Speak and Sing: The Developing Child includes a CD and activity book for infants and children up to first grade. The CD has 27 tracks, providing nearly 40 minutes of interactive rhyming songs. The songs and activities help to build communication, coordination, and literary development. The spiral-bound activity book includes directions for movements that coordinate to the music and get children moving in a fun way. Other activities include making puppets and finger plays or practicing rhythm by drumming to the beat.
All of the music and activities included in Speak and Sing are meant to be educational. They are designed for early learners and ESL students who are forming speech patterns and building comprehension skills. Though the activities are all fun and natural ways of play, the writers are very intentional about explaining the cognitive benefits of each activity. For example, you'll learn how the Mother Goose Rhymes benefit vocabulary and how puppets tap a child's artistic creativity and increase fine and gross motor skills.
The activity book was really enjoyable. I liked the motions and figure plays. I could see how they helped build memory in my little girls. Puppets are always a hit with our family, regardless of their form. I loved that the authors explained the educational value of every activity. Speak
and Sing was most useful for my four- and six-year-olds. They really had fun with it. My son is in speech therapy and has fine motor delays. This was a fun way for him to practice these skills in a non-threatening way. My eight-year-old daughter was much less impressed. The music was clearly designed for a younger crowd, and she would have none of it. I expected Speak
and Sing to appeal to my two-year-old, but she didn't have a very long attention span for the activities. One track was about all my youngest would participate with. There definitely seems to be an age rage on this.
I think Speak and Sing is cute. It is fun and useful, but I would like to see more family friendly singing. The CD music itself was kind of corny. You won't want to listen to it in your car. It definitely requires motion and participation to enjoy it. I know it's kid music, but it felt a bit old-style at times. I did like "Lost Sock Blues," which is to the tune of "Last Kiss." It had me laughing my head off. My four-year-old loved "My My" and felt very proud when she could fill in the blanks by rhyming. Speak
and Sing is a pretty clever way to teach rhyming.
This product will not be a fit for every kid. It's sort of hit and miss who will like it and who won't. I think it would be most beneficial for four-year-olds, and I would recommend it to parents struggling to teach rhyming to their pre-K students.