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Curious George

Guide To Web Features For Kids

Below are descriptions and educational objectives for every game on the CURIOUS GEORGE Web site, as well as starter ideas for extending the learning away from the computer. (For additional real-world play ideas, check out the Activities & More section of the site.)

To get the most out of time spent playing these games, check out the Web Site Summary and Usage Tips. For an overview of all the content on this Web site, check out the Site Map.

Our 16 Busy Day games offer kids a wide range of opportunities to learn numbers and counting as they join George on a very busy day. At the park, in the tub, launching rockets, or collecting carrots, George and his friends make math fun!

We've also created 7 Spanish-language games, translations of some of our most popular games.

Bring It! (requires Flash)

George is having a party and you're invited! He needs you to bring one last-minute thing. Just walk through George's neighborhood, from the store to his house, with the party supplies. This is a one or two-player game in which players take turns spinning the wheel of fortune to move 1, 2 or 3 squares along the path. If they land on a square with a question, and they get the correct answer, they will advance an additional bonus square along the path. There will be 5 different categories of question covering five basic math concepts: addition, subtraction, counting, spatial-array comparison, and patterns.

Extend the learning: When you're out doing errands, look for things you can count. Then do easy addition and subtraction. Or, look for patterns: can you predict what might be coming up next?

Banana 411 (requires Flash)

There is more to the whole number thing than counting. Though numbers help you count how many hands George has (four) and how many donuts he mistakenly orders (100 dozen, to be exact), they also act as labels. They're on athletic jerseys, in PIN codes and, of course, on telephones. The purpose of this game is to help kids practice number recognition. The Man with the Yellow Hat calls out numbers of increasing length that players have to dial. When players successfully dial the correct phone number they get to watch a funny video clip of George and his pals as a reward. Also, Banana 411 self-levels to each kid's ability. So each player can have a good time, learning at his/her own pace. Well, that's the 411 on this game.

Extend the learning: The next time you get on the phone to call distant relatives or order pizza, give your child the opportunity to dial those phone numbers. They'll enjoy the feedback of hearing familiar voices or having delicious pizza delivered to their front doors.

Big Picture (requires Flash)

In this game kids use a keen scientific skill, acute observation. They must match magnified images to one of nine photographs. This is not as simple as it sounds. If successful (without errors along the way), they move to a new round that's slightly harder. As the game progresses, magnification increases, colors swap out and objects become more similar as we push kids to the edge of their skill level... and beyond! This self-leveling game is another example of how we instill our games with doses of fun and Artificial Intelligence in equal amounts.

Extend the learning: Find a challenging puzzle to work on together. How can looking at just part of a bigger picture be confusing? What strategies can be used to arrange the pieces correctly?

Chock-a-Block Zoo

Have a great time filling in some hidden animals with colored rods of different lengths. This game offer 9 different animals, plus a freeform canvas on which to make your own art. In the animal versions, players need to pay special attention to the number of blocks they're trying to fill. And in the "blank canvas" version, players can place the rods wherever they like, then animate their creation by clicking the "play" button.

Extend the learning: When you're placing a number of items into a container in your home, make a game of it: how many items do you think will fit in certain places? Then put them in, and see how good your estimate was.

Count Your Chickens (requires Flash)

The goal of this game is to help kids hone counting and estimating skills. Along the way, they are also introduced to the comparative language of "more" and "less" as they help George catch some unruly (but adorable) chicks. This game has three different levels, but the difficulty of tasks within each level is determined by your child's current ability. In the first level, kids must count or estimate how many chicks are in the pen. In the second level, kids must compare two pens and count or estimate to determine which has more or less. And in the third level, kids must round up a certain number of chicks. In each case, The Man with the Yellow Hat is on hand to talk kids through their choices.

Extend the learning: Use household items to set up similar counting challenges away from the computer. For example, put quantities of your child's favorite snack into some cups and have her practicing counting, estimating, and comparing.

Cows Don't Quack (requires Flash)

All scientists need good listening skills. They also need to know how to use basic logic. And some — like your child — even have to fix cows that quack and dogs that chirp. This matching game full of crazy noises and mixed-up critters puts all those skills to the test. Kids will progress at their own pace through multiple rounds of increasing difficulty as they work to give each animal its proper voice.

Extend the learning: Try similar matching games away from the computer. For example, show your child some everyday objects, like a ball, aluminum foil, a pen, and a stapler. Have him close his eyes as you bounce the ball, crumple the aluminum foil, click the pen, and push down on the stapler. Then have him try to match the sounds to the items.

Day at the Beach (requires Flash)

Calling all budding architects! George is at the beach and would like some help making sand castles, but there's a science to it. In this game kids experiment by mixing sand and water, in various shaped containers, to determine the consistency needed to make a solid shape. After successfully creating a shape or multiple shapes, the next step is to use the shape(s) to construct an architectural masterpiece. The challenge to this level is in making the sandcastle structurally sound, as shapes will collapse if not supported. Kids can get creative with their sandcastles by adding decorative elements such as seaweed, shells or a flag to their designs. Clicking on the wave will wash it all away and allow for a fresh start.

Extend the learning: Collect materials with your child to build a castle. Find household items such as blocks, paper cups, egg cartons, cardboard tubes and other household items to build elaborate structures. Talk about which shapes provide better support for building and which make better ornamentation.

Everything Must Go! (requires Flash)

George and his Clean Machine could use some direction! In "Everything Must Go!" kids can help George clean up his room while learning about potential reuses for things in their own homes. It's up to each child to decide whether the laundry hamper, the toy basket or the book cart is the correct place to recycle each toy, book or item of clothing offered up. Clicking on a spring to highlight a destination, or clicking on the destination itself activates the Clean Machine, which then tosses the object into the chosen spot. Level two adds a recycling bin and level three, a compost bucket. In between rounds the kids learn where their sorted plastic bottles, egg shells, old boots and other objects end up: in a recycling truck, as fuel for the garden, at a homeless shelter, at the children's hospital or in the library. Who knew being green was this much fun!

Extend the learning: Challenge your kids to think of objects in their homes that could be reused in new ways. Could a pair of pants that's too short become a pair of shorts, or an old sock a sock puppet? A pretty bowl with a chip could become a planter, while an old shirt might make a good painting smock and some paper towel rolls could be made into a pair of binoculars. Be creative!

Feed Gnocchi (requires Flash)

Even kids as young as four can get their first taste of Newtonian physics with this engineering game. Kids manipulate an increasingly complex system of ramps to get a meatball to land on a plate for George's feline pal, Gnocchi. The game mimics gravity, velocity, and momentum to make the virtual meatball respond just as a real meatball might. (It even makes a satisfying squelching sound when it lands!) Kids get a huge kick out of arranging their own ramp configurations. In keeping with the true processes of science, there are multiple solutions, which means this game can be played over and over again! Another cool feature of this game: ramps can be moved mid-play to add more fun...or to free a clogged meatball!

Extend the learning: Work with your child to engineer a real-life version of this game using toy balls and cardboard ramps (try using paper towel tubes cut lengthwise).

George Brings Spring (requires Flash)

Our friend George really loves spring, and you can help him bring spring early! In this feature, designed to teach the basics of what spring means, kids get to plant flower bulbs — and place bees, nests, tadpoles, and cocoons, too — then make it rain to see each of four scenes blossom into life. And once it's spring, the bunnies come out. Can you find all three? With almost endless ways to personalize each scene, there's a lot of spring to bring!

Extend the learning: Any time of year is a good time to go outside and discover the seasonal signs: the buds of spring, the full bloom of summer, the falling leaves of autumn, and the "sleeping," possibly snowy winter. Take a walk, and see what you see!

George's Hearts and Crafts

George is making heart-decorated cards to give to his friends, and he needs your help! Carefully compare jigsaw-style heart pieces to find the matching ones. When a card's complete, see who George gives the card to! Along the way, kids will hone their shape-recognition skills, and practice distinguishing relevant details from those that are less important.

Extend the learning: When you're out and about, look for pairs of items that are ALMOST the same, then talk about how some specific details are actually different.

Glass Palace (no plug-in required)

George is cleaning windows on the mighty Glass Palace skyscraper. As always, George could use a little assistance. In this game, kids help George get the job done by "counting on" -- or beginning to count in the middle of a sequence without always starting at "1." For instance, players help George locate window 73 where it appears between windows 69 through 80. This game offers numbers from 11 through 99 encouraging kids to discover the patterns and predictable nature of big numbers. As the game proceeds, there are increasingly more windows to be cleaned and so there are more numbers to predict or count on. To match typical numbering we have set these numbers in increasing value from left to right and from top to bottom. (Note: This game was created without audio and no monkeys were harmed.)

Extend the learning: Look for opportunities to help your kids predict, guess or count with big numbers. Street numbers are often erratic, but aisle numbers in big supermarkets, or page numbers in their favorite books, might give you the chance to ask, "What number comes next?".

How Tall (requires Flash)

An important part of school readiness is getting kids used to measuring and estimating using standard and non-standard units of measure. For example, kids learn how to use their footsteps to measure the length of a room. This interactive game asks kids to estimate the height of an object using a variety of non-standard units of measure — tires, donuts, coins — just as George measures himself with licorice whips on the TV show. The Man with the Yellow Hat then counts aloud to see if the estimate is correct. This gives your child practice in counting, as well as in testing a simple hypothesis.

