This is why you should NEVER use Shutterfly for Holiday Cards!
So I have used Shutterfly for projects in the past and have never had an issue that I have needed to contact their customer service for, so I did not know how horrible it truly is.
In 2019, with so many options to choose from online for custom cards and gifts you would think companies would try and stand out from the rest with great customer service. Coming from a strong retail background and understanding how important customer service is especially in a field where custom photo work is being done, I will be surprised if Shutterfly is still around in a few years.
As simple as it seems, this really stood out to me. I do family photos and family holiday cards every year for the past 11 years since my son was born. It is an important tradition to myself and my family, and it is important to me to choose the right card to reflect out year that year as cheesy as it may sound. I searched through all of the online holiday card sites and Shutterfly, as they had in the past, had the best layout for what I wanted this 2019 Christmas year card.
I ordered 25 cards in mid-November, and they came within the 7-10 day time frame. I had realized quickly after that I needed some additional cards, but it was only November 26th, when I did the order for an additional 5 cards, so I figured I have more than enough time as I left all of the local cards for last. Welp… I was very wrong. It is December 19th, and the $5.99 for shipping that I paid for 5 cards bought me just standard UPS Surepost which means it goes out UPS, and is delivered to the post office, which then delivers the package to the customer. In lames terms, it is the cheapest possibly shipping method that has a tracking number assigned.
All that is what is it… I needed them, and I had time, so it was fine.
Unfortunately, there was an obvious hiccup in the shipping. The estimated delivery date came and went and it is now 2 days later. Being in retail, I understand that this happened, and it was in no way a reflection of Shutterfly (aside from their overpriced shipping) and I assumed they would understand when I call to tell them somehow the package was lost and the shipping tracking just stopped 7 days ago without any update.
I went onto their site only to discover they make it very difficult to contact customer service. There is no email, and the chat box seems inviting and simple, however they must have only 1 person running it because it never ever after 2 days every hour attempts, seems to be online.
I was able to dig around and find a phone number, which once I was finally “transferred to a representative” said my hold time would be 4 minutes, I sat on hold waiting. For 15 minutes. Finally, I got Saheid. He said he needed my email address to help me. I gave it to him, and he understood my issue after looking at the order tracking and said the quickest way to get an order in for replacement cards was for me to do the order online while on the phone with him and he would then give me a promo code to cover the order and the shipping. Fine, but I needed fast shipping. They have no overnight shipping available to “replacement orders”. I asked Saheid if I can speak to his manager because I really need these cards by tomorrow (my order was supposed to deliver to me by the 13th!) if there is any chance of them delivering by Chrismas Eve. He told me “I do not see anyone around that I can transfer you to”. Wow. I said, so you do not have a manager? He said no, all that I can do is I can just transfer you to next level support but they are only going to tell you the same thing. I said you know what.. just give me a refund. This is the last time I will ever order from Shutterfly.
I am just baffled by their disregard for customer service. A word of advise to their CEO and all of the leadership they display on their website for careers, if you want to stay in the game, take note from your competition, start caring about your customers first!
Gosh it’s finally starting to feel like Christmas now that we got our matching family pajama set from Yaffi Fashion!
You can get yours in time for Christmas too and get 10% off while you’re at it using code LOVEYAFFI10 for all products in Yaffi store.
Pajamas are a big part of our Christmas celebration here on our home. Growing up, my parents always let us open one gift from them on Christmas Eve and it was always our holiday pajamas. I was excited each year to see what they’d look like, and now in my home it’s no different eith my children as I’ve continued the tradition.
Although we broke tradition this year because the moment I saw this set online I just had to have them. When I saw the package arrive (only 4 days after I ordered!) I couldn’t wait to try them on and share with you all.
We put the pj’s on and got right in the mood to decorate for Christmas, and the tree is my boys’ favorite part to do. They like looking through all of the ornaments we’ve collected and made through the years and remember and cherish each moment which I love so much. Even our dog Sadie got in on the action! I think she was secretly wishing she had some matching cozy pjs too!
