Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Start to Finish, A Children's FUN & Educational DVD: My Children's Reactions (Review)

Sesame Street meets the Muppets, meets Sid the Science Kid, meets Dora the Explorer, meets Baby Einstein =

Start to Finish, a children's educational DVD that has earned the Mommy Rantings two-thumbs up!

Meet Whoops and Bubbs:

They are the two loveable puppets in Start to Finish. They're goofy, clumsy and silly, and they immediately grabbed my children's attention! As a matter of fact, I made the mistake of popping the DVD into my laptop's DVD player as soon as we received it...and lost the use of my precious laptop for a whole, entire (almost) hour.  

It was an enlightening journey with Whoops and Bubbs, though!

Let's Learn About Milk!

They walked us through the process of making milk, from (can you guess?) Start to Finish, including questions to get your kids thinking like, "What does a cow say?" (Moooo!)

They show the cows in the milking parlor and how they stand in line, waiting their turn to get milked. It's adorable how Whoops and Bubbs pop up in the middle of the video clip with their little questions and quips. Real terms are used, like, "pasteurized", and facts about what cows eat and how their eyes, ears and tails are used.

And, of course, when you're talking with children about how milk is made, you have to end it with the all-time favorite, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" song, right?

Apples to Applesauce

Then, they explained the process of making applesauce, from start to finish. In the middle of the applesauce explanation, which included real-life video that showed a step-by-step walk-through that reminded me of an old Sesame Street clip (but in high-def quality that Sesame Street didn't have when we were kids), one of the puppets was counting apples and lining up the yellow, red, yellow....which one comes next?

Patterns! Colors!

Whoops and Bubbs also had a little conversation that included manners. Bubbs reminds Whoops that "It's not polite to grab" the apples. And, they continued with a verbatim using their "Please" and "Thank You's". 

Pizza In the Making

Okay, so at this point, I went to make lunch for the little guys, while they sat glued to my laptop. Later in the day, my little two-year-old Kodi-Bear let me know what I missed. He brought the DVD cover to me, excited to tell me that, "He's makes pizza!" He didn't miss a beat!

Of course, what child doesn't LOVE pizza, so it's the perfect food to include! And, it's so fun to make. Once or twice a month, I buy the ingredients to make pizza - the kids love to make their own pizza, with dough and sauce and cheese!

I did go back and watch the pizza segment, and was so very impressed to see that another important early learning concept was incorporated: shapes!

And, of course, the toppings were discussed with descriptions of how mushrooms and pepperonis feel and taste.

A Firefighter's Day!

Now, if there's one part that my boys loved, it was the firetrucks! I can say, with 100% surety that even if the rest of the DVD didn't grab their attention, the firetrucks would have pulled them in.

How does the ladder move? The lovely narrator's voice talks about the buttons that make the ladder work. Then, what does a firefighter wear? Boots, coat...etc. What are they putting on their faces? How does the water hose work? How do they handle a fire?

Then, it talks about how firefighters eat and exercise to stay healthy (like we all should). And, of course, the firefighters are shown sliding down the pole.

Why I Love It

The real-life, Sesame Street-like videos in each individual segment that show children how things progress from start to finish are broken up with little clips of Whoops and Bubbs talking about the subject, to keep children interested. The Sid the Science Kid aspect, that turns adult-like concepts into educational videos on a little one's level is one of my favorite aspects. Then, there's the Dora the Explorer shapes and colors, question and answer type of verbatim that gets children involved. (Kodi-Bear was quick to shout out answers!)

The DVD includes colorful scenes and moves quickly to keep the attention of children, too. I'm a mom who has leaned on DVD's for babies and children since my first child was born over 12 years ago, and I have to say that I'm ecstatic that Start to Finish is now part of our DVD collection. It far surpassed any expectations I had for it!

Here's another thing: most DVD's that are made for children are usually 15-30 minutes long. Start to Finish is double the length, which means more time for mom to get some extra stuff done around the house while her child is learning!

No stone was left unturned in this DVD! Colors, patterns, children's songs, good manners, topics that have a process (from start to finish) with concepts that children can relate to, cute puppets that have real (and loveable) personalities, real-life videos that show the machines that are used and how they work, shapes, and it's narrated throughout with the perfect female voice - sweet and chipper at the same time.

Appropriate Ages

On a final note, I want you to know that although my two-year old seemed to enjoy the DVD the most (and would probably watch it twenty-seven times a day, if time permitted), it also kept the attention of my four-month old for about 15-20 minutes (step aside, Baby Einstein!) and my four year old loved it, too.

And, believe it or not, during the second time playing the Start to Finish DVD, all four of my older children, who are 12, 11 and 9, also sat down to watch it, out of curiosity! Yes, the DVD is targeted toward children aged 3-6, but it's so unbelievably interesting, it caught the attention of all of my children.

I assure you that this is a DVD that is a must-have for your collection!

I was provided a review copy of the DVD, but the pleasure was all mine!

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