Extend the Learning: Use some household items to do some real-life estimating and measuring. How many straws long is the toy chest? How many blocks tall is your child?

I Love Shapes (requires Flash)

George has a job and he needs help sorting shapes as they move down the conveyor belt. This game presents the cognitive challenge of scanning the moving objects to find certain characteristics. Kids must categorize each object's shape, color, or both, in time to tell George where he should go. Just be careful not to catch the wrong shapes! And if you think this is a cushy job, just wait - different shapes and increasing speeds are coming down the line. Don't let George fall behind!

Extend the learning: When you're out and about, look for simple shapes: circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. You'll be surprised at all the shapes hiding right around you in plain sight!

Juggling George (requires Flash)

In this game we're introducing some basic math. This game offers simple challenges for counting, adding, subtracting, and also following instructions that contain numbers. Kids will also be offered words that actually introduce basic algebra with tasks where they might, for example, choose five fruit but two must be apples. Working with small numbers will give confidence and practice at manipulating amounts. This game, like many on this site, includes a leveling system that moves kids into harder levels when they show progress. This keeps them challenged. And, of course, we hope that watching George juggle every time a player is successful will be a fun reward.

Extend the learning: Turn dinnertime conversation into a chance to practice basic math. Create a fun conversation about quantities kids may know. How many legs are there in your family? And how many noses? What if you include pets?

Mix and Paint (requires Flash)

This activity is designed to let our budding scientists mix colors using primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and also to lighten them using white. If they work carefully, they can create an incredibly rich array of new colors. Moving the cursor across to the canvas area lets them use each new color to paint pictures by simply clicking. They can empty the paint bucket at any time by clicking on it, as this will refill the paint tubes. The game, as much as possible, copies what it is like to mix real paint. If you want to find the right brown, for example, to color Curious George, you'll need two squirts of yellow, and one each of red and blue.

Extend the learning: Let your kids mix their own colors with real paint!

Monkey Faces (requires Flash)

This two-part activity helps our junior engineers learn some computer skills and then some drafting skills. First they must drag and drop features to build George's face. Many kids this age are just learning how to use a mouse, and this rewarding feature will help them click move and release items. When they do George animates and kids are offered the second part: a chance to print and draw George. This feature was carefully created to let anyone draw George bit by bit.

Extend the learning: Ask kids to draw a self portrait or a picture of other members of their family. It may help in drawing a face to draw an oval or egg-shape for the head and then a line up and down and one, in the middle, side to side. The eyes sit on the middle line and the nose goes on the vertical one.

Monkey Moves (requires Flash)

This game is designed to get you up and moving away from the keyboard! There are eight different simple routines, each with a fun "signature move" and sound. Practice that move first, then get ready for the whole routine. Each three-step routine plays through three times, then speeds up for a silly challenge. Try all eight, and get a great monkey workout with George! (Note: While we'd like to get kids up and moving, most of the routines CAN be done while sitting.)

Extend the learning: Monkey Moves is kind of like Simon Says. So get some friends and family together for "George Says," and create your own funny monkey moves for everyone to do!

On the Job (no plug-in required)

Do you think a construction worker can dig a hole with a fish? Do you think a police officer can keep the peace with a paintbrush? In this matching game, kids make connections between workers and their tools. This satisfyingly simple game introduces one of the most important concepts in engineering: using the right tool for the job.

Extend the learning: Try mixing up some household tools and let your child see how they work. For example, ask her to try to eat soup with a fork or soak up liquid with wax paper.

Pinata Party!

Have a party, decorate and break a pinata, and learn some Spanish along the way! Choose one of six pinatas to color and stamp, then break it open to see the toys inside! The Man with the Yellow Hat names all the pinata shapes, colors, numbers, and toys in English and in Spanish to teach some basic vocabulary.

Extend the learning: Point out bilingual (or multilingual) text on everyday products you may have in your home.

Pogo-A-Gogo (requires Flash)

When is a monkey happier than when he has a brand new pogo stick? George's new pogo stick allows him to jump up and catch all kinds of objects - hats, toys, presents, bags and tools - but he needs some help from an engineer. Do you know any?

Engineering is a process that involves planning and experimentation, and is also about problem solving or meeting a goal. In this game, kids can add or remove blocks to help George meet his collecting goal. They must learn how George bounces and then add or subtract blocks to let him reach the objects he needs.

Extend the learning: Do you remember a time before the AA and the AAA battery took over half the toys in the toy box? We had blocks. Regular building blocks. Wooden blocks. Plastic blocks. We would learn how to balance them, build with them, make them tall. And knock them down. Have your kids tried messing around with blocks lately?

