Viewers young and old were captivated from the moment the bright-eyed, engaging and charming host, Maria, appeared on screen. Maria spends her time searching around her house for her pet mouse Fritzi. Throughout this delightful game of hide and seek, viewers hear conversational Spanish introduced by Maria, who has a special talent for speaking clearly and pronouncing words with exactness. The video skillfully freshens up tried and true tools such as live action with puppets, animation, children and music to teach young viewers household words in Spanish.
Parents’ Choice Foundation
If you are looking for a great video to begin the introductory process to the Spanish language, look no further than this video. Parents reported that the methods used, including zero translation and total immersion worked wonders, despite the fact that many were skeptical at first. Kids would watch over and over, enjoying Jorge the musician responsible for the Whistlefritz music, and Fritzi the Mouse. It is the repetition that finally began to pay dividends as children would recognize, then understand and then repeat what they learned. Parents told us they were learning too!
The National Parenting Center
This educational video is very colorful and a delightful way to teach Spanish to your young children. Using everyday conversation is how we learn any language and this is the way this video teaches your youngsters Spanish. There are no translated subtitles to follow, just a wonderful and entertaining show that the children will be in awe of as they watch and learn. Dove awards their Family-Approved Seal for all ages to Spanish for Beginners: Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out).
The Dove Foundation
PreS-Gr2 Designed to teach children Spanish through an immersion approach, teacher Maria and her friend Fritzi the mouse show viewers the animal’s house, complete with the names of all the rooms and the items found in each one. The pair then go to a playground and present the words for the equipment and the natural features. The high-definition graphics are a Blues Clues-like combination of animation and live action, with the adult and child actors engaging with the cartoon mouse. Puppets are also employed, as are songs by Jorge Anaya. The integration of these elements is seamless, with a continuous storyline throughout. No English is spoken, but the Spanish words are clear in context, as the teacher demonstrates everything from the names for fruits to terms for greeting. The clearly enunciated Latin-American Spanish is easy to understand, and the pronunciations are consistent regardless of who is speaking. The use of repetition is masterful – reinforcing without being boring. The combination is thoroughly engrossing, though probably more for the preschool crowd than for more sophisticated early elementary children. The translation guide lists the words and phrases used in the video, as well as the lyrics to the songs. Falling midway between the Little Pim series and the Kids Love Spanish titles in terms of approach, this is a sound purchase, especially for preschools and for home use.
School Library Journal, December 2009
Lovely immersion video which gets right to it, without a lot of explanation. It flows nicely, the cast is engaging and it is definitely appropriate to the age group. There are sections where objects are introduced with their Spanish names and then there are fun songs to help break it up and move things along. It deals with concepts and words that the kids are already familiar with so it’s introducing vocabulary that makes sense. The mouse animations are cute. You should know that there is no English so young viewers might have a difficult time understanding what is going on.
KIDS FIRST! Coalition for Quality Children’s Media
I am so excited to review one of my favorite Spanish language products for kids! I highly recommend their products! They are wonderful! I normally don’t go on and on about products, but I really must when talking about these video’s and CD.
Whistlefritz has 3 video’s and 1 CD out that are completely in Spanish. It’s complete immersion, but even children who have not been exposed to any Spanish can understand it! I love how they have plenty of repetition, sing songs that gets the kids dancing and show silly skits that get the kids giggling.
My kids love the video’s! They remember what they watched and even try to re-enact what happens in the pictures. In Vamos a Jugar, they cover parts of the body and clothing. There is a cute scene where Maria tries to put something on her head. After putting on a sock, a skirt, and pants, she finally realizes she needs a sombrero. Without fail, my girls giggle when they see this part. I caught my daughter repeating what Maria did while she was getting dressed the other day. I love how it gets them talking!
Los Animales video covers much more than animals. They learn how to say “Que dice el perro?” and other phrases. They count dogs, see dogs chasing cats and much more! They also integrate in traditional songs like Los Pollitos and Vegan a Ver Mi Granja. I love the burro skit when the donkey is kicking things and Maria doesn’t know what is happenning. The kids love it and it catches their attention.
I had already purchased the first video’s and Whistlefritz sent me the newest video to review: Adentro y Afuera. It covers rooms in the house and where something is while trying to find a cute little mouse. It covers yummy food and even getting ready for the day. My favorite part is a skit where Maria counts cookies, but then some are missing as the kids take them away. They count multiple times- what a great way to practice counting!
I also received the wonderful A Bailar CD by Jorge Anaya. Someone asked what music I liked to use with my children and in my immersion classes the most. We use this CD probably the most. They are wonderful and are lively enough to dance to. The clear, easy-to-understand singing reminds me of Jose-Luis Orozco, except the accompaniment is more lively and fun! I love El Baile de Las Manos with its simple wording. All the kids in my class love this song!
Blog: Wanna Jugar With Migo?
I think it is so great to teach children another language, especially when they are younger. I was recently sent the video Whistlefritz to review. I was impressed with the video, and my kids were excited about it. I didn’t come across any English in this video, and yet I was still able to understand what was being said/taught. The main character, Fritzi, is a little grey mouse. He hides, and everyone has to find him. I love how the children and the main adult interact with one another. I really like how clear they all pronounce the words.
This video has a Parent/Teacher translation guide included in the inside for further study. I think the price for the value of this video is superb! I think that there is so much Spanish taught inside this video. The songs are great, and my kids and I even danced around with musical instruments.
Our family really enjoyed this video, and it will be one that we will be using in our homeschool education. If you are teaching or learning Spanish, I think that this video is a great resource.
Sassy Fraz sassyfrazz.blogspot.com
I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. I can ask where the bathroom is but not understand the response and be able to order at a Mexican restaurant without greatly mispronouncing any of my items. Now, I would like to learn another foreign language (despite the passable amount of German I know), but it takes a whole lot of work. But now there is a great way for your children to learn Spanish and it’s ready for you to bring home on video today!
Starting this September 1st, now available on video from Whistlefritz, LLC. comes an award-winning and highly inventive way to help your children learn Spanish. Whistlefritz – Spanish For Beginners – Inside And Out is ready to come squeaking out of your television screen and show you a whole new and fun way to learn Spanish. Bring home this great educational video today!
This movie is about naming items inside and outside of the house in Spanish. There isn’t any English spoken, so don’t expect to understand what’s happening the first time through unless you’re already a fluent speaker. Tag along with Maria the teacher and Fