Not long ago, I opted to tryout a really cool early learning product by PandaParents. MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS is a really neat monthly subscription based product that teaches early learning skills in a fun way. Now, of course Mr. B is well outside of the age range, but I wanted to see how this product would work with special needs learners, and I figured he'd still get a kick out of some of the arts and crafts projects included. For this review, we received 6-months of their subscription "courses." These are digital downloads, and the physical options are slated to be ready around December 2018.
The idea behind this is really fun. You spend about 30-mins a day, 2 or 3 days a week, reading to your child and working through a corresponding workbook.
I love the concept, especially for special needs learners. The books are short, and easy to read, with a lot of colors and bold letters. For this review, I've focused on "Scotty Skunk Hears a Scary Sound," and the workbook that goes with it.
This book is really cute as it details the life of a skunk. Your child will be learning much more than a fictional tail and the letter "S." Your child will also learn about modes of transportation like the above Sailboat, and seaons/weather like "Snow."
What really strikes me is how the Letter S is highlighted red each time it begins a word. This is great for visual learners! It really works well to reemphasize the letter.
The student workbook is a lot of fun. It is full of fun, educational activities. There's simple spelling, matching, coloring, and handwriting practice. A lot of the sheets would be GREAT to print out on sticker paper!
I love activities like this one above. It's a great way to work on reading comprehension skills, as well as to see how much of the story your child retains.
Mr. B did enjoy some of the coloring activities, and activities like the maze below. Each activity is focused on the letter your child is learning at that time.
Overall, I think this would be a great addition for your early learners. The books are cute, with a fun story, and the workbooks are a lot of fun, too. Special needs learners will appreciate the added repetition, and the fun but challenging game like activities.
Does PandaParents Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?
1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?
You download the books (or get the physical copies in December...) and you can work at your own pace.
There are no hidden fees. This is a physical/digital product that does require a subscription fee. This is for early learners. I would suggest sticker paper for some of the printing. I think it would make this a lot more fun, and a lot easier, too.
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
This is varied enough for ADHD with fun games and such. I do not think it boring at all, and you can set the right timing for your family. The suggestion is 30mins a day, 2 or 3 days a week. That includes the reading aspect. So it's not a time intensive product, at all.
4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.
You could use the books to target specific topics as they come up, but this is mainly a reading/language arts course.