momlogic's Vivian: My kid's in a dual-language program at his school, and his prowess en Francais is already beginning to surpass what little I've managed to retain from my seven years of junior/high-school French. For this long summer break, I needed a French-language-instruction DVD that would serve two purposes: One, it had to provide my big kid with enough key-word reinforcement to avoid summer rust, and two, it had to be fun and entertaining enough to engage my little kid while I made dinner. So to achieve this end, I hooked myself up with a "Little Pim French" DVD, stuck it in and let 'er rip.
With six DVD's available in 10 languages, the charming "Little Pim" series is organized by subject matter (i.e., "In My Home"; "Happy, Sad and Silly"), which makes each series of words and phrases a bit easier to digest. Taking an approach that is somewhat similar in format to the "Baby Einstein" series, "Little Pim" works kind of like interactive flashcards, using animation and live videos to depict a series of everyday kid activities (riding a bike; drinking out of a glass) in the new language. The written version of the word or phrase appears on screen along with a congenial voiceover, so kids can repeat the new word and follow along. Animated scenes with "Pim," the panda brand icon, are also peppered throughout. The newest videos (numbers 4 through 6) also feature Pim's buds, Lola the Elephant and Bob the Bobcat.
The verdict? My 3-year-old now asks for the "Panda! Panda!" DVD on a regular basis. As the series was designed for kids aged 0 to 6, the DVD's might have been a little young for a dude who's already way into Pokemon, but because he recognized a bunch of the words, he was totally engaged for a while ... and learned a few new words along the way!
Want to learn more? Check out the "Little Pim" website for more info!