If you’re wondering where I got this set, click this link YAFFI FASHION and then when you click through what you want, it’ll bring you to three Amazon listing to check out. If you’re a prime member, shipping is even quicker.
Sizing is pretty straight forward for the sets, and I have to say they fit as they say – maybe even alittle bigger which is better to me. I believe the highest size in children’s is 8/9 year old but they actually fit both of my kids fine as you can see in the photos. Me and my husband both has a size medium and I thought they fit well also. If you gave a child bigger than 8/9, you can go for xs or small and it should be ok.
They don’t only have pajamas, they have other matching adult/child outfits and bathing suits which are really cute too! I actually tried a set for me and my youngest over the Summer and loved how it looked on us. You can check out the swimwear post here.
The material is good quality although in have a sence they may shrink a bit in the wash. That’s another reason I’m glad they run slightly big.
These sets would be PERFECT for family holiday card photos to send to friends and family.
This was such a treat and I can’t wait to wear them on Christmas Eve and take Christmas morning photos.
It doesn’t get any better than this!
You can get matching mommy/baby, dad/ baby, whole family, or even just husband and wife sets. Order yours now to have in time for Christmas!
Diggerland has a HUGE Black Friday – Cyber Monday Special and they asked me to share it with YOU! You may have seen our fun day out at Diggerland over the Summer, but if you missed it, check it out! So much fun for all ages, my kids especially loved driving the machinery themselves (YES Really!).
It’s that time of year again, and we’re excited to announce our LOWEST PRICES yet for our Black Friday Sale! Our ultimate Black Friday sale gifts you with 2 parks for 1 price, with our Water Main Aquatic Park opening in 2020, plus more exciting discounts!
We’re so excited for our expansion and all the new fun things coming to Diggerland!
Grand Opening is targeted for the 2020 Memorial Day weekend
9/12/2019 West Berlin, N.J. – Diggerland USA is ecstatic to announce its newest park expansion: “The Water Main” Aquatic Park. Guests will be able cool off, swim and splash their way around an expansive 2-acre outdoor aquatic park with two multi-zone pools featuring a slide tower, Wibit-brand challenge course, swim vortex, in-pool basketball area, themed splash park plus family and leisure swim zones. Surrounding the pools are deck chairs and lawn areas for relaxation and sunbathing, walk‑up food and beverage service, and private cabana rentals.
The Water Main grand opening is targeted for the 2020 Memorial Day weekend. During the remainder of 2019, Diggerland USA will be open weekends and holidays through the Christmas holidays. Annually, Diggerland USA is open (subject to weather) during weekends, holidays and when schools are generally not in session from mid-March through the December holidays, and The Water Main will be open during those days from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Annually, starting in mid‑September, during the park’s “Diggerfest” and “Winterfest” seasons, the park offers seasonal and family entertainment and in‑park events.
Visit DiggerlandUSA.com and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with announcements about The Water Main and other aspects of Diggerland USA including our operating schedule and our in‑park entertainment and events.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pixelate ANY design using innovative LIGHT TECHNOLOGY? Well you can thanks to the smART Pixelator from Flycatcher Toys! The smART Pixelator empowers kids to design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights, and smART Pixel Beads, Sequins or Pegs. Right out of the box, kids have a choice of creating 50 step-by-step designs using Pixel Beads. A smART Pixelator app and any mobile device also let them engineer their own projects, encouraging customization and experimentation. Additional beads, sequins, pegs, and extension sets, including the smART Pixelator Bracelet Maker, are available to keep the fun flowing. Ideal for kids 7 to 107 years old. MSRP: $59.99
Entertainment at your child’s fingertips! With the Playtime Pad 7” HD Kid Safe Tablet your child now has access to an array of different educational experiences including PBS games, videos, and songs. Including parental controls you now can have complete control over your child’s tablet and entertainment. Sold in a kid-safe durable silicone case this tablet was made for kids for the ultimate entertainment and learning experience wherever they go. Available now on Walmart.com. Ages 2+ MSRP: $79.99.
