Has your youngster ever been to a Really Big Art Show? With Blue’s Art Time Activities, children ages three to six are able to illustrate books, blend colors, decorate and color pictures, and build and create virtual craft projects for a special art show with the help of Blue — the clueful puppy from the popular Nick Jr. television show.
If your children are familiar with the television show, they will recognize Blue the puppy and her friends. On the television show, Blue likes to leave clues for her human companion, Steve, so that he can figure out just what she wants. Blue’s Art Time Activities includes all the familiar characters and atmosphere from the show, but takes a step away from the clue-deciphering. This software title features an art-based curriculum for preschool-aged children.
Blue’s Clues fans may have played previously released
titles featuring Blue, such as Blue’s Birthday Adventure, Blue’s Treasure Hunt, Blue’s ABC Time Activities and Blue’s 123 Time Activities. Blue’s Art Time Activities was also simultaneously released alongside Blue’s Reading Time Activities. These two newest titles have really eliminated the choppy, synching issue of matching Steve’s live-action movements to dialogue that plagued earlier Blue’s Clues software titles, such as Blue’s Birthday Adventure.
After signing in, you are immediately greeted by Steve who appears to be working on some artwork of his own. Steve will say a quick hello, and then you’re off to design, construct and create with Blue and her treasure-keeping art portfolio. You’ll get to see Steve’s masterpiece once you’ve completed enough activities to watch the Really Big Art Show. You get to decide which activities you want to complete, how long you want to spend with each activity and which activity you want to visit next. But you do need to remember to save finished works inside Blue’s art portfolio in order to have them count towards the Really Big Art Show.
Over at the Craft Table, Marky Marker needs help building an invitation for the Really Big Art Show. You can choose to help him create the invitation or work on another project such as a kitty sock puppet. Some of the art tools are comprised of three different-sized paintbrushes, gems, glitter and feathers, black-and-white or colored stickers and an eraser. You can adjust the size of stickers, gems or feathers using the magnifying tool or change the direction of the object using the rotation tool whenever your cursor appears as the selected item. If you click on the notepad, Marky Marker will draw another picture for you to decorate or you can choose to draw your own. All of your artwork can be saved inside Blue’s portfolio.
Entering into Chalk World takes you into another dimension where Chalk Girl guides you to create murals using neon-colored chalk against a blackboard background. You can practice using geometric shapes as you click and drag pieces onto the blackboard background. First, you can select a five-picture mural to build from the scroll bar at the top of the screen. Next, you can choose which image to build and click and drag the assorted shapes or pieces onto the image outline. Sometimes shapes need to be rotated using the rotation tool in order to place them properly, which only requires clicking and dragging a shape onto the tool and clicking again until the shape is facing in the correct direction. After you’ve built an image you can choose to add more color using colored chalk, erase some of the chalk using the eraser tool or clear the chalk marks from the drawing by clicking on the white paper icon. You need to be sure to click on the bell when you’ve completed the image in order to save it for the mural — otherwise you’ll have to build it again. Once all five images have been built, they can be added to a special portfolio which can hold up to ten murals.
If you visit Purple Kangaroo, Yellow Kitten and Red Kitten out on the playground, you can join them in the Playground Color Game. While playing this game, you need to mix colors in order to make your way with Blue around the game board. By mixing color drops you can combine colors in order to match a color-coded square further along the game path and make your way to the finish line. You can compete against Blue’s friends, Red Kitten, Yellow Kitten or Purple Kangaroo, towards earning special reward ribbons. As you play your way through each of the ten game levels, you can expect to encounter waterfalls which move you backwards, stairs that move you forwards, and more complex color combinations. While mixing a primary color (red, yellow or blue) with a secondary color to create a tertiary color, you’ll need to avoid making the color brown which will prevent you from moving forward along the path. Each of your reward ribbons are saved in special folder inside Blue’s art portfolio.
When you visit Blue’s new neighborhood pal, Periwinkle the cat, you can help him illustrate a storybook in Story Time. First, you can choose which story you’d like to illustrate from among the books surrounding Periwinkle. Next, you can choose which color you’d like to use from the crayons located to the left of the picture and drag it over to the image. You need to hold down the mouse button as you move the crayon over the image to color it in. If you make a mistake, you can use the eraser tool to erase it or click on the white paper icon to get a new page and begin again. You can also use stickers located to the right of the screen to decorate with. At the top of the screen you can click on the arrows to scroll through the pages of the book. Once you’re done, you can save your Story Time book in a special folder inside Blue’s portfolio.
On a visit to Recycle Town, you can help Mayor Al Luminum who needs help collecting recycled materials needed to build a diorama. Al Luminum will show you the blueprints listing the materials needed for the project and present you with a canvas bag for collecting them. You can view the items you’ve collected by glancing at the bottom of the screen while making your way through Recycle Town. If you accidentally picked up an item you don’t need, you can click and drag it into the recycling can. Once you’ve collected all the necessary items, you can click on the spool of thread to go to the Worktable.
At the Worktable, you can follow the step-by-step blueprint directions to complete a part of the diorama. To put together your project, you can use glue or tape, or sometimes use a ruler to measure and cut pieces of string using scissors. Each of the items needed to build the project can be clicked on and dragged into position while following Al Luminum’s tutorial. Each blueprint can also be printed out as directions for building art projects while away from the computer which simply use recycled materials commonly found around the house.
Once all of the activities have been successfully completed and stored inside Blue’s art portfolio, it’ll be time to join Steve and the others for the Really Big Art Show. You can select from among your completed projects to be viewed at the show and place one of ribbons received from the Playground Color Game onto a favorite masterpiece. Once you’ve finished the Really Big Art Show, you can choose to quit the game and begin a new round of activities — but you’re previously completed projects will continue to be stored via your name accessed through the Sign In screen.
Parents should note that Blue’s Art Time Activities is neither a craft utility program nor a freestyle art composition program — all of the activities on Blue’s Art Time Activities include guidance from the main characters toward creating imagery with a specified end result. Blue’s Art Time Activities is perfect for kids who want to relax and just have fun doodling and creating with Blue and her friends while practicing color mixing and playing with shapes, texture and art compositions.
Blue’s Art Time Activities is available now at
Humongous’ Web site
or through major software retailers at the suggested retail price of US$24.99.
System requirements include: 80 Mhz PowerPC; System 7.5.3 with 16 MB RAM; 4X CD-ROM.