Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Always Ice Cream

Always Ice Cream is an virtual-world type online game for girls.
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In some ways, it is very much like other online virtual-world type games my children have played.

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Always Ice Cream differs from other virtual-world type games in that there is a specific emphasis on learning (academics) as part of point-earning and playing. The bonus at my house for my homeschooler is that Always Ice Cream is enough like the (mindless) games she's played that she will push through the learning pieces in order to earn points (scoops) to play the virtual-world part.

She hates math. She screeches in protest at math. And yet she happily counted on her fingers to do the addition for a game. I had to pick my jaw from the kitchen island when I saw that. She had resisted my showing her how to add on her fingers, and all of a sudden, she was doing it, and it was her own idea.

'Rella asked for help identifying the states in the geography game; I am embarrassed to admit that I get some of the states mixed up when I am given a blank map. 'Rella and I learned together. Always Ice Cream covers other subjects, too, including science, language arts, music and art.

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We have reviewed several keyboarding programs and I was concerned that she would not want to do this game. It isn't her favorite, but she will do this one.

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And Pet World is her favorite; it is the most like the games she has played before.

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The part of Always Ice Cream that brought me the most pleasure is the chat feature. Children are able to chat with one another and 'Rella has been engaging in simple exchanges with other children about what games they like to play. For a child on the autism spectrum, the ability to chat online can be good practice for real life conversations and she and I talk about what to answer and what she might ask next in the ongoing conversation that happens over the course of several days. The online aspect gives us lots of time between exchanges to process and decide what to answer and ask next.

The recommended age range for Always Ice Cream is 7-12; my 12 year old is developmentally delayed and this product has been a fun way for her to learn. Always Ice Cream is priced at $4.99 a month; $29.99 a year; or $99 for lifetime access.

Always Ice Cream offers a parent account where we follow progress (there are weekly emails for this as well) and we can set/limit chat options.

We continue to enjoy Always Ice Cream. The product has been a neat way to let my girl experience fun and learning at the same time; it helps her discover that she is, indeed, a learner.

To read my Crewmates' reviews of Always Ice Cream, please go here.

Always Ice Cream provided my homeschooler lifetime access so that we could review it for you here. I was not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

My daughter (age 8) is not a strong reader. While she liked the look of the site and playing the games initially, it got too hard for her to earn scoops for her pets. We'll revisit the site when she's a bit older.

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