Educational Software

by Susan Levitan

Problem Solving/Logic/Thinking Skills

List compiled and reviewed by Susan Levitan

Children learn about their surroundings and environment by observing, playing, exploring, experimenting with information and ideas, testing and challenging situations, and trial and error. Children use imagination, creativity, questioning, reflection, and reasoning as part of the process of learning about how the world works. Problem solving skills develop as children grow older, face various problems and situations, and learn from them. Skills in problem solving may include analyzing a situation, selecting relevant information, formulating a plan, testing a hypothesis, and generalizing from the results obtained. Computer software can be used to introduce problems and situations, accept/modify I challenge children’s responses, and present solutions. Children may draw inferences, make judgements, and reach conclusions by logical reasoning. Using educational games, children will learn about perception, discrimination, relationships, categories, classification, and logic. The ultimate goal is for children to apply the various skills and techniques to more complex problems and situations.

The Learning Company
Apple II and IIe
ages 4-9.

A series of color and shape games help children develop logical thinking skills. At the beginning of each game, Gertrude the Goose flies off the screen and fetches a collection of colored shapes. You solve the game puzzles by arranging game pieces according to given rules or by guessing a secret rule. A special room even allows you to create your own shapes.

The Learning Company
Apple II and IIe
ages 6 and up.

Develop reasoning skills as you move puzzle pieces to form various shapes and color patterns according to given rules. You can also design your own set of pieces of puzzles to create any level of difficulty.

The Learning Company;
Apple II and IIe
ages 7 and up.

Use Rocky the Raccoon to build animated logic machines and learn the basics of computer circuits. Colors, sounds, and music are incorporated to teach logical thinking skills. A very challenging, complex game recommended for ages seven “and up.”

Spinnaker Software. Corp.
Apple, IBM, Atari, Commodore 64

ages 10-adult.

Case # 1 The Granite Point Ghost is a challenging detective game where the player must take notes, draw maps, classify and organize information, and develop reasoning and problem solving skills, Who (or what) is haunting the old Cable Mansion in Granite Point?

Spinnaker Software Corp.
Apple, IBM, Atari, Commodore 64
ages 10-adult.

Case #2 The Disappearing Dolphin places you in the role of a private detective. Who stole Lily The Dolphin from the Tabasco Aquarium and why? You will have to identify the perpetrator from a list of eight suspects. A Snoop-Mobile, a wrist radio, a SnoopNet computer, a camera, and even a notebook will aid you in this educational adventure game.

Spinnaker Software Corp.; Apple, IBM, Atari, Commodore 64
ages 10-adult.

Sunburst Communications; Apple, Atari, TRS-80
grades 4 and up.

Two programs designed to help children think logically in solving addition and multiplication problems. Both programs present a gri9 and a character named Tobbs. The grid has a succession of math problems, each with a missing number. The player uses logic to decide which number cannot be, might be, or must be the number that solves the problem on the grid. Six levels of difficulty are offered for both Puzzles and Problem Solving.

Apple Computer Inc.; Apple preschool to adult.

Players are challenged to use visual discrimination and problem solving skills. Moptown creatures are identified by four characteristics (tall/short, fat/thin, red/blue, gribbit/bibbit) in a series of logic puzzle games that become progressively more difficult and complex as each new level is reached.

Apple Computer, Inc.; Apple
ages 9-13.

Discovery games emphasizing thinking skills from Children’s Television Workshop, creators of Sesame Street. How light is reflected, how to guess three digit numbers using clues and more in this exciting program.

Sunburst Communications; Apple
grades 2-6.

Good graphics programs help children to identify various relationships—colors, shapes, pictures. Four pictures, letters, or words are presented on the screen and you are asked to identify which is the “odd one out.” There are varying levels of difficulty, providing increasingly challenging categorization problems.

Softside; Apple
elementary and intermediate grades.

Here’s your chance to see a maze from the inside. The walls appear as they would to a rat trying to run the maze. Try to find your way to the end!

Milliken; Apple II+, Atari
grades K-4.

A learning game emphasizing readiness for probability. Identify various sizes and quantities. Will you pick the right jar?

Milliken; Apple II+, Atari
grades 1-3.

Classification and direction (left, right, up, down) are highlighted in this game. Capture the magic figures with your space ship. Try not to crash!

Sunburst Communications; Atari
grades 3-adult.

To be successful in this game, you must be able to think through a situation logically. In order to help a frog find its way through a pond, you must gather information about a path of lily pads and generalize the information into a pattern. An option forces the frog to leap a given number of steps.

Sunburst Communications; TRS-80 Models I and III
grades 4 and up.

Three programs will help sharpen logic and thinking skills. In Gemini, you must figure out how an extraterrestrial farmer sorts his flock. Sort-A-Set challenges you to form a logical sorting scheme that gives you more objects than are in other bins. The third program, Code Quest, requires you to use logic to discover a secret combination of letters and numbers.

Scholastic Inc.;
TRS-80 Models I and III
grades 4-1 2.

This challenging game is a modified version of Master Mind. Guess a numerical code sequence hidden in the computer by using deductive reasoning and the process of elimination. There are different levels of difficulty. You are allowed up to ten turns to break the code sequence at each level. After each try the computer provides clues. Good luck!

Chromosette; TRS-80 Color Computer
elementary and intermediate grades.

A maze is briefly displayed on the screen. Then the player enters the maze, seeing the walls from a rat’s viewpoint. The goal is to escape from the maze without needing to return to the original display for help.

JMH Software; PET
grades 3-10.

Similar to Master Mind, here is a number guessing game with three digit numbers; for one or two players. Help is available describing the symbols by pressing H. Clues are given after each guess.

Cursor *13 August/September 1979; PET
elementary and intermediate grades.

See and run a maze from the perspective of a rat. Turn and run in different directions in order to reach the reward at the end! Test your logic skills!

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