JumpStart is an educational game series that provides young users with fun ways to learn and expand their minds and capabilities. Although the software is available for purchase, the JumpStart website provides a convenient option for parents and their children. The user can join JumpStart and gain access to a number of benefits. Users can play games with other users. The JumpStart website membership also gives the user access to 1,000 of learning games and 100s of academic skill practice tools. Users are also provided four JumpStart PC games which could be downloaded and the ability to hatch raise and train a virtual mythical creature pet. Users can also see what has been recently added to the website and areas are available to help parents and teachers make the most out of JumpStart memberships.
The original JumpStart game titles were created between 1994 and 1998. During that time a few upgrades were made but no significant changes were implemented. By 2000, the existing game titles were revamped with new cover art and a second disc’s worth of content. The name changed again in 2002 to include “JumpStart Advanced” in the title along with some changes to the software itself. Another upgrade occurred in 2003 when a third disc was added and 2007 when a fourth was included. Today, parents and their children can purchase JumpStart or become members of the JumpStart website.
JumpStart provides parents and children with an easy, fun place for children to learn. The site combines entertainment with actual learning, which offers an excellent alternative to less engaging learning methods. The site includes numerous activities, practice options and games so users can easily improve their skills while having a good time.
The JumpStart website maintains a very colorful design, complimented by the arched yellow and red JumpStart logo. Five blue buttons that run across the top, center of the page invite the user to join, learn what has been added, read parent and teacher information or visit the JumpStart online shop. The games have a cartoony feel to them that goes well with the playful blue, yellow and red of the site.
A new user can begin playing by clicking one of the two red and white “Play Now!” buttons found on the JumpStart homepage. Those who would like to create an account can do so by clicking the blue and white “Register” button nestled into the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The registration form invites parents to create an account for their children through an existing Facebook account (using the blue and white button at the top of the form) or by filling out the fields provided. The form asks users for a parent’s name, parent’s date of birth, email address, password, child’s name or a nickname for the child and optional gender and date of birth. A box is available under the parent’s area of the form to sign the user up for JumpStart emails. This must be manually un-checked to opt out of email updates.
JumpStart provides users with the option of a free or paid membership. The free account gives the user access to a few basic games and activities and the ability to play online with other users. The paid membership costs around $8 per month, around $75 per year or approximately $150 for a lifetime membership. The paid membership gives the user access to 1,000 of member-only games, 100s of learning practice tools, access to the JumpStart virtual pets and the ability to download four PC games and access to the Math Blaster website.
Parents and their children as well as teachers and their students can really enjoy the JumpStart website. Users can play games that will help them learn and develop. Membership is relatively inexpensive and the lifetime membership option is a nice addition.