When little children start showing an eagerness for learning, it's important to have fun and engaging resources on hand to inspire and teach them. That's the idea behind Caboodle Kids early learning products.
The Caboodle Kids "Critter Crew" is featured on all of their learning resources, which are designed with toddlers and pre-schoolers in mind.
We received the Rhyming Critter Crew Alphabet Cards ($14.95) and the Alphabet Critter Crew Color-Me Placements (retail $10.95) to try with our four-year-old, Benjamin.
Right off, I loved how large, sturdy and colorful the alphabet cards were. Most others that you find in stores are small and flimsy. Each card is two-sided; one side shows the letter and animal character and word. The reverse illustrates both the capital and lowercase, plus a sentence using the animal character's name. Because each letter is tied to an animal with a real name, it helps to reinforce the letter and sound in your child's mind. The sentences are also set up in rhyming pairs, and that helps even more to anticipate the next letter. For example: "Quentin Quail flies next to a kite. Rajini Rabbit steals veggies at night."
Benjamin likes the cards a lot! We haven't done any work with letters until now and he's already learned A through E in just one week using the Caboodle Kids cards. The only issue we've encountered is that some of the animal names are hard to say and remember. It would be much easier for Benjamin to memorize something easy like Sam Squirrel instead of Satoshi Squirrel, or Rosy Rabbit instead of Rajini Rabbit. I'm pretty sure the names were chosen in the interest of diversity, but my personal opinion is that for such young ages, it would be better to keep things as simple and short as possible.
The place mats are very useful for reinforcing the letters that your child is learning. They are large and easy to color. This was one of Benjamin's favorites. He's still working on it because I find at this age it's hard to keep him occupied with any one activity for a long time!
There are many images in the place mat book that he told me looked "weird" and I would agree. The artwork appears to be computer-generated (see image below) and some of the animals have strange proportions (overly large heads, for example) or eerie-looking faces. I would love to see the place mats redesigned with higher quality, more appealing artwork, especially since it's for very little children who are drawn to cute and cuddly critters.
I think the whole concept behind Caboodle Kids is wonderful, and they are on the right track. We are happy to have some useful and fun tools in our kit that will reinforce Benjamin's early learning.
You can find Caboodle Kids on the web at http://www.caboodlekids.com and purchase products directly from the catalog.
Ready for a giveaway?
One lucky reader will receive a set just like ours, which includes:
Rhyming Critter Crew Alphabet Cards ($14.95)
Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter! This giveaway is open to US Residents 18+ years of age and will end on Monday, December 17th. Good Luck!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product from this company in exchange for my honest opinion, and have not been compensated monetarily in any way.