As a speech pathologist I love VTech’s new Mix & Match-a-Saurus who kids can customize by characters, emotions and music style. The three light up buttons teach colors and shapes. Put the red character tiles, yellow emotion tiles and blue music style tiles into the matching shape on Dino’s back to give him instructions on how to dance and sing. Our first combination was “Dino feeling sleepy, dancing hip hop.” He danced and sang a cute rhyming song related to his state, “I’m a sleepy dinosaur, ready to snore. When I get so tired I make a sleepy roar.” Kids are encouraged to listen and follow directions, an essential skill for the classroom. “Stomp your feet like a dinosaur. Can you roar like me?” The emotion tiles, happy, angry, and sleepy, encourage kids to name emotions and talk about how they feel, building their Emotional Quotient. When we inserted the Angry tile, our Dino stomped around and said, “Let’s practice calming down. Try taking a deep breath.” I like how kids take charge of the play, by experimenting with different combinations of tiles (27 different possible combinations) and learn related to that character (dinosaur, robot or monster), emotion and music style (hip-hop, marching or ballet).
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