It’s helpful to understand how children learn and play in the digital age, and how these types of products can help prepare children with the basic learning skills required for Kindergarten. A report by Eric Klopfer, Ph.D., Associate Professor and the Director of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, and a platform learning expert on the VTech Expert Advisory Panel (published in full at vtechkids.com), explains:
- Math and literacy skills can be deeply imbedded into digital games, and allow children to acquire important skills via a more natural method that doesn’t look like learning.
- Digital games often involve problem solving and creative thinking along with core competencies such as math and reading, making them more fun than single curriculum games and helping to develop a broader skill set.
- Digital learning does not replace learning off-screen – so educational games should not be seen as a replacement, but rather a supplement to time-tested educational methods.
- Contrary to popular belief, games are not just a solitary interaction between a single person and a screen, but a social activity – kids watch as their siblings and friends play, and post-game conversations involve discussing game strategy.
The following educational products from VTech, featuring the popular characters from the multiple award-winning Dinosaur Train television series, can be a great way to engage children in learning activities and pre-Kindergarten skill preparation.
MOBIGO TOUCH LEARNING SYSTEM (Ages 3-8)
Touchscreen technology makes learning fun as kids look, listen, and touch with the MobiGo Touch Learning System! The Dinosaur Train cartridge contains four learning games and one bonus activity.
In Fossil Fun, help Buddy form a hypothesis about the fossil parts he finds at Big Pond, and then match each part to the correct spot on the fossil. In Under the Sea, watch the marine animal as it taps on the windows in a sequence, and then tap on the windows in that same order while learning facts about the animal along the way. In Night Train, help Buddy explore the Big Pond in the dark and hypothesize about the footprints he finds. In Nursery Car, help Buddy find the right babies after an earthquake has moved all the eggs around by following Mr. Conductor’s hints. In the Creatures A to Z bonus activity, learn and compare facts about 26 different creatures and unlock new creatures and facts by playing the other games.
MobiGo System SRP $59.99 ; MobiGo Cartridges SRP $19.99
You can follow the Dinosaur Train on Facebook
My take: My four and six year old boys could not wait to try the Dinosaur Cartridge with the MobiGo. The first game they decided to play was Fossil Fun, where they had to search for fossils, help Buddy form a hypothesis and then match the correct fossil parts. The Nursery Car was perfect for our family since we welcomed a baby sister about a month ago. This game allowed for matching the baby dinosaurs to the correct parent by following clues. I like that my four year old caught on rather quickly that he needed to stop and listen (something we need practice on). Under the Sea required the boys to keep track of sequences which they have never done before. Night Train required listening and deducing clues- and the boys worked together to find each animal.
In each game I was impressed how there were two levels- easy and difficult which really allowed both of the boys to succeed. The graphics for this cartridge are amazing- the music and the graphics are exactly like the television show. Every single game was packed full of educational facts about dinosaurs and the boys couldn’t help but learn along the way. Computer skills are also finessed with the MobiGo.
I did a receive free product samples to keep for my testing purposes. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or host a giveaway in return for the product. Receiving the product for free did not persuade my personal beliefs or views. My views are solely my own opinions.