A robot that defies gravity?! That’s what you get with Air-Walker, a four-legged bot that uses an ingenious system of suction cups and pumps to crawl along smooth, vertical surfaces like windows. You can also build four other models with the same components and learn how suction and mechanical devices can be used in different real-world applications. A vacuum-suction machine sticks to and lifts flat panels, while a robot with just two suction cups rotates around a central pivot point. This hands-on construction kit brings engineering and physics to life as it demonstrates the power of air pressure at work. Ages 8+ MSRP: $39.95
Build your own adorable robotic pet hedgehog! With the 172 building pieces in this kit, you can assemble a real robot that looks like a cute hedgehog. The robot has a built-in sound sensor and is programmed to react to different sounds. After you build it, you can play with it by making different sounds and watching it tumble, roll, spin around, bristle its spines, and scurry around. Clap once, and the hedgehog will roll into a ball and tumble backwards. Clap multiple times, and the hedgehog will count your claps and tumble as many times as you instructed with your claps. You can also get the hedgehog to bristle its spines and act in a playful way with different patterns of claps. The hedgehog’s eyes light up with LEDs. By building the robot, you will gain experience in the inner mechanical workings that enable the robot to move how it does. Learn about gears, motors, sound sensors, LEDs, and the other components of this funny little pet. Ages 7+ MSRP: $39.95.
Lastly, there are the Magformers Amazing Sets. These are so cool because even without knowledge of how they work, somehow children automatically know and start building.
Click and create your own adventure with Magformers AMAZING Sets! Magformers are a magnetic construction toy where the possibilities are endless. Kids now have the opportunity to live out their dreams and become one of their dream professions such as a firefighter, a police officer, and a construction worker through one of the four new Magformers AMAZING sets! Great for children aged 3 and up. Create 50 ideas with the follow-along idea booklet or build your own adventure! Ages 3+ MSRP $59.99
With holiday shopping fully underway, many may be wondering: HOW CAN I STAY ON BUDGET? From nieces and nephews to neighbors and friends to even your own child, the list to “buy” that perfect present grows by the minute – and buying all those presents can certainly add up fast.
With that said, below please find a list of fun ideas that are ALL UNDER $50. From stocking stuffers to the coolest new “unboxing” gifts and new items from The Elf on the Shelf, we have your holiday shopping “on a budget” covered for everyone on your list!
ECO-FRIENDLY and SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE Children’s Products
The doctor is on the way! The Green Toys™ Ambulance & Doctor Kit comes with everything needed to play doctor, nurse, EMT – or all of the above! Made in the USA from super-safe, 100% recycled plastic, this 10-piece set encourages motor skill development, imaginative play, and pro-social behavior, while also helping to ease anxiety about doctor visits by making the components of a check-up familiar and fun. The ambulance has the features, size, and durability of a classic Green Toys truck, as well as lights that flip-up into a handle to create a unique carrying case. All the pieces included in the set – a stethoscope, reflex hammer, syringe, forceps, thermometer, and otoscope, as well as a doctor’s notepad and two sheets of assorted stickers – can be stored in the back of the ambulance for quick, eco-friendly transport to the next emergency. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Dishwasher safe. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks. For ages 2-8. MSRP $39.99.
Ecokins is a new line of sustainable plush animals made using 100% recycled fill and fabric from Wild Republic. Everything from the biodegradable polybag packing down to the soy ink printed hangtag; Ecokins uses nothing but recycled and eco-conscious materials in its overall development. The new line includes an assortment of 14 animals in two sizes – 12 in. and 8 in. – including a black bear, polar bear, dolphin, African elephant, hippo, koala, snow leopard, panda, penguin, raccoon, red panda, sea turtle, wolf, and tiger. Ecokins complies with certified global recycling standards. Compliance to these standards is the first step towards cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the ocean, which is now an island the size of Texas. The product’s quality and affordable price make the transition to 100% sustainable materials an impactful change in the industry.
