Everyone knows that when you turn learning into a game it doesn’t feel like learning anymore. One such fun activity is the Little Pim foreign language learning series. Winner of 22 awards, the Little Pim series features videos, apps, music, books, flash cards and more. The series targets children ages zero to five and for a good reason.
Studies show that there are numerous benefits to learning another language at a young age. Some of those are early learning advantage, better cognitive, memory, analytical, social and academic skills. Knowing a foreign language may also increase self-esteem and self confidence and create a natural mental flexibility and adaptability. It also makes it easier to learn other languages later in life.
I recently received a package of Little Pim’s French 3-Pak DVD’s in volume II for review and had my 2.5-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter watch each DVD a number of times. My children are bilingual so I was curious to see if they would be interested in learning another language on top of the two languages they already know. I selected French for them because I studied French in high school and college so I knew I would be able to assist them, especially with the pronunciation. We watched the DVD’s together and although my very active 2.5-year-old boy lost interest relatively quickly, my daughter was completely immersed in the videos and watched them until the end. She loved repeating all the words and sentences. When the 35-minute video was over, she asked to watch it again.
The videos show cartoon animals, including Pim, the panda bear, but mostly they show kids (with some adults) doing everyday things, holding everyday objects, etc. Each lesson has a recap — which I think is very important. The videos are very high-quality with vivid colors and are beautiful to watch. The kids in them are absolutely adorable. But the most important thing about the videos is that they encourage kids to participate and get involved, so that they are not merely passive viewers. That is why is it crucial, in my opinion, for the parent to watch the videos with their children the first time, to ensure the children are repeating what they hear. Repeating the words right along with your child will also encourage her to get involved. I would also recommend using the videos as background to other activities you are doing with your kids around the house, for example, if your kids are coloring or doing a puzzle. The more they are exposed to the language, the faster and easier it will be for them to pick up on the words.
You can purchase products in many popular languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Hebrew and more on the Little Pim website.
Disclosure: Little Pim sent the products for review, all opinions are my own.