In the game, the player can visit several locations and play activities at each one. Throughout the game, the player collects clues that will appear on the Look and Listen window to find out why the bus stopped.
The main objective of the game is earn objects at three locations: the Barn, the Fire House, and the Train Station. After earning all of the objects from a certain activity, the player will obtain a clue that will appear in the Look and Listen Window. After the player has obtained three clues from the three aforementioned locations, the fourth clue will be given to the player. Then the player must deduce why the bus stopped from the four clues, and select the correct answer from the Look and Listen Window. At the end of the game, the player will earn a certificate, and will be allowed to print out various characters and objects from the game.
There are multiple possibilities for what could've caused the bus stop, and multiple sets of clues, which are randomized upon starting a new game.
- Booboo Bunny
- Rip Rat
- Hattie Hen
- Aggie Astor
Locations and Activities
- Farmer MacDonald's Barn - Hattie Hen will hold up a card, and the player must catch items that begin or end with the same sound as the object/word on Hattie's card.
- Fire House - The player must collect rhyming words by moving CJ around the firehouse with the arrow keys.
- Train Station Cuckoo Clock - The player must tickle the Cuckoos with letters, objects, or words that correlate to the card Aggie Astor is holding.
- Band Stand Sing-Along - Here, the player can listen to songs and watch videos. There are five songs, all of which are originally from the JumpStart Kindergarten: Why Did the Bus Stop? video. The songs are: Why Did the Bus Stop?, Stop! Look and Listen, Cuckoo Cuckoo, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, and Where is Pepper the Dog?.
- Why Did the Bus Stop? - Here, the player must use the clues they've collected in the Look and Listen Window to determine the reason for the bus stopping.
- Uppercase and lowercase Letters
Re-releases / Bundles
JumpStart Learning Games: Phonics would later be re-released alongside JumpStart Music in a 2 CD set entitled JumpStart Learning Games: Phonics and Music in 2000.
- This game is very similar in title and release date to JumpStart Phonics Learning System.
- The back cover shows a mock-up screenshot of the Fire House activity with CJ's sprites taken from JumpStart Spelling.