Rich fare on offer at the picnic

THE NEW TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC Software for Acorn A-series computers, Pounds 32.95 single user, Pounds 49.43 site licence Sherston Software, Angel House, Sherston, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0LH Age range: 5-7

These six, well-designed activities all focus on curriculum requirements for English, mathematics, data-handling and even desktop publishing. "Musical Hats" is intended for reception infants and is a good introduction to the computer, involving using the mouse to make choices, with plenty of matching and counting up to five.

"Fusspots" has four activities, covering logical puzzles, choosing, estimating, counting and sharing. "Work" involves estimation of simple fractions and sharing and preparatory work on angles, rotation, pie charts and reflective symmetry. "Picnic News" is about pictures and words. This easy publishing program enables infants to produce the front page of a newspaper featuring the picnic and other items of interest to teddies.

"Hidden Pictures", which helps develop number concepts, is delightful. All work can be done by mouse, and more than 35 layouts can be made up. With individual photos, pictures and words, this allows considerable variety in class work.

"Teddy Facts" is a simple database to be used as a group activity, with 10-20 children answering questions about their teddies, real or imaginary. "Bear Facts", another database, allows children to answer questions about real animals from information available on screen. All responses can be made by mouse and the teacher can interrupt and go to the Teacher's Page, where settings can be altered.

These are excellent activities. The design and approach make The New Teddy Bear's Picnic an excellent program for infants.

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