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ITZABITZA
List Price: $19.99

Our Price: $15.78

You Save: $4.21 (21%)

 


Product Description

Watch your child's eyes light up as he/she sees his/her own drawings become the central focus of a game. Suddenly, their art is alive with possibility. Children will delight in the action-packed house they just drew or gasp as they watch their very own rocket blast off to a faraway planet. And it's all framed within a playful approach to reading that not only leads children to new discoveries, but also gives them a feeling of accomplishment. There is a kind of magic that exists wherever color and action connect. ItzaBitza is a place where reading precedes discovery, and giggles lead to belly laughs. For children ages 4+, ItzaBitza is based on a three-year collaborative effort with learning researchers and reading specialists that was started at Microsoft Corporation.

Windows XP/Vista

Features:
  • For children ages 4+
  • Uses Sabi's Living Ink experience to bring children's creations to life
  • Provides a fun and safe way for struggling readers to read sentences
  • Evolved from an incubation project started at Microsoft Corporation
  • Based on a three-year collaborative effort with learning researchers and reading specialists

Customer Reviews:

  • Liked it, but a little ahead of my 4 year old
    This is a fun game but my 4-year old cannot control the mouse well enough to draw many of the items that are requested. I'm sure that he will figure it out as he gets older but this may be a concern for younger players....more info
  • My 4 1/2 Year Son loves this game
    I purchased this game for my 4 1/2 year old son, who loves playing the various games on the PBS web site. This was a great purchase, he loves Itzabitza, he jumped right in, and with a little help from me, was able to start interacting with the game and completing the goals. It not only helps him with his reading, but challenges his problem solving skills in a very fun way.
    ...more info
  • My 5yo: "This is the best Christmas present ever!"
    I picked this up for my five year old early-reader a few days ago and she absolutely loves it. This is the first video game she's played, but the interactions were intuitive enough that she could play by herself without any help.

    The game asks you to draw things as you go through (house, tree, rocket ship, a friend to invite to a party, etc.), and when you've drawn them the game animates the drawing and uses it for more activities. The tree gets apples and squirrels, the rocket ship takes off, etc. Our daughter is just enthralled by this. She keeps going back and making new drawings of everything just to see how silly they can be.

    The reading instruction has been good so far. If the word is too hard you can put the mouse over the word and have it read to you. My daughter used this a lot the first time she played. It was pretty cool to see her mouse over a word the first time or two, but then be able to read it when it came up from then on.

    I also really like that there isn't any commercial tie-in. It seems like every game out there has Sponge Bob, Dora, or Spiderman. It's refreshing to have a game that draws kids in with only creativity....more info
  • Outstanding educational game - with a sense of humor
    Our 6-year-old son played the ItzaBitza game for the first time today. 1.5 hours later we had to pry him away from it. He was busy reading, creating, clicking and laughing nearly the whole time. It is definitely a big hit. We overheard him saying quite a few funny things while playing the game and thought we'd share a couple of them here...

    "Oooh, I made him poopy, so I got a star!" - referring to clicking on a cow on a farm which in turn made the cow poop. It sounds a bit strange when you are a parent listening from across the room and hear your child say something like that! But hey, I guess these game designers know just how to motivate young minds!

    "I keep making this alien fart!" - referring to some aliens on the moon that when clicked seem to fart and flip over.

    Needless to say, our son is very happy with ItzaBitza and this is the longest amount of time he's ever read for, in one sitting. Now that's what we call making learning/reading fun....more info
  • Sweet little game uses creativity, helps with reading
    My five-year-old daughter loves this game. It is so sweet and simple. She draws pictures for each scene and they come to life. For example, she draws the barn and door for the farmyard scene, and then chickens come running out. The drawings don't have to be good, but they are HERS. The best thing about this game is the instructions!! As she goes to each area, the words appear and she clicks on the ones she doesn't know. A child's voice pronounces them. She knows exactly what to do without coming to get me every two minutes (THANK YOU!!!), without sitting through the same instructions over and over, and she learns about words, reading and word order.

    I waited to write this review because she seemed to finish the game so quickly, and I was afraid she wouldn't use it any more. But she keeps coming back to it every few weeks. I think the game is very appropriate for 3-7 year olds, with reading abilities from clueless (they'll learn that sentences read left to right and each word has its own sound) to reading on their own. Clever, and cute!

    (disclaimer: a friend who works at the company gave us this game. I am thrilled to be honestly able to write a good review!)...more info
  • My kids couldn't get enough of this game
    Had a couple of visiting kids over the weekend and found my 2 and 2 others huddled around the monitor as my 4 year old showed them how it worked. I had to put a timer out so they could all get a chance. They absolutely loved it and laughed so much we had to check on them a couple of times to make sure it was just the game generating all the noise.

