Sparkabilities review: my favourite videos for babies and toddlers

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August 14, 2013

in Early Learning, preschool education, research, Videos

I’ve been trying out many educational videos for babies and toddlers over the last months, and today I want to talk about my absolute favourite – Sparkabilities! It’s a series of videos for babies and toddlers that you can purchase as DVDs or iphone/ipad app (more on this later). The videos do a great job of entertaining at the same time as developing important skills such as eye-tracking and recognising objects, as well as teaching the ABC, counting, shapes and colours in a fun and varied way. They are designed to constantly engage the child actively by asking questions and showing other toddlers answering questions or interacting with the shapes and figures in the program. There is also constant change of topics and colours to prevent boredom (something that has caused problems in other videos I show my children such as Your Baby Can Read or Monkisee – my kids like them but only for 10-15 minutes, while Sparkabilities keeps them engaged for at least 20-30 minutes).

If you’re familiar with early learning styles, you will quickly notice Sparkabilities videos have integrated a lot of right brain learning. Information is flashed visually, there is music, colours, movement and eye tracking. It’s perfect for visual, musical and creative children who might get turned off by more verbal / left brain style early learning materials. I speak from experience because I have a very imaginative and active daughter who likes to do things her way and hasn’t responded well to learning programs such as Little Reader or Little Musician (even though she has learned a lot from them – she just doesn’t seem to love them) but she adores sparkabilities and has even cracked my ipad password in order to watch them behind my back.

Because of the visual nature, it is best for you to watch a few of the free clips on youtube and check how your little one responds. Here are a couple of short clips:

a) Sparkabilities video for babies

b) Sparkabilities video for toddlers

If you have an ipad, you can also download the Sparkabilities Totbox which is a free app that contains six teaser clips (from baby to preschool child) and you can watch all those and then decide if you want to purchase the full content within the app.

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What does Sparkabilities cost? You can buy the full DVD set consisting of four DVDs for $59.99 (there is a 20% discount at the moment) but it is far cheaper to purchase the full content on the ipad app if you have an ipad. I bought the full content for around $20 (I am UK based and the full content costs £13.99 here). I find this an extremely attractive price given that many educational DVDs are sold for $10-15 each and you get the full content. You can also expect your child to learn a lot from the full series – from the alphabet via phonics to sight words, counting forward and backwards, skip counting, learning all shapes and colours, sorting, matching and comparing, music and much more.

What is your experience with Sparkabilities? Did you like the youtube videos?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lacy August 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM

My son can recognize a shape anywhere and anytime, and I truly believe Sparkabilities has a lot to do with it. He has counted forward and backwards with ease since he was around 16 months. I wish I could record his babbling. He talks about shapes and numbers all day.
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Mario August 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

My son also loves the Youtube clips. We have an iPad, I’m attempted now…

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Genius Experiment August 14, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Mario, go for it! It’s really worth it and so much more affordable than lots of the other DVDs.

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