Present Time (requires Flash)

George loves to give presents to his friends, and you can join him on his adventures! First help him decide who to get a present for. Then, can you "read monkey" to find out what present George wants to get? Next, head out to the toy store to get the present (watch out for those other shoppers!), and enjoy wrapping the present. Finally, celebrate with George's friends. And along the entire journey, you can practice your matching skills, pattern-recognition skills — and your decorating skills!

Extend the learning: Create simple drawings, and see if your friends can tell what they are. Or, while you're out and about, look for patterns of movement. Can you predict what will happen next?

Pumpkin Boo!

George is finding his way through the pumpkin patch, looking for the perfect pumpkin to take to the Boo Festival. Help George collect the pumpkins while avoiding some (not-too-scary) Halloween Boos. Find bunnies hiding in leaf piles to get an extra bunny bonus!

Extend the learning: Play a simple search game. Look around you and see if you can find all the orange things. Or the round things. Make up your own set of objects to find.

Roller Monkey (requires Flash)

Every young scientist needs good observation skills. In this game, kids watch George and Hundley roll by on skates, paying close attention to the unique pattern on each set of skate boots. Then they pick out the matching pattern from a group of skates. This fun, pattern recognition game, like most of our games, increases in difficulty only if the player demonstrates skill at each of its many levels. If kids choose the wrong skate, a quick side-by-side comparison precedes a chance for them to try again. In this way, they gently roll along to success.

Extend the learning: Next time you are out walking with your kids, tell them to look around carefully. Then try to play a memory game of I Spy. Ask questions like these: "What color was the truck that just went by?", "What color was that girl's backpack?", or "Did you see any dachshunds wearing roller skates?"

Secret Agent George

In this "Five Senses" game, George — who's practicing his secret agent skills wherever he can — is headed to Mabel's Department Store to pick up some items for the Man With the Yellow Hat. But he needs to remember what they are! Help George identify items by what they look, smell, sound, taste, or feel like. Afterwards, help him make his way through the department store to pick up what he needs — secret agent style!

Extend the learning: Whenever you find yourself with a few minutes, check out whatever's around you. Can you describe it? Use your five senses — touch, smell, hearing, feel, and taste — and see what words you can come up with to describe it. (Explore items SAFELY, of course!)

Snapshot (requires Flash)

Every good scientist needs to be able to observe, categorize and record data. Now your kids can do all of these in this charming game. Different clips play and the task is to click a camera to fill an album based on each clip's theme. With each click, a snapshot image appears. Kids can print or re-do their album as they wish. The clips on offer change every few weeks.

Extend the learning: If you have access to a camera or camera-phone, let your kids take pictures. Suggest a theme like "Signs of Spring" or "Neighborhood Critters" and encourage them to take pictures they think reflect the theme. Maybe you can even help them print them. Kids often flourish when given these kinds of tasks - ones where they get to put their own stamp on a task and use something cool like a camera.

Splat Symphony

All the fun and none of the cleanup! Not only can you create a "splat painting" by flinging various color and size balls of paint at a blank canvas, but you can HEAR your art, too, since every splat color and placement has a different sound. You can then click the music button to "play" your painting.

Extend the learning: Using sidewalk chalk, draw a bunch of different colored circles outside, and choose a sound for each color. Players can then step from circle to circle, making the proper sound for each color. The more people who play at once, the sillier the sounds!

Super Bouncy Blast Off (requires Flash)

This an arcade-style game focuses on estimation. Players estimate how many balls are in a toy rocket ship. Then, when it blasts off, the balls bounce all over the place. Players catch all the balls, and see how close their estimation was. If their estimate is close, congratulations! If not, the player is prompted to try again. This game is self-leveling, starting with fewer balls in the rocket. With each success, the number of balls increases.

Extend the learning: The "estimation game" is easy to play no matter where you are? Just look around to find something you can count, guess how many there are, and then actually count them. Compare answers. Who got closest? If no one did, why do you think it was difficult to estimate?

ZOOmazing (requires Flash)

George meets different animals that can't find their way home in the zoo. Players help George get the animals to their right homes by using a map as a guide. Players see a bird's-eye view of the zoo in the corner, and see a close-up view of the animal at a decision point within the zoo-maze. Players pick a direction to go based on where they are on the map and the landmarks they see in the close-up view. This game is self-leveling. With each success, the animals' homes are farther from the starting point and there are more obstacles in the way of the most obvious path.

Extend the learning: When you're out and about, grab a map of where you're going. Try to following along with the map. When you get good at that, try predicting what you'll see next.

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