    Great, safe, educational, and entertaining fun for small kids on the PC! ...more info
  • Learning Made Fun
    If you have children, nieces, nephews, etc., in the 4+ range, I highly recommend ItzaBitza. My six-year-old son enjoys it thoroughly, and my wife and I (and his Kindergarten teacher) have seen his reading and writing skills benefit as a result. The technology behind the game - the first of its kind from what I've seen - empowers the child to learn, be creative, participate, and have fun. ...more info
  • Fun product & great gift - even if you aren't a kid :-)
    ITZABITZA
    This is a fun game - different than all the shoot 'em bang bang stuff.
    It helps kids with reading, while having a good time. It's a great gift for kids (and their parents)!...more info
  • Fascinating and stimulates creativity
    As my daughter has grown, I've become more open to the idea of allowing her more time on the computer--provided I can find high-quality educational games that will also be fun for her. My real problem with electronics for children has been that I feel they are either too stifling of creativity or try to masquerade as "educational" when they, in fact, have no real educational value. I'm glad to say that Itza Bitza falls into neither of these categories.

    The game itself is very simple. Your child begins by choosing a "Sketchy"--either male or female--and then is asked to draw various objects for the Sketchy using the mouse. The game helps not only with mouse-handling skills but it also allows children to refine their technique. Regardless of how the objects look, the Sketchy will adapt them to his or her own use, either growing or shrinking in order to fit properly into the house your child has drawn, for example.

    In addition to the artistic aspects of the game, it also encourages problem-solving skills. Sketchy will issue simple instructions to your child and then it's up to your child to figure out how to complete the task that Sketchy has set. The directions that Sketchy issues are not always explicit and I've even found that I occasionally have a hard time figuring out what Sketchy wants done. For example, once your child has drawn a tree for Sketchy, the child will be asked to find ten baby birds. It may take a few tries until your child learns that the baby birds can be created by clicking on the birds flitting around the tree, which causes them to drop eggs that then hatch into baby birds. This can lead to some frustration but it also encourage persistence. When my daughter is finally able to figure out how to complete a task, she feels a real sense of accomplishment and victory. I'm especially pleased with this aspect of the game because my daughter has a tendency to get frustrated with things and give up too easily. Sometimes she does have to walk away from the game and won't come back to it until weeks later but she ultimately has figured out how to complete every task.

    With each task the child completes, they will be awarded a star. Once they have accumulated enough stars, a new area will be unlocked. It's always exciting for my daughter to be able to explore a new area with her Sketchy and to find new tasks but that doesn't stop her from going back to the old areas and trying new things. There are plenty of areas to appeal to a wide variety of interests--everything from a camping area to a space adventure to a haunted house.

    The game also helps with some basic reading skills. The Sketchy has several bubbles that pop up and as your child points at the words, the Sketchy will say them. Once an option is picked (for example, "House" in the starting area), a larger bubble appears with instructions. As your child moves the finger-shaped cursor over each word, the Sketchy says it. This encourages your child to look at the words as Sketchy is saying them and will help your child identify simple and high-frequency words. This also helps your child understand that in order to read, they need to follow the words from top to bottom, left to right.

    Itza Bitza is not only interesting for my daughter, it's also fascinating for me and my husband. In fact, I've considered installing it on my own PC and playing it. It's fun to watch the Sketchy interact with the objects your child draws and it's fascinating to try to figure out how to complete the various tasks given.

    My daughter has played a variety of educational games from companies like Jump Start and, while I like several of these, Itza Bitza is my favorite because of the sheer variety of skills it helps teach and because it's simply so well put together. Hopefully more software publishers will take note and create more high-quality children's software in the vein of this wonderful game....more info
  • Unique Game, Great Fun
    We got this gift for our 7 year old who loves to draw. It took about 10 minutes for her to get the hang of it and now she does not want to do anything else (and she loves the catchy name) It is unique in that you create/draw different pictures and then they come to life. For example, you choose a scene , like "at home" and then draw a dog house (the game adds the dogs), then it asks you to draw a dog bowl (since the dogs are hungry). It just keeps building on the scene that you are creating. It also has some great learning (especially reading). If your child is not yet a reader, they can point to the words and the program reads the words to you. Kudos to a great new game (and just in time for the holidays!)....more info
  • Pretty neat game
    I wasn't sure what to think at first since i guess this is new, but I have to say my kid (5 y.o.) is rather addicted. She doesn't always get the words or what things mean right away, but she's stayed engaged enough to where I feel like she actually might someday...looking forward to seeing if this game is sticky enough to have long term effects on her comprehension. At $20 it's worth her fun either way :)...more info
  • ItzaGreatza!
    I bought this for our 4 year-old daughter because she's very creative and is showing an interest in the computer.
    This "game" is phenomenal. She gets to draw things, which are maintained on the screen as-is...no one there to show her the "right way" or force her to make it perfect. She can be her own judge. For example, it asked her to draw a house. she drew this lopsided, 'looks like a 4 year-old drew it' house...or a box...or beanbag. In the next step, it asked her to draw a door, which looked more like a triangle. The software made it come to life and the character opened the door and walked inside this beautifully crafted home that was just as my daughter designed. She's self-directed and doesn't need me to show her anything, although I like watching (and it's hard not to want to take my turn). Even her brainiac 9-year-old brother likes to play this thing. It's a brilliant piece of work. She's gaining confidence while playing this. I hope they make more stuff like this!
    ...more info