These days, discussing religion and politics can be a dangerous proposition. What if you had a fun way to help you talk to your friends, family, colleagues or peers about what you agree on and where your thoughts and beliefs differ? Authentic Agility’s newest card game, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? encourages thoughtful political and religious dialog in a non-threatening and fun way. Curious about what makes people think and believe the things they do? Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? opens a door to understanding. Roll the dice, draw a card and ask one of the game’s 500 questions to get started. Everyone has an opinion and when they play, everyone has a voice. Play, listen and be heard. All proceeds from Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? go toward organizations that advance education and entrepreneurial initiatives. We know that education opens the doors to opportunities and entrepreneurship is one way to enter. Available on Amazon.com $24.99
Unboxing and blind bags continue to captivate children nationwide and the new Orna-POP!™ Advent Countdown is right on point, offering 24 days of magical popping surprises leading up to Christmas Day! Kids simply bop and pop the self-inflating Mylar ornaments for a variety of reveals—jokes, riddles, and games. Includes 27 Mylar ornaments, 27 silver cords to use in decorative displays (i.e. hang on your tree!) and a keepsake poster featuring North Pole characters!
Children will have a blast as they crack open their jumbo sea shell carrying case to find three Lil’ Shuckie oyster shells, a magic sand package, and 60 baby filler pearls to complete a bracelet! Use the shucking tool to open the mini oyster shells and discover stretchy slime and gorgeous pearls inside. The play value continues as kids can collect all 24 pearls, from “common” to “ultra-rare”; to make bracelets swap, or collect! Super sketchy glitzy slime is inside of each Lil’ Shuckie oyster! Perfect Slime kit and craft for every slimmer in your life. MSRP: $19.99, Canadian MSRP- $29.99. Age: 4+, available at Walmart.
MAGICAL TOYS that INSPIRE INSPIRATIONAL PLAY + SPARK NEW HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
The new Elf Pets®: An Arctic Fox Tradition is ready to take children on a magical adventure! In this story, children will discover how Santa is able to complete his Christmas Eve journey around the world in just one night. They might be surprised to learn that it involves an Arctic Fox that sets polar lights aglow and some adorable fox cubs sent to inspire a message of hope. The set includes a beautifully illustrated storybook, Arctic Fox cub plush, snow globe with glow-in-the-dark feature and official adoption certificate.
It’s time to start mixing things up! In this pretend STEM scenario, you are a chemist for a bath and body products company and it’s your job to make and test different cosmetic products. Use the tools in your laboratory to employ different scientific techniques and essential chemistry principles to make soaps and bath bombs. Try out different additives to affect the color, smell, and other qualities of the products you make. Real science and pretend play come together in this activity-filled kit that can be used alone or as an extension of the Ooze Labs Chemistry Station (a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor winner!). As you mold different glycerin soap shapes, you learn about the chemical properties of soap that help it pick up and wash away dirt. While you’re concocting bath bombs, you learn about how acids and bases combine to form fizzing reactions, and what a pH level is. Expand your cosmetics knowledge with an overview of the biology of skincare and other science-related to soap and bath products. All materials and chemicals are non-toxic. Ages 6 + MSRP: $29.95.
Hook, Stack, Fold and roll your way into fun with the new Clicformers Friends Sets! Build and Create nine different adorable dogs including, a Welsh Corgi, Shiba, Golden Retriever, Poodle, French Bulldog, Border Collie, Dachshund, Chihuahua, and Shephard from one of their four new Friends Sets. Clicformers are perfect for STEM education and great for eye-hand-coordination development. All Clicformers sets are compatible with each other, creating endless possibilities! The new Clicformers Friends Sets include the Brave Friends Set, Loving Friends Set, Sweet Friends Set, and Pet Friends Set. Ages 4+ MSRP: $29.99.
