Wednesday, April 6, 2011
What is Kinderbach? Well, it is a music teaching tool for children ages 3 to 7. Kinderbach uses the piano or a keyboard to teach your child to read and understand music, and eventually to play. There are 6 levels (with Level 7 coming soon!) and each level consists of 10 weeks of lessons. The lessons have entertaining videos, worksheets, and activities or games to reinforce the learning.
My children were a little resistant at first, but quickly responded to Karri - the host on the videos as well as the founder and creator of Kinderbach. Karri encourages the kids to play along and my kids did! They enjoyed following Frisco’s lead and walking the notes or hopping up for high notes and squatting down for low notes. After the lesson that involved listening for high and low notes, FRitW and MT took turns playing high or low notes on the piano and letting the other do the worksheet provided.
The interactive videos were entertaining and short enough to hold a child’s attention. We used our Wii to access the videos, so the kids could see easily and spread out in the living room to do the activities. The variety of activities and worksheets are sure to appeal to many different types of learners. We recently purchased a piano so Kinderbach was a great way to introduce our new instrument. Several times I’ve noticed the kids trying out things they learned from the Kinderbach videos, like rhythm patterns and finger placements.
We did have some issues with Kinderbach in the online format. We had videos stop in the middle of playing and had to wait for them to load – but we live in the country and are very limited on internet service. We also had trouble hearing the piano part of a piece when there were background instruments playing. The background instruments sometimes drowned out the piano notes.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Kinderbach program. Kinderbach offers the first two weeks of lessons free online so you can try it out to see if it is a good fit for your family as well.
The full program is available online or on DVD’s. Online memberships are $95.88 per year (which works out to $7.99 per month) or $19.99 if paid monthly. The DVD’s begin at $40.45 and are a great choice if you have a slow internet connection.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Go Go Kabongo is a silly, funny, colorful online world designed for children aged 4-7. As fun and silly as it is, it is also a learning experience. Go Go KaBongo helps children develop the essential skills needed to read. The chart below shows the skills learned as they play each game. The games were fast moving and creative, and my little guys loved them.
Go Go Kabongo consists of three ‘habitats’: Laughter Lake, Twister Top, and Galaxy Gardens. Each habitat has a zany character to show you the rules and three games to play. The games start out very simply and grow more difficult as the player’s skills improve.
Laughter Lake’s games are Critter Sizer, Going Buggy, and Scuba Dude. Critter Sizer requires your child to make quick decisions about whether an animal is large or small. Going Buggy encourages the player to listen carefully to recreate a story using bugs and spiders. Scuba Dude tests your memory as you search for the correct shells and starfish and make sure you find them in the correct order without running into sharks!
Twister Top’s games are Desert Dash, Crazy Maze, and Design-a-Door. In Desert Dash the player hears letter sounds and must drive over them in the correct order while avoiding obstacles. Crazy Maze starts with a word family and allow the student to move a beginning sound through a maze to the word ending to create a word. Design-a-Door is a memory game, with the player studying the patterns on a door and after a set time having to recreate the door from memory.
Galaxy Gardens games are Robo Bobo, Rocket Racer, and Photo Safari. Robo Bobo is a puzzle game where you fill in the missing shapes. Rocket Racer is a letter finding race as the player tries to select the correct letter based on its sound. Photo Safari requires a little planning as the player clicks on animals to photograph and then must find a special item for each animal in order to earn more film.
We have really enjoyed these games and Go Go Kabongo is super affordable. Go Go Kabongo is a new site and offers Laughter Lake absolutely free (just click the blue 'play now' circle on the home page.) For a limited time they are also offerning Galaxy Gardens for free when you sign up and Twister Top is available for a one time fee of $4.95. That means that right now you can have access to the entire site for $4.95 per child. That is not a monthly fee, but a ONE-TIME fee of only $4.95 if you sign up now!
Other TOS Crew members reviewed this game too – click here to see what they thought.