My daughter just turned four and I was beginning to think she’d never show the least bit interest in learning the alphabet. She could sing the ABC song but she didn’t think of it as anything more than a song. I tried and tried to get her interested in learning and was beginning to think I must be a horrible teacher. She just wasn’t getting anywhere.
I know she’s a bright kid but I just couldn’t find the trick I needed to get her to learn until I came across Vtech’s V.Smile TV Learning System. She was given the V.Smile for Christmas and just a short month and a half later I am amazed at the results!
This is a video game system for your television set. It connects the same way a DVD player connects to your TV. It comes with the game Alphabet Park Adventure. The price tag was $50.00 for the system and additional games cost $20.00 each. I chose the Wiggles game to go along with the one that came with the system.
The VTech V.Smile Learning System is recommended for children ages 3-7. The games are all of educational value. Early Learners is recommended for ages 3-5, Junior Thinkers are for ages 4-6 and Master Minds are for ages 5-7. You can choose your games from these age groups and a variety of popular children’s entertainment characters.
The V.Smile comes with the console, one joystick, cables for TV connection, one game and the owner’s manual. The system will run on C batteries but they run out quickly. You can hook the system up with a standard 9V AC/DC adaptor but it is not included in the purchase price. We purchased ours for $10.00 after we realized it was not included. The joystick can be changed for left or right-handed children and an extra can be purchased separately.
The console and joystick are made of sturdy plastic. So far she has not managed to break anything on the system and it fits nicely under the TV stand. The buttons on the joystick are large and easy to use. There are four lighted buttons across the top that are used for certain sections of the games.
Using the System
The system is easy to use and your child will pick it up easily. There is an ‘on’ button and an ‘off’ button. There is also a reset button for the system but I have not yet found a reason to use it. The cartridges will go in a bit hard and fit in snuggly so you may have to change the cartridges for your child. My daughter had no problems navigating the simple menu selections. They offer one or two player options, easy or difficult settings and different character options. The layout on the Wiggles game we purchased was set up so she could easily pick out which game she wanted to play.
What She’s Learned
In the span of one month my daughter has learned the alphabet and some phonetic sounds. She can count up to 17 and has learned to use the system rather easily which helps with hand and eye coordination.
I can truly say that I was overwhelmed with the amount of information my daughter has learned in such a short time using the V.Smile system. They have found a way to make learning fun and enjoyable and have succeeded in teaching her in one month what I couldn’t do in six months.
The Alphabet Park Adventure game that came with the V.Smile system has a variety of learning experiences on it. The only problem with the game is that there is one part of the game that is very hard to navigate. The benefits of the game far outweigh this one small part she seems to have trouble completing because I see this as an opportunity for her to learn that sometimes you have to try again before you get something right.
The Wiggles game that we purchased separately is a big hit with my little girl. The game teaches numbers, letters, vocabulary, simple counting skills, music, colors and patterns. Each Wiggle has his own adventure; Greg drives the Big Red Car in search of letters, Anthony strolls through Dorothy’s garden in search of lunch, Murray takes a stroll on the beach and deals with numbers while dodging beach balls and Jeff goes on a search for Captain Feathersword while tackling basic math.
The game also has a musical section where you can make the Wiggles dance and your child is encouraged to dance and sing along. The game teaches rhythm by having your child press the buttons in time with the music and there is also a memory section that features a picture sequence game.
This game was a great investment and has given my daughter hours of enjoyment and learning. The minor annoyance of having to purchase the adaptor separately is my only complaint. Overall we are extremely satisfied with the ease of learning and the variety of games and the skills these games teach. If you find you just aren’t the greatest teacher in the world this game will be a valuable addition to you home.