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Dino Lingo is a language learning program for children ages 1 – 8 years. They have provided me with a complete Spanish language learning set in exchange for my review of the product. When I was approached to do a review, I was excited to find that they offered more than 40 languages to choose from, and plenty of ordering options. Shelby loves dinosaurs (she eats Dinosaur Egg oatmeal for breakfast every morning) so I figured the dinosaur themed learning would go over really well with her.
Hubby and I decided the Spanish lessons were best to work on, considering the push for Spanish language learning in schools. Plus, since I have some experience with speaking Spanish, I would be better able to focus on the review and her ability to learn based on the product, without needing to focus on learning a whole new language.
Dino Lingo Review
Did you know there are real benefits to teaching young children a second language? As you probably know, we spent a good deal of time learning sign language when Shelby was a baby. Aside from the benefit that she could communicate before she could speak, there were other benefits. According to ACTFL.org “[s]tudies have shown repeatedly that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind in young children.” They also suggest that children learning other languages test higher in verbal and math than students who are not learning another language. These facts make helping my daughter to learn much more exciting to me.
What came in our kit?
We received a full kit to review, which came with the following:
Parents’ guide: tri-fold pamphlet explaining the entire kit with suggestions about how to best utilize it.
CD with children’s songs in Spanish
2 sets of flashcards
Progress chart w/ stickers and progress report
12 adorably illustrated vibrant posters
Workbook with sets of pictures corresponding to the DVDs
A cute dinosaur plush
As I suggested earlier, Shelby is very intrigued by dinosaurs. As soon as she saw the package, she couldn’t wait to see the dinosaur videos and promptly absconded with her plush. She was very interested in the video, which held her attention for about 20 minutes for the first session. Subsequent sessions of the same video were shorter, but we were also spending bits and pieces of the day trying to remember our Spanish words in everyday usage.
I’m impressed with the set and am extremely happy with the dinosaurs because they grabbed Shelby’s attention straight away, and held it.Ivy’s Thoughts
The first DVD touched on easier subjects like animals (including how to say dinosaur in Spanish), numbers, and colors … everything my toddler is interested in! I’d say that makes an easy transition to speaking a new language, except that at times she’d look at me like I was nuts when I was talking about our dog saying “Ella perro.” She’d remind me that Ella’s a dog. Explaining that I was using a Spanish word obviously wasn’t registering any understanding. But, after some time, she was at least aware of the idea of Spanish words … I could ask what the Spanish word for cat or dog was, and she’d try to say it (after just one day). At her age, I wasn’t sure how to explain other languages to her, but that she started to pick up on gato and perro was pretty impressive, I think.The parent’s guide had plenty of information to get me going to effectively use the system. It was neither too short or too lengthy, which indicates the authors knew what they were trying to achieve when creating both the system and the guide. The progress chart and stickers help to keep us both in check on our learning and remind me to quiz her on occasion.
The posters are adorable! I can think of several ways to post them that would be extremely helpful. My thought would be to hang each poster in an area that relates to the poster. For example, hanging the poster of the clothes next to the dresser or closet would be a good reminder of how to say different articles of clothes as you’re dressing your child for the day. Similarly, the food in the kitchen or dining room. They’re extra reminders to work on your vocabulary in the appropriate settings that you may not otherwise think.
Since I have a designated playroom, the posters were not hung throughout the house, but stayed in the playroom and daughter’s room.
I found that showing my daughter that I was placing stickers on her reward chart was an excellent exercise in quizzing. Her little face would light up when I placed a sticker under the word she knew without help. The only problem I had is that she has a huge obsession with stickers and wanted to play with them, so, I had to hide them from her.
After 1 week of using the system, baby girl learned gato, perro, and mono. She became comfortable trying to speak many of the other words with me, but didn’t commit any others to memory that I could tell. The progress report suggests that her age group should be able to pick up on 4 – 6 words a week. I’ll admit that we didn’t use the workbook or the flash cards the first week, but at the end of the week we visited the zoo and tried to use our Spanish words on and off throughout the journey. I even had hubby participating with us, including counting and learning some of the animal words.
Into week two, my daughter was beginning to count in Spanish fairly well. While number recognition wasn’t as easy, I was pretty impressed that when I’d begin counting in Spanish, she could finish counting to ten with little assistance. Unfortunately, her second week wasn’t as successful as I’d had a minor procedure that occupied my mind more than I would have liked. I was able to get her to learn that bear in Spanish was oso, but I had to associate it with a cartoon agent bear … I won’t say it, but parents, you probably know who I’m speaking of.
I played the Spanish CD on and off throughout the weeks while she was busy with coloring or playing with stickers. The only thing I would have liked more about the CD was a lyrics sheet so that I knew what it was singing. I understand that it’s more of a subconscious learning experience to just have it playing in the background, but it would have been nice anyway.
I found the flash cards and reward chart both useful in quizzing knowledge. Of course, the flash cards and posters were helpful when you were stumped on the translation of an object that you know you should know, but it just doesn’t come to you.
Our full home education kit was valued at approximately $160. You can get educational materials from them for as low as $60, and they seem to run some great promotions to help you save even more. My recommendation is to spend the extra money and invest in the full kit, not just because it’s what we received, but because it offers the most comprehensive learning reinforcement by enabling you and your child to use audio, video, and visual learning aides.Overall, the system was extremely useful and fun for the whole family. My daughter now thinks that Dinosaurs speak Spanish and requests the “dinosaur music”. It’ll be interesting to see her reaction when she comes in contact with a Spanish-speaking individual (my grandmother or a friend of ours). The key thing to remember is that DVDs and CDs alone aren’t going to teach your child, that you must focus on the system with your child. If the whole family can get involved, it’s an even better experience for everyone because you all reinforce the learning. Dino Lingo just makes learning easier and more enjoyable.
You can currently purchase the Dino Lingo full Spanish kit on Amazon.
Come back to the blog on 5/6/14 at 11:59 PM EST and look for the #giveaway for a chance to #win a 5 DVD set in the language of your choice.
What language would YOU like to learn with your little one?