop-in and assist when needed.
  • Wii™ version includes a Grover Wii Remote™ character cover, minimizing unnecessary buttons and making it easier for your child to grip and play.

Ready, Set, Grover! is designed around the Healthy Habits for Life curriculum and focuses on personal hygiene, physical activity, nutrition, and rest and relaxation. Your kids won't notice that though, they'll just think they're having lots of fun with lots of different games! 
Having a great time with Ready, Set, Grover!

I love this game for several reasons. First, Ethan (who is 4), can play it almost completely on his own.  The instructions are simple and no reading is required to play.  Grover, Elmo and Abby tell and show the kids exactly what they need to be doing to play the games, and help them when they are having problems.  There's no negative feeling when it takes a couple (or more) tries to figure something out. Ethan has a tendency to give up easily on games when he can't figure it out right away, but he's been sticking with this game and has been really proud when he does things correctly. Secondly, this is an up-and-moving game- no sitting on the couch here! The game takes place in a variety of environments, like the park, the pond, the street and the garden. Even though Vivian (at 2 1/2) can't quite work the game by herself, she is so engaged by what's on screen that she thinks it's fun to just stand beside Ethan and follow along with the activities.

The graphics and sound on this game are great too.  Another fun feature of this game is that it comes with a cover for your Wii remote that covers up all of the unnecessary buttons on your remote. This really helps the kids figure out how to work the game and keeps them from pushing the wrong thing.

The game also has some nice extra features, like the ability for a parent to enter the game with a second remote, a set play timer that limits the number of games a particular profile can play per session, the ability to see what games have been played and what curricular goals have been met, and the ability to change the default difficulty level of games on a profile.

If you’re looking for a Wii game that’s really suitable for the preschool and up set, I’d highly recommend checking out this game. My kids and I endorse it wholeheartedly! (Ready, Set, Grover is also available for the Nintendo DS).

Disclosure: I received a copy of this game to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.