Phonics 4 Babies: Baby's First Words

Movie review by
Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
Phonics 4 Babies: Baby's First Words Movie Poster Image
Phonics lessons don't beat books and interaction.
  • NR
  • 2007
  • 75 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Good reinforcement of basic lessons for toddlers, like using your words to get what you want and remembering "please" and "thank you." Lewis models excellent positive reinforcement to her little charges, always encouraging and acknowledging their efforts.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this DVD, which claims that it will "jumpstart your child's speech," combines repetition, simple songs and games, and a perky host in an effort to help babies and young toddlers acquire the basic steps to speech. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as Common Sense Media suggest no screen time at all until the age of 2. While this DVD may not do harm, it offers nothing that couldn't be achieved simply by reading books together. This DVD also runs longer than the 60 minutes advertised on the packaging and Web site -- more like 75 minutes for both episodes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydbreashears April 9, 2008
Adult Written by[email protected] April 9, 2008


Great for Babies and kids any age.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

BABY'S FIRST WORDS is the first of what is billed as a series of videos from Phonics 4 Babies, designed to "unleash the genius in your child." The two episodes included here are narrated by Mallory Lewis, daughter of Shari Lewis, of Lambchop fame, and herself an Emmy Award-winner for writing in a children's series. Lewis leads puppet Giggles and the audience in simple, repetitive songs and the "D-D- Dog!" exercises that reinforce phonics.

Is it any good?

Lewis' positive approach to both discipline and praise is exemplary for the parents of young children. She cheerfully but firmly corrects Giggles when she forgets to use her words to ask for what she wants, or behaves rudely (as when she says, "You are not rude, but your behavior is. You are sweet and kind").

The producers take the task of teaching phonics seriously, including a tongue-in-cheek warning that exposure to the DVD may cause children to grow up to be President and find a cure for the common cold. A few live-action shots of toddlers following Lewis' commands to "close the toy box" and "shut the door" energize the rudimentary computer-generated animation that backs Lewis and her puppets, the Tummy Tots.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the words that are used frequently in this series, to further reinforce their definitions and how they can be used in a sentence. The host does an excellent job of reinforcing good manners and providing positive feedback that parents could incorporate into their own interactions with their babies.

Movie details

  • In theaters: September 24, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: September 25, 2007
  • Cast: Mallory Lewis
  • Studio: Starz Media
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Run time: 75 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • MPAA explanation: not rated
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate