Thursday, May 10, 2007

PBN-Boca Beth Language Learning Series

The Boca Beth Language Learning Series DVD, CD, activity book, and Boca puppet arrived at our doorstep one day and I have to admit I was a bit leery of it. It just seemed like so much stuff to get my one-year-old daughter engaged in. Boca Beth, “bringing Spanish to life” seeks to find fun and easy ways to give young children a head start on becoming bilingual. My daughter is just on the verge of talking and I wondered if this would only confuse her.

We took out the Boca puppet first and played and familiarized her with it. She enjoyed discovering that she too could make Boca’s mouth move. Ever since Boca is now dragged out and shoved at me when we watch the DVD. We pushed play on the DVD, “I like Animals”, and immediately she got closer to the TV screen and squeaked with happiness. She laughed and clapped her hands, moved to the music, and even did a few turns in a circle, which was a brand new move for her. It kept her attention the whole time! During the children’s song such as, “No More Monkey’s Jumping on the Bed” and “I See a …” she laughed and danced. She even shook the tiny red maraca that was included with the set. She now takes that thing everywhere including Target and the Post Office. As she watched the kids on the DVD, she tried to emulate their gestures and movements and bounced up and down excitedly the whole way through. Now every time I turn on the Boca Beth, “I Love Animals”, DVD she is happily entertained.

The coloring/activity book is simple and fun, but too much for a one year old. We colored some pictures and looked it over, but she still prefers tearing paper and scribbling. I plan on using the activity book in a few months, as it seems to be a good educational accompaniment. The CD, “My First Songs in Spanish” mimics the songs in the DVD. She recognized the songs instantly and smiled. She moved to the music as we sang songs about numbers, animals, and colors. I myself did not enjoy the CD. It felt repetitive and started to grate on my nerves. I will continue to use the CD though because she does respond to it and likes it, but not as often as the DVD, which I think is the gem of the whole set.

I do believe that after she masters some words in English we can teach her some in Spanish by using the Boca Beth set. Boca has become a staple toy in our house, especially the maraca. We play the DVD often during the week, the CD less often. Each time I know she is learning and happy while doing it.

The price for the Boca Beth set we have, which includes the Boca puppet, maraca, DVD, music CD, and coloring activity book, retails for $29.99. This is an incredible price for what you receive. I would definitely recommend this as a gift or to anyone who wants to take steps in teaching their children Spanish.

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