A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's nothing for parents to be concerned about in this video. Bright colors, bold shapes, and bouncy music will capture youngsters' attention, and directs that attention to beginning math concepts. Maisy's animal friends make early arithmetic skills appealing and connect children to nature.
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What's the story?
COUNT WITH MAISY is colorful and creative. The video offers five cartoons, each about five minutes long. The segments show simple stories of play and integrate very basic math concepts -- numbers, sequencing, and patterns. Minute-long musical interludes of giddy ditties playfully reinforce the counting lessons. The animal characters speak their own language, a mix of toddlers' pre-recognizable words and the Teletubbies' chat. A narrator's voice-over, the sole adult presence, instructs kids on key concepts, vocabulary and story ideas.
Is it any good?
The Maisy series, familiar to Nickelodeon watchers, is a vibrant and picturesque celebration of childhood. Award-winning children's book illustrator Lucy Cousins remains true to the sweet educational purpose of the original Maisy books with this entry. Cousins' simple graphics will make your screen look as colorful as a crayon box. The youngest viewers will be stimulated, and older preschoolers will appreciate the parade of pigments even more. This may be a cartoon, but it's not the usual frantic world of cartoon crazies. The pace and plot move slowly, allowing ample time for children to react. One tot named each animal aloud, proudly recognizing them as they boarded the number train.
These beginning math lessons are fun for toddlers and preschoolers to follow. Kids will count along as Maisy picks up passengers at numbered bus stops. Four- and 5-year-olds will get excited by the independence that Maisy and her pals enjoy as they drive trains and play hide-and-seek. One group of boys was so inspired by Maisy's fun that they began playing their own game of hide-and-seek after watching the cartoon. Younger children who watched Count With Maisy wanted to view it in small doses. Older preschoolers showed a longer attention span for the mischievous mice. Let's hope that all kids' encounters with math stay this painless and pretty. Cousins' book of the same name makes a good companion for little hands and eyes to explore after seeing the video.
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