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Bop-Along with the Bop-a-Lots DVD, Volume I

By Stephen Fossati and Philip Vaughn
Socket Media, Inc.

PO Box 350
Hollywood, CA 90078-0350

Bop-Along with the Bop-a-Lots is the first release in a series of DVDs intended for children ages five and younger. It is forty minutes in length and has full-color computer animation, playful dance, and musical styles from around the world. Designed to develop cognitive thinking skills in young children, the DVD introduces four different songs in a variety of ways. First, the song is presented in a traditional way, with children singing along. Then the song is performed by the Bop-a-Lots four more times in different styles. (Styles include Marching Band, Flamenco, Dixieland, Celtic, Blues, Japanese, Square Dance, and Calypso.) The four songs on this DVD are "If You're Happy and You Know It," "Old MacDonald," "Pop Goes the Weasel," and "Rock-A-Bye Baby." The DVD also has a Shuffle Play option which can be set for different lengths of time--from as short as five minutes to as long as thirty minutes of playing time. The Jukebox option allows you to choose five favorite songs from all of the renditions.

This product is designed to introduce children to a world of music, laughter, and dance. By encouraging cultural diversity, an appreciation for music, listening skills, and physical exercise, this DVD offers multiple educational benefits. Though it is intended for young children, older children would probably enjoy it as well. This DVD also comes with a bonus music CD of the songs as well as a Guide for Parents and Caregivers that has fun facts about the various musical styles and listening exercises and games.

This DVD was lots of fun for our family, particularly for our toddler as he danced along with every song. The laughter is contagious, and I often found myself laughing along with my child and the Bop-a-Lots. I learned about several musical styles that I hadn't been very familiar with before. I was surprised to find my 15-year-old noting which musical style she enjoyed from the lists of those played. I personally found the Celtic, Dixieland, and Big Band renditions very enjoyable and worked at the dance steps with my son as we watched.

Our family will look forward to the additional volumes in this series. The cognitive value within this program is wonderful. I could almost see my son's brain working. Even at two years old, he was visibly concentrating and recognizing that the song was the same, and yet different. The games and listening exercises provided in the Guide for Parents and Caregivers would enhance any music program. You can use some of the exercises with other music and with various ages of children. Bop Along with the Bop-a-Lots is a wonderful addition to a toddler's DVD library.

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, April 2007

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