A toddler’s first backpack with their own beautiful Dolce travel Rabbit toy. The Rabbit arrives with crinkle ears, a removable mouse, ribbons, and tactile fabric for fun on the go. Dolce stands for Develop, Observe, Learn, Create, Educate. Let your baby DEVELOP their sensory skills with the wide variety of high quality textured fabrics. Your little one will love to OBSERVE the fun colorful fabrics and LEARN to understand cause and effect through the many interesting activities in our toys. CREATE fun, learning, and roleplay with your favorite Dolce friend. Let the beautiful, interesting and activity-rich Dolce toys EDUCATE through play. Ages 0 months+ MSRP $39.99.
Last but certainly not least, the 1978 break through toy is back in 3’s. I am sure you heard the craze of the Costco 3 pack under $20, and although they’re likely sold out all over, you can still get this hot holiday toy for under $50 on Amazon! Even better, they have the zoo friends pack that has the cutest costumes!
Laser tag! Slime! A massive ball pit! Blast off into a brand new adventure for kids at Liberty Science Center: Extreme LSC!
Happening every fourth Friday from 6 pm – 10 pm, Extreme LSC is the ultimate way to kick off a weekend of fun. Experience Liberty Science Center’s most exciting adventures only at Extreme LSC! Get discounted advance tickets now for Nov. 22.
All of LSC’s exhibitions will be open, too! Experience all your favorites – the Touch Tunnel, the Infinity Climber, the animals in Eat and Be Eaten – at night with your friends. For an additional cost, you can also experience LSC’s newest premium exhibition: Angry Birds Universe!
The cafe will also be open serving food and snacks throughout the evening. Accompanying adults 21 and over can enjoy a menu of beer and wine.
Get tickets now and take advantage of the limited time online discount: $15 for kids, and $20 for adults. After the discount ends, all tickets will go up $5.
Sesame Street just announced it has launched an initiative supporting children affected by parental addiction.
Sesame Workshop Launches Initiative to Support Children Affected by Parental Addiction Sesame Street Muppet Karli—whose mother struggles with addiction—offers hope and resilience-building strategies
(New York, NY) October 9, 2019—Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is announcing an initiative to support children and families affected by parental addiction. The initiative features Karli, a 6 ½-year-old Sesame Street Muppet whose mom is dealing with addiction. In new videos and other content, favorite Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Abby Cadabby learn what Karli is going through and help their friend to cope. The resources, which are part of the Sesame Street in Communities program and freely available on www.SesameStreetinCommunities.org, deliver the words children need to hear most: You are not alone. You will be taken care of. Addiction is a sickness and, as with any sickness, people need help to get better. And most importantly: It’s not your fault.
In the United States, there are 5.7 million children under age 11, or one in eight children, living in households with a parent who has a substance abuse disorder—a number that doesn’t include the countless children not living with a parent due to separation or divorce, incarceration, or death as a result of their addiction. One in three of these children will enter foster care due to parental addiction, a number that has grown by more than 50% in the past decade. The trauma of parental addiction can have lasting impacts on a child’s health and wellbeing, but children can be incredibly resilient; the effects of traumatic experiences can be mitigated with the right support from caring adults like the parents, caregivers, and providers this initiative targets.
Created in consultation with experts in addiction and early childhood development, these engaging bilingual resources model strategies to help children overcome the trauma of parental addiction and build resilience while providing age-appropriate messages and tools for those caring adults to help children cope.
“Addiction is often seen as a ‘grown-up’ issue, but it impacts children in ways that aren’t always visible. Having a parent battling addiction can be one of the most isolating and stressful situations young children and their families face,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Social Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop. “Sesame Street has always been a source of comfort to children during the toughest of times, and our new resources are designed to break down the stigma of parental addiction and help families build hope for the future.”
Karli was first introduced in May 2019 as the face of the Sesame Street in Communities foster care initiative. With today’s announcement, Karli’s storyline expands to include the reason she was placed in foster care: her mother had to go away for treatment, but now she’s back home and in recovery. The new resources, which help children like Karli understand the situation and cope with big feelings, include:
What is Addiction?: Elmo’s dad, Louie, explains that addiction is a sickness—but not the kind you catch like a cold.
