Every parent hopes that their child will be smart, love to learn, and be the star student at school. Nowadays there are so many helpful aids that allow parents to start teaching their children at a young age and actually make learning fun.
One of the most common teaching aids on the market today are educational DVD’s. There are so many different titles and types that teach everything from shapes to numbers to animals. There are even DVD’s that come with books, flashcards, or other learning materials that help your child to not only recognize shapes and colors, but offer them a head start in reading as well.
With so many things available, it may be overwhelming for parents to know which DVD’s are best or what each one offers. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular DVDs available today and what each has to offer.
Disney magic for preschoolers that both teaches and entertains? Yes please! Little Einsteins is a series that is broadcast on Disney Junior as well as being available on DVD. This show goes above and beyond what most DVD’s have to offer and teaches more than just letters, numbers, and shapes. Each episode integrates a culturally or historically significant piece of artwork as well as a classical music piece. The music is worked well into the show and information about the composer and artist are also shared.
Each episode shows the characters going on a “mission” which can include pretty much anything. This show focuses less on letters and numbers and more on history, art, and music. Your child will learn all kinds of facts about artwork and composers all while laughing and playing along with Little Einsteins. This show will also get your little one up and moving as the characters have them “help” with their mission by clapping their hands, patting their knees, or stomping their feet.
Leapfrog started with fun electronic reading toys to introduce children to reading and make it fun. The Leapfrog “tag” reading system included a pen that the child would drag across the words and have it read to them. Since then, they have introduced Leapsters and even a children’s version of an E-Reader.
Along with all of the fun toys, Leapfrog also has an incredible line of DVD’s that teach children everything from letters to what to expect on their first day of school. The movies feature “Tad” the little frog that gave Leapfrog its name. He has an older brother and sister and in many episodes, feels that he is too young to do certain things. He goes on to find out that he can do anything and learns new things along the way.
A favorite among preschoolers is, “The Letter Factory,” where Tad and his family are getting ready to put together a presentation. The factory creates letters that know what sound they makes, and Tad joins each letter as they learn their sound.
The songs in each Leapfrog episode are catchy and fun, and you might even find yourself singing along! Leapfrog definitely focuses on the preschool basics of letter and number recognition as well as priming your child for a love of reading. Some of the DVD’s also come with flashcards for your child to play along with as they watch the movie. The Leapfrog movies along with the other software and games that they offer might just be one of the most thorough and all-inclusive preschool preparation aids available today.
Word World is exactly what it sounds like; a world where everything is made out of words. The main characters in the show include Sheep, Pig, Dog, Bear, Frog, and Duck. Each character is made out of the words that spell what they are. For example, dog’s body is made up of D-O-G and each episode follows the characters as they “build” words using letters that they collect. Once the word has been made, it comes alive and becomes whatever the letters have spelled.
This show is a fun way to help children become familiar with letters and their sounds. It’s not as in-depth as the leapfrog series, but children are still learning while having fun with silly cartoons.
The preschool prep DVD series and other teaching aids strive to be as all-inclusive as the Leapfrog teaching tools, and while they are great, they do not quite match the standard that Leapfrog has set. The DVDs include letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and 3 sight words DVDs. They are all very thorough and teach children through repetition to begin recognizing and understanding the preschool basics.
The only problem is that repetition seems to be the only teaching method used, and after a while, hearing “purple, purple, purple, purple, purple…” over and over again (and repeated with each color, number, or letter) can get pretty old. Preschool Prep also offers other books, flashcards, and accessories to go along with their DVD’s and they are sufficient but don’t really offer anything more than your run-of-the-mill drugstore flashcards do.