When your child plays ItzaZoo on a Windows PC, they visit a zoo where their drawings are as lively as the animals! They jump inside the exhibits and watch as their wacky drawings magically come to life and star in activities that build their reading skills. The more they play, the more they crave reading! The game is based on award winning research on how children learn.
Creativity, *Early Learning*, Reading
ItzaZoo is the second in the series of award winning games that have won:
- Game of the Year, 2009, Creative Child
- Five-star review from USA Today
- American Library Association “Great Interactive Software for Kids List”
- BusinessWeek “Best Tech for Kids”
- The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, 2009
- Parents’ Choice Gold Award
- Dr. Toy’s Best 100 Children’s Products of 2009 list
- Editor’s Choice and Gold Award from the Children’s Technology Review
We wake up every day and ask ourselves, what if every child could read? Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Welcome to the Zoo
What kid doesn’t love a trip to the zoo? Roughhousing lions, waddling penguins, playful monkeys and giant polar bears fill a child’s eyes with fascinating imagery, but viewing the animals isn’t enough to satisfy a child’s sense of adventure. Dreams of swinging through the trees with monkeys and swimming with penguins are finally fulfilled when the player enters the world of ItzaZoo. Within this novel drawing game, adorable animals are waiting to accompany the player on their own unique journey through the animal kingdom. The player’s drawings become interactive environments where the loving attention given to each animal’s mood and circumstance creates a strong bond between your child and the character. For example, inside the polar-bear playset, kids watch a smile appear on the face of the swimming bear as they draw a helpful diving mask for it. Aiding the polar-bear on its underwater adventure is just one of many fun-filled experiences that awaits your child inside ItzaZoo.
Five playsets provide homes for a lion, elephant, monkey, turtle and polar bear (the animals can be a boy or a girl depending on your child’s preference). The player provides certain objects for each animal that they create by drawing with their mouse on crinkled paper that spins into view. The unique Living-Ink technology recognizes the content of the drawing and brings it to life in a way that will thrill your child. Inside the turtle’s playset the player is asked to draw a greenhouse. Once it’s complete, your child will be amazed as the turtle wanders into their new home and offers a happy wave. The player can be as creative as they wish since the Living Ink technology adapts to their individual drawing style. Children will laugh as they watch the monkey slip on a peel that moments before was a banana that the player had drawn. Inside the elephant playset, the eager pachyderm balances on a ball drawn by the player. But what happens if they exchange the ball for a triangle, a square or even a star? Observing as the elephant attempts to maintain its balance provides an entertaining lesson on shapes and their interaction with the environment.
Earning Stars uses Creative Problem Solving Skills
Within each playset, the player encounters five Star Challenges. As the player completes the level’s challenges they unlock new playsets and further opportunities for fun and learning with the zoo’s animals. Earning stars requires thought and exploration. Each challenge offers the opportunity to use and enhance a player’s creative problem solving skills. The challenges vary within each level providing a wide array of fun and educational experiences. In the elephant’s playset a star can be earned by watering flowers, but there is work to do before the watering can be completed. The player must draw a rain cloud and fill their watering bucket by making the cloud rain. The player has to make sure they have enough water for all of the flowers. If the bucket is emptied before the task is complete, they must figure out that they need to make it rain again so that they can fill the bucket and complete the task.
Engages Children in Reading
ItzaZoo provides a new approach to developing the literacy of early readers. Players are guided by sentences that appear in speech bubbles above each animal. If a word is unfamiliar to the reader they can find help by mousing over it. The word will turn red and a helpful child’s voice will read it aloud. The sentences increase in difficulty and complexity as the player unlocks each new playset. Parents will delight in their child’s blossoming self confidence as they watch the player’s need for help decrease with each new level.
While forward progress within the game is based on the Star Challenges which all include an encouraging support system for our early-readers, those looking for an extra challenge will find it by trying out our Visitor Challenges. These timed challenges feature a more advanced vocabulary and are more difficult to complete. Player’s unlock these special challenges by attracting more visitors to a particular exhibit as they win their Star Challenges. Once a silver trophy is earned for a level the Visitor Challenge is unlocked. These challenges encourage the player to convince their animal to perform amusing actions like dancing with a snowman or slipping on a banana peel. Since these challenges are intended to be a more difficult bonus level, the usual reading assistance isn’t available. The player is met with the eye-popping flash of the visitor’s camera as they complete each Visitor Challenge. Each challenge earns camera points that provide extra fun and encouragement, but aren’t required for continued progress through the game.
There have never been animals in a Zoo as whacky as the Sketchy animals in ItzaZoo!