I attended a session to learn about the Xbox 2 way TV experience the other week. You may not have heard about it before, I hadn’t either but using XBox 360 Kinect allows children to physically interact with characters on the screen. Demonstrated to us at the session was Sesame Street TV where the child can actually see themselves on the screen and their actions ‘make’ things happen on the screen. For example, jumping up and down may produce bubbles on the screen or they may be asked to throw something at the screen which then appears. They can float on clouds, get pictures of themselves taken, be in the jungle or just watch their favourite Sesame Street character sing a song but at the same time learning numbers, letters and actions.
For the die hard Sesame Street fan you have access to classic clips and can even choose to watch and play with your favourite character. What is good about this ‘game’ is that if your child just wants to sit back and watch the episodes that’s fine it will keep on going and won’t stop just because there isn’t any interaction going on.
Through Sesame Street TV you have online access to stream a whole lot more Sesame Street clips from a huge back catalogue of episodes and you can even search for favourite categories and celebrities!
I thought at 5 nearly 6 years old M may be a little old for this now ( I certainly wasn’t too old for Sesame Street at his age but things have changed a lot since then) however I have been proved wrong, through the interaction he has been kept standing, jumping, shouting and pointing for quite a long time. Although the letters and numbers are quite basic for him there are episodes on science that keep him more than amused and even my 10 year old daughter has enjoyed playing this. It is lovely for the children to play something that is totally innocent and fun and they find it amusing that Sesame Street has been around since I was little. Ultimately for a learning experience it is ideally suited, in my opinion, for children around the age of 3-4 years old but still has it’s place with older children and the old clips will keep lots of adults glued to the screen too!
There are two seasons of Sesame Street TV available and I would highly recommend it, in fact it is great…I still can’t believe what technology can do and never in a million years would I have thought we would be able to watch ourselves on our screens all at the touch of a button. Our children are so lucky!
Also worth mentioning is Kinect National Geographic TV, recommended for ages 7 and up, with this game you interact with episodes of America the Wild learning about animals and their natural habitat. My 10 year old and the older children have really enjoyed this. Once again this gains you access to more episodes online.
I hadn’t really thought of the Xbox as a gaming console for the younger children before, I had been totally oblivious to the fact that there were even games for small children but wow I am a convert. Once you get used to the controller and get the Kinect set up properly it is really easy to use and we are having so much fun playing interactive games, and getting fit too!
Disclosure: I was given games and equipment to enable me to carry out this review