Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Baby Einstein My First Signs|
Actor: Marlee Matlin
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
MY FIRST SIGNS playfully demonstrates how several common words and phrases in baby's life, such as mommy, daddy, or I love you, can be spoken and expressed using sign language. With special guest star Marlee Matlin, we tak... more »
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Outstanding for infants and toddlers
Julie Neal | Sanibel Island, Fla. | 03/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the idea: a video for toddlers age 6 months and up that teaches them sign language, so they can communicate "mommy," "daddy," "kiss," "baby" and "I love you" before they can talk. If that alone doesn't melt your heart -- if your mouse hasn't yet forced itself over to that "Add to Shopping Cart" button -- then here's a brief description of what you get.
Hosted by Marlee Matlin, this sweet 30-minute video uses puppets, live-action video, stills and children to teach the signs for 20 words. The signs are easy to learn, as the videos really drive home their message. For each word, Matlin demonstrates a sign, then video images reinforce it. For example, for the word "kiss" a 30-second video shows a girl kissing her mom, a boy kissing his dad, another dad and son doing the sign together, a painting of a mom kissing her infant, then more video clips of moms and dads kissing their kids, then the sign again, then a boy kissing his big stuffed dog, then a girl kissing her grandmother, then a little girl kissing her doll's baby bunny! There is no narration, in fact no spoken dialogue at all except for the words themselves. Other words include "cereal," "milk," "eat," "drink," "play," "help," "friend," "ball," "sleep," "bath," "story," "blanket," "please" and "thank you."
The production values are first-rate. Everything is well-lit and in focus; the clean sets are simple yet vibrant. And the sign language is the real deal: a combination of American Sign Language (ASL) and Conceptually Accurate Signed English.
There's no Scene Selection, so you can't cherry-pick favorite words to play, but a two-minute bonus feature (Sign with Me) reviews them all, and Matlin appears on two one-minute features with some additional words (including "happy," "sad," "potty," "sorry" and "love"). Other bonus features include five cute puppet shows (three minutes total).
All of these Baby Einstein videos are so good -- so gentle, colorful and interactive, with nothing but positive messages -- that it's easy to forget that, technically, kids shouldn't be watching them. That the best way to promote "proper brain development" in kids under 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is "talking, playing, singing and reading together." But during those times you can't be actively engaged with your child (let's see, that would include cooking, cleaning, laundry...) the series is a great way to give your rugrat a rewarding experience. Plus, you are supposed to be watching this WITH your child. And it's only 30 minutes (though the menu does include a "Repeat Play" option).
Does it actually work? Absolutely, especially if you watch it together. Even if your child doesn't learn anything, you'll be there smiling at his or her happy little face, talking, playing and singing together... it's just what the doctor ordered!"
Not bad, but there is so much better out there
Amber | Burlingame, CA United States | 04/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This video teaches some good first signs, but there is so much filler and that time could be spent in better ways. This video will achieve its goal, but it is not as efficient as others. Check out Signing Time instead. They have a 2 series Baby Signing Time that goes over many more useful signs that you and your baby will need. They also have a children's geared 13 volume series that my baby has been watching since 7 months. Signing Time often played on PBS for free."
Good addition to our collection!
elviswoman | Dallas, TX United States | 04/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am gathering educational toys and books for our daughter to use with her in working on developmental milestones.
There is a lot of literature out that suggests signing is an excellent way to communicate with baby, and by using ASL you are giving your child a life skill that could be helpful when they get older as well.
I was really trying to stay away from DVD's because I think that kids get too sucked into TV nowadays. However, books don't cut it with sign language. It is much more helpful to see the signs demonstrated repeatedly by people who know what they are doing. And Marlee Matlin is the best model for signing that they could have chosen for this DVD.
This DVD is engaging. The filming is of good quality, it shows the signs in context with imagery between each of the "lessons". And throughout the show, there are little puppet skits which kind of go with the show but also, in my opinion, provide a little break from the learning to keep the kids engaged.
I have watched other "Einstein" videos where I stopped and asked myself "What WAS that supposed to be, they wanted HOW MUCH money for THAT?". However, that was not the case with this video. My daughter and I enjoyed it and we are learning something useful together.
The only improvement I could think of would be to make subsequent volumes of videos like this with expanded vocabulary. This particular video only covers very basic words such as mother, father, kiss, more, sleep, baby, blanket, and a few others. I think the content is just right for a "First Signs" video. And I don't think a small child's attention span could take much more than this at one time. But it would be nice if they offered a library of progressively advancing signs on other discs.
I would highly recommend this DVD to parents interested in signing with their children."
C. Bostic | Alamo, California | 03/23/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have taught all of my hearing grandchildren to sign and I was hopeful that this third DVD in the Baby Einstein "language series" would be added to our language library. Although the word selection is better than the previous two videos in this series, I was disappointed with the format.
The format does not hold the attention of my grandchildren and it is does not offer the repetition necessary to learn spoken words or sign language. Several words and signs are presented in rapid succession followed by extended scenes for each word. Then the same words and signs are presented again by a child who is clearly old enough to be speaking. The program also lacks a tutorial for grandparents and parents who are teaching their babies to use sign language for the first time.
All of my grandchildren have learned to sign and speak from the "My Baby Can Talk" series and I would recommend this series for babies who cannot yet speak or are just learning to speak."