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Fiesta Friends: Mommy Teach Me Spanish!

Tengo Hambre - I Am Hungry! Fiesta Friends, LLC 601-264-6058 17 Meadow Ridge Lane Purvis, MS 39475

Fiesta Friends: Mommy, Teach Me Spanish!, is the first in a DVD series created by a Mom to help other Mom's introduce Spanish to their children at a young age. Familiarity with Spanish is a definite bonus in today's society and studies have shown that young children have a great capability for picking up new languages.

The Fiesta Friends DVDs are centered around the child's home and daily routine, using words and activities that the child is familiar with. This first DVD, Tengo Hambre - I Am Hungry!, focuses on food and the kitchen. Words introduced include: various food and drinks, items used at the table, colors, kitchen appliances and furniture and family members. The DVD includes a sheet of paper with the Spanish/English name for each word for later reference or to make vocabulary cards.

The "friends" in the video are puppets, Fuerte the Chihuahua and Feugo the chili pepper. These puppets arrive on-screen at various intervals as new words are introduced, generally accompanied by bright colors and lively music. Generally, a scene will be shown with the Fiesta Friends puppets as words are introduced in Spanish and then spoken in English. The words show up in written form on the screen as well. These scenes are often followed by a series of several young children speaking the Spanish word.

The back of the DVD states that the video is designed for children ages 1-10. In all honesty I think this leads to some confusion. While the characters and children in the video appeal to very young children, the number of words and speed with which they are introduced is more geared to an older child. At one time the "Muffin Man" song is sung in Spanish and another time a Spanish tongue twister is spoken. To me, these were just confusing as the words were quite advanced and quickly spoken. While I really liked the young children speaking the Spanish words, several of them did not speak the word correctly and should not be used as examples. On the plus side, there were several seconds between the introduction of each word and my nine-year-old daughter did grab a pencil of her own initiative and write some down to help her remember.

I DO think this DVD would work well to introduce your child to Spanish if watched repeatedly. However, I'm not sure it holds interest well enough that children would wish to view it several times. I had a difficult time keeping my 4, 6 and 9 year old interested through just one viewing. My 9 year old was most interested, but ignored everything except the written words and meanings. I think the idea behind the product is great but a focus on a more narrow age range would likely increase interest.

If you have a young child with a desire to learn Spanish this DVD will be a great help. However, I doubt a less motivated child would watch it more than once or twice.

-- Product Review by Dena Wood, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, April 2006

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