Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review – The Land of Me (Interactive Digital Story Book) : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Sunday Review – The Land of Me (Interactive Digital Story Book)

When we were asked to try out The Land of Me digital story book, I was worried that it would be well beyond Lara's abilities or interests as a not-quite-two-year-old. While I'll admit that much of the content is more suitable for older children, I've been surprised at how engaged Lara has been with the activities when we have played together.

The Land of Me - - is a digital story book and activity centre which can be played on PC or Mac. There are x levels. The first level can be downloaded for free but after that you can currently get subsequent chapters by recommending your friends or by purchasing the chapters (see below for details).

The story centres around three cute characters who visit different parts of the Land of Me. Each level starts with a conversation where your children can interact with the characters and help them choose the next sentence in the story. The two chapters that I have found Lara to interact with most are about size and weather conditions/times of day. Lara watches the characters and then, when prompted, she gets to choose a variable in the story such as the size of the character, or the time of day when it occurred. I've really noticed Lara's understanding of 'big', 'medium' and 'small' improve having played it.

Each level features a topic that encourages learning and creativity and helps young children to stretch their imagination. The best part of the product is the graphics. Each chapter features really well illustrated magical and enchanting landscapes and creatures that capture Lara's interest every time we start the game.

On top of the core story book (which could be over and done with quite quickly with an older child) there are loads of printable activities relevant to each chapter. Many of these projects are a bit beyond Lara right now but will provide lots of entertainment in the future. Cutting and sticking pictures, things to build and make and puzzles. This adds a lot of value to the story book and because you can print them again and again, offers good value for money.

My only complaint about the Land of Me is the download time. You must first download the framework to run the story book, then after that you have to download the chapters. Each chapter is big and although it is handy to make these available for download online, I think I would prefer to buy this on DVD-ROM (which you can do from their website). Sitting waiting for the download with an impatient toddler is painful.

Ordinarily The Land of Me costs £29.95 to download the complete program (6 chapters), or you can buy the individual chapters for £6.95 each.
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