Sunday, November 30, 2008

A WordWorld Christmas!

My three-year-old daughter knows how to spell S-T-A-R just in time for Christmas! Want to know why? WordWorld, the popular children's PBS preschool show, is airing a new holiday episode this December. We were offered a chance to watch the advance holiday screener and my daughter loved it! The episode will air several times beginning tomorrow, Dec. 1st. Make sure to check your local television listings to find out when it is on in your area!

WordWorld Holiday episode description:
"The Christmas Star" - Duck tries to catch a star for the top of Frog's Christmas tree but fails and falls asleep crying. His friends come to the rescue and give him a special present, the letters for the word S-T-A-R.
"A Christmas Present for Dog" - All the WordFriends send letters to Santa. Pig wants a S-L-E-D, Ant asks for a C-O-O-K-I-E, Bear wants a D-O-L-L and Dog really needs a B-A-L-L. Christmas arrives and all get their presents except poor Dog. The WordFriends learn that one of the best parts of Christmas is not receiving but giving.
The Christmas episode, like the other WordWorld episodes, promotes early literacy for preschool children. The show's goal is to improve word recognition and early reading skills. Letters in certain words "come alive" and creatively morph into respective characters or objects. After watching the Christmas episode, my daughter attempted to write her own letter to Santa, asking him for a D-O-L-L. And amazingly, she could spell it, just like Bear! For my Christian readers I want to point out that the show, not surprisingly, has a secular viewpoint. As a Christian, we are taught that the Christ's birth is what Christmas is all about, not necessarily just giving. Also, the star on a Christmas tree is special because it symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, not the simplified version as Frog describes it saying, "It's special because every year at Christmas time the brightest, most beautiful star of the season appears in the winter sky."

WordWorld has won many awards including an Emmy and a Parents' Choice Gold Award. In addition, the interactive WordWorld Website is definitely worth a glance. My daughter especially enjoys playing Dog's Letter Pit and Alphabet Falls.

Still looking for a great holiday gift for your preschooler? WordWorld educational toys are available for purchase from Target.

We had the opportunity to try out the Mega Bloks WordWorld Bucket Set - Barn. The playset has been a really big hit with my daughter. The 49 piece set includes two WordFriends you can assemble (Cow and Pig), the tractor and cart, hay, a fence, windmill, and a shovel that all fit nicely into the BARN container. In addition, kids are able to use the 16 double-sided letter blocks to spell different words like CORN and ROPE. Best of all, the set can be used with other Mega Blok and Duplo sets for hours of play. My only complaint is that I wish more letter blocks were included so you could display the entire alphabet from A to Z. Luckily there are enough letters to spell out both my daughter's name and son's name, separately. I am unable to spell my own name with the letters that are included though. As a bonus, the set comes with a DVD that includes one WordWorld Episode.

If you haven't watched WordWorld yet on PBS with your kids or looked at the WordWorld website, you should check it out this December!