When my first daughter was born I was firmly convinced that children learn basic colours, shapes, and counting skills through daily life. As my child grew and matured I realized that some of my assumptions were correct; my daughter learned to count verbally, most colours, and a few basic shapes through our daily interactions. As she turned six I realized that she hadn’t picked up any of the symbolic representations for numbers that she was familiar with – well, okay that’s a bit like learning phonics, so we’ll need some structured teaching there. I also found that she was missing out on the names of a few very simple shapes – mixing up rectangles and triangles, for example – oops. My previously held notions that children never needed to be formally taught shape names blew out the window, taking some of my pride along with it.
With the need for some remedial education becoming apparent, I was happy to find Rock ‘n Learn’s Colours, Shapes & Counting educational DVD a good fit for our family. Recommended for children between the ages of three and five, my oldest doesn’t find it babyish, my three-year-old is captivated, and even my one-year-old dances around the living room and points at the television when the disc is playing. Not only are the bright, simple animations and illustrations child friendly and the rock-inspired songs engaging, this disc also incorporates a true wealth of essential instruction for early education. We’ve found the learning value to be excellent with a very wide range of concepts introduced, reinforced and informally tested through fun games with built-in pauses for children to shout out their answers.
The DVD’s hosts - Rollie Roundman, Trollie Triangle, and Rockford Rectangle - introduce basic concepts before building into combinations of everything presented to date, and advanced levels within the topic areas. For example, basic colours, shapes, and numbers up to ten are introduced before children are asked questions that combine all three concepts: “How many purple circles do you see?” After mastering the basic shapes more advanced forms are introduced, as well as helpful tricks to differentiate between similar forms. The children progress all the way up to ellipses, trapezoids, polygons, and more. Intermediate colours are introduced after basic colours are familiar, and counting to 20 is practiced after the first ten numbers are well established.