Lending a Hand: Karli tells Elmo and Chris about her mom’s meetings and the special kids-only meetings where she gets to spend time with other children going through the same thing.
Monster Music: After her mom returns home from treatment, Karli shares a special moment with Abby Cadabby.
It’s Not Your Fault: Karli tells Elmo that she used to feel like her mom’s addiction was her fault, but has learned that it was a grown-up problem and that her mom loves her no matter what.
Activities and articles for parents and providers, including a digital coloring quilt interactive, a new Play, Talk, Imagine! storybook, and helpful answers to children’s difficult questions. The new resources are designed to promote engagement between children and the caring adults in their lives.
“The significance of Sesame Workshop’s new initiative on parental addiction cannot be overstated,” said Jerry Moe, National Director of Children’s Programs at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and key advisor on the new initiative. “There have been precious few resources to help young children, so this initiative is a game-changer for the important work we do with kids at Hazelden Betty Ford and for professionals everywhere on the front lines of our nation’s addiction crisis. For children who connect to Karli, hearing, ‘It’s not your fault—you are not alone, and there are safe people and places that can help,’ opens a path to hope and healing. This Sesame Street in Communities resource fills a huge void for millions of families hurt by addiction and helps kids be kids again.”
This is perfect for background music at a kids birthday party. The adults will recognize the tunes, and even be able to sing along to their favorite hits with this adorable lullaby edition. It is actually fun trying to recognize each hit!
Hip Kiddy Records, known for producing Hip Hop, R&B and Pop music for little ears, now premieres a new series of Lullaby Kreations, focusing on today’s hottest R&B and Hip Hop stars.
The brand new release – Lullaby Kreations of Khalid – is a tribute to the hottest R&B artist of today. Khalid, a platinum selling artist, received 5 Grammy nominations, including Best New artist at the 60th Grammy Awards. This album features Khalid’s biggest hits, set to soothing melodic instrumental lullaby tracks – perfect for little ears.
Young, Dumb & Broke
Outta My Head
Last year, according to Soundscan, 81 million rap albums were sold making rap the largest and fastest growing in the business. Hip Kiddy is the first company to bring Rap to children, specifically, and attributes the enormous success of the Kids Rap’N the Hits series to the vibrant music of mainstream Rap! Because of the overwhelming success of the Hip Kiddy concept, they were inspired to create product for babies and toddlers.
All of the products in the Hip Kiddy catalog are vibrant and fun! Hip Kiddy believes that quality time spent with family and friends make for some of life’s best memories. Our products promote family interaction that encourages self-expression through music art and culture; in turn building a child’s self esteem and expanding their horizons.
Six Flags ticket prices can break the bank and Six Flags Discount tickets can be hard to find.
At least here in NJ at Six Flags Great Adventure. I don’t know about the other popular theme park ticket prices like six flags magic mountain or six flags great america, but I’d imagine all six flags have about the same pricing structure.
#1. Season Passes
The best deal is the annual season pass that has a monthly reoccurring. For gold membership, it’s just $26 a month including tax for 4 passes. This includes free standard parking, entry to ther park any operating day, and bring a friend discounts. A six flags one day ticket will set you back $80+ if you buy it at the gate. That’s 11 months of payments if you gave the gold $7 a month plan. You can cancel any time after the first year, but why would you? You’re locked into that great rate!
This year they introduced diamond and diamond elite passes that offer even more, but your monthly payment will go up for it, so I stick to what works for my family.
#2. Coke Cans
Another way to save is coke cans or the leaflet flyers you can sometimes find at Dunkin Donuts shop counters. You can also check retailmenot.com or groupon since they’re known for deals and you may just get lucky.
