A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this DVD is a wholesome, fun way for kids to spend an hour, and should leave viewers with lots of new ideas for activities and word games. While the relentlessly happy Wiggles and their cohorts might grate on the nerves of parents and older children, the preschoolers at which this DVD is aimed will love the goofy dances, cheerful songs, and easy-to-replicate games. The inclusion of live action shots of children with different ethnicities and abilities is welcome, but short. Special features include an American Sign Language option.
What's the story?
In THE WIGGLES: GETTING STRONG, kids can join Murray (Murray Cook), Jeff (Jeff Fatt), Anthony (Anthony Field), and Sam (Sam Moran) as they sing, dance, hop, and jump, moving their bodies and encouraging young viewers to join in. The first half focuses on active games to promote the virtues of exercise, while the second half promotes language and literacy through simple phonic games and skits. All of the activities reinforce concepts taught in preschool or at home from parents. Special features include an extension of the foreign language practice in the main program, when Dorothy the Dinosaur gets a visit from a Warramiri elder, from one of the indigenous tribes of Australia. An interview with Aussie football star Kate Gill is also a nice touch, especially for young soccer players.
Is it any good?
The DVD is a perfect rainy-day activity for a preschooler needing to burn up some energy, and should give parents some new ideas for games in which the whole family can participate. The four Wiggles converged over a shared interest in early childhood education, and the sincerity of their intent really shows here. They're not afraid to make goofy faces, dance in silly costumes, or try new things, all to the backbeat of cheerful music and a brightly animated background. Children ages 2 through 5 will find it hard to resist their appeal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the many games that are demonstrated in the DVD, including musical cushions, jumping and running in place, and making origami whales. Which one was your favorite?
The Wiggles share some games to help promote language and literacy, like pattern recognition and reading practice. Kids: What did you learn from playing these games?
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