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Original Signing Time is MUCH Better
on March 20, 2007
We too were so impressed with the original Signing Time that we decided to try this one for our nearly one-year-old baby. While we're not fans of TV for children under two, the first Signing Time was so straight-forward and simple that we were comfortable watching it with our child. It took only a few times of watching it before she was using the signs all the time!
So we were excited when the Baby version came out and ordered the first two volumes. But these are way too "produced" in comparison to the original one, and the cartoon graphics and music are annoying and distracting. We let the baby watch it and she sat like a zombie, which worried us, since she'd been so engaged by the original one. But Baby Signing Time was far less effective in terms of teaching her than the low-budget/realistic original one.
If you're looking to start your child on the path to learning ASL, I strongly recommend you stick with the original Signing Time series. The Baby version is just too close to that mindless entertainment junk you find in most children's videos today, which is a real shame, since the original series are so engaging and interactive.
I gave this two stars as it's not the worst thing for a baby, but in comparison to the original series, it was very disappointing.
Edited to add: It's been a few years since I posted my review. Clearly there are some folks out there who do not feel the same as I do about this series. ;) And that's fine. And when a friend bought us volume 3, we decided what the heck, we'll give it a shot with our youngest.
She had the exact same reaction to Baby Signing Time that our eldest did. We tried all three DVDs, thinking maybe it was just a fluke (I know, silly, but there you have it. The naysayers here had me second guessing myself). Nope. She hated the Baby Signing Time DVDs. And our eldest wasn't interested either at that point either ("That's a BABY. I'm not a BABY. Pfft.").
So I ended up giving the DVDs away to a friend who learned her infant was deaf.
My oldest is now 5 and my youngest is 2-1/2, and both of them still love the original Signing Time (Series One), especially the first three volumes. Which amazes me, because those are by far the least produced looking of all the Signing Time videos. Yes, my girls like eye candy cartoon TV as much as the next kid, and neither of them need to learn ASL technically, but they enjoy the original Signing Time series. They BOTH still enjoy it. And it's educational, which I love!
Bottom line is these DVDs are not cheap. If you're going to invest in any, I still recommend going with the original Signing Time series instead of Baby Signing Time, because if for no other reason, than your kids might still want to watch it when they're older. Baby Signing Time doesn't have that same long-lasting value as the original Signing Time. At least it didn't in our house. So while some folks might love Baby Signing Time even more than the original, keep in mind that the original is appealing to both little ones and bigger kids. The baby one may not be. Our kindergartner had forgotten most of the signs until her baby sister started watching Signing Time. My eldest was able to re-learn the signs along with her sister. Totally worth every penny. :)