Hitting the Books With Little Pim

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My two kiddos are in school two days a week, and after hemming and hawing for so long about having them be in — gasp — daycare, I’ve been able to see the benefits of them attending a truly awesome school. They have a lot of fun, get new experiences I can’t give them at home, and make little friends. My oldest still has a year before she hits kindergarten, and fighting boredom on at-home days is a real necessity and sometimes a challenge — and it’s particularly tough when the cool-weather months hit and we can’t play outside all day, every day. So when the Little Pim foreign language learning program offered up a few of its products to try, I was totally game to have something new to work into our rotation.

Little Pim is a language-learning program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and it’s available in 11 languages including Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian. There are videos, music, books, flash cards and more, all aimed at immersing kids in the learning experience. While the DVDs aren’t as engaging to my kiddos as, say, an episode of Sofia the First, the appearance of the cute panda helps, and younger kids always love watching other kids their age, so that’s fun.

The big hit of everything I got to try was the flashcards (and the stuffed panda, but that doesn’t count!). I don’t know what it is, but kids have an instinct about multi-part toys and games, and the more the better (see: Legos and Barbie shoes). So a box of flashcards with pictures of a panda eating and drinking and playing? Well, they wanted to get all of them out. The cards have the word in English and Spanish, with a pronunciation guide for parents (super helpful and necessary!). My daughter loved repeating all the words, and I’m even learning something new. Okay, a lot of somethings new as I don’t speak Spanish. While the kids want to get out all the cards and play with them, I’m trying to pick a few new ones each day to learn and add on as we go. The board book is great too, as it has interactive pull-out tabs and flaps the kids can lift — always a hit. The book I tried had both Spanish and French, so it was a blast back to college for me. Oui oui!

Plus, besides the obvious benefits of stretching and challenging their little minds, I think it’s great to introduce young kids to the idea of different cultures and languages early. Have you tried to introduce a second language to your kids? —Erin

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