Monday, July 9, 2012

Keep 'em Busy! Dino Lingo - Influenster Review

I have watched Dora the Explorer so many times that I thought my head might explode... I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm THE MAP!  I think that despite the annoyances of the program, it is awesome that my 3-year-old can count to ten in Spanish and occasionally yells, "Ayudame, mama!" when he tumbles off the bed he was bouncing on.  I took many years of Spanish in high school and college and it has been very useful to me in my job as a school teacher.

When Influenster provided a link to try out a kids language learning program called Dino Lingo, I was very excited.  I received this sample FREE from Influenster for testing and review.  Although the program is available in MANY languages, I chose to preview the Spanish one since that would be the one I would most likely buy.  This program is marketed to children ages 2 to 7 years old and is available through .  The cost is $99.95 + SH with a 30 day money-back guarantee.  To see what's actually included for that price click here.

My first reaction to this program was a little negative due to the quality of the animation (this is not Pixar), but I soon got over it.  You and your child are guided through the program by cute little animated dinosaurs.  Real video footage is alternated with digital & traditional animation to provide "in context" ways to observe the vocabulary and phrases.  Also, the program uses just the right amount of repetition to really help you "get" what they are saying.  For example, you are shown several pictures/animated birds.  Each time you see the bird, the Spanish word for bird pops up on the screen and it is said aloud.  This is repeated several times.  Then you see two birds.... then many birds which are counted in Spanish: FOUR birds: 1, 2, 3, 4... then a blue bird... and finally an in context sentence:  There are seven birds!

In the first disk, animals, numbers, and colors were intertwined.  The program was about 22 minutes long.  In between "learning" parts there are mixed interludes with dinosaurs and other characters dancing, counting, playing and more.  There were lots of silly parts that your child will laugh at, I think.

So, would I buy this entire program?  Someday, maybe, when I have an extra $100 to spend.  This is a reasonable price for this program and less than I have paid for other educational videos purchased via infomercials.  (You know the ones! I want my baby to read, too!)  I think that if you are serious about your child learning a language, this program could be very successful and fun for children and their parents.  In the meantime, we will still be watching a lot of Dora.  I think this would be a great gift to buy and provide your child's daycare provider or for your family video library.  It would give you a "non-junk" TV alternative while you are cooking dinner or folding laundry and your kiddo will learn so much.

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