#3. Scouts Days
If you know a boy scout or girl scout, you may just want to hit them up to find out if they plan on attending any scout days. If so, scouts in uniform can bring family members to the park on these days to receive a 50% off pass to enjoy the park with rest of the troops and dens.
Overall, the deals are out there, you just have to look. And with Freight Fest in full swing, the park is sure to be an exciting full morning to night day of fun.
*FTC Disclosure: I was given free product in exchange for my honest and unbiased review in this post.
I was given the opportunity to check out Whitstlefritz Language program with my kids. As you know, I have 2 young boy ages 7 and 11, and they both have been introduced to Spanish in school. In my school district in New Jersey, children start with Spanish in Kindergarten. It is believed that the younger a child is introduced to a foreign language, the less foreign it will be to them and will come natural for them to understand and speak it.
Unfortunately, although that seems like it should be correct and they can identify some words in other languages, unless it is something they live and speak daily, it is really hard to retain the information. Myself, I went through 3 years of French in and 4 years of Spanish in my schooling, and although I can identify and understand some words, there is no way I could hold a full conversation or write it down.
Whistlefritz claims to making learning another language fun and feel natural for kids. Their claim:
Whistlefritz’s programs allow kids to join a group of lovable character including Fritz, the animated mouse Whistlefritz and friends on a journey to learn another language! The combination of live-action, animation, and lively music makes the programs as entertaining as they are educational! Children learn their second language through Whistlefritz the same way they learned their first language: through words used in context by live speakers in fun skits, games, catchy music, and dance!
With that being said, I wanted to see for myself. We received a DVD “Spanish for Kids Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) Ages 2-7” and a CD “Carnaval Spanish Learning Songs”. My boys were less than enthused to be watching what they called such a babyish cartoon, but agreed to check it out.
The first thing I noticed immediately is that the DVD is completely in Spanish. Aside from the initial main menu, every word is in Spanish.
There is a woman who is the main teacher, and you follow around a little mouse named Fritz. I guess that’s a play off of the brand name, but the mouse is really cute.
I was confused how this was teaching Spanish to someone who has no idea what they’re saying as they’re only speaking Spanish, but honestly, I found myself staring and listening as well.
My 11 year old is in 6th Grade and has now been in Spanish for 7 years. Although he’s had extensive Spanish teaching, he still cannot speak or understand it clearly. He wanted to see what it was all about and although he initially joked how “childish” the DVD was with the silly cartoon, he found himself trying to say what everything meant as it was pretty easy to follow along.
The mouse plays a big part in the DVD series as you follow him along. There is a scene that my kids particularly liked in the house where each room the little “Fritz” is in, it tells you the Spanish name so the kids can easily understand. Ahh, now I get it. They can identify the Bathroom the mouse is in, and as no reference is make to a “bathroom”, but only El Baño. I already know what El Baño means, but for living room, I already forget the word that was said. Possibly the kids can retain it more than I can, or through the repetition of the video, they’ll start to associate the word with the place.
They sat for a good 10 minutes before becoming bored with it, but I was surprised to even get that 10 out of them watching it. I think this DVD would be much been suited for a 2 or 3 year old, maybe even 4 as they love to watch more colorful basic shows like this and would easily soak in the information. I am excited to hand this DVD to people I know with younger children and would probably purchase more to give as a gift. It is amazing what young children can soak into their minds without even knowing it.
There are other levels of the language learning fun from Whistefritz that I assume are better for older children and similar to adult learning programs out there.
The CD on the other hand is fun for all ages. Although a bit childish in the songs as well, it is fun to play in the car even if on low. The repetition and catchiness is enough to make you know the words without even knowing what they are.
Overall do I think this program is worth the money? I think for the right age range is certainly is. I would make sure to check the recommended age range before purchasing but I do believe this specific DVD and CD combination is best for the earlier recommended ages of 2-4 (7 is pushing it a bit in this day in technology advances and what they’re already introduced to on youtube.)
Whistlefritz’s collections include DVDs, flashcards and worksheets that are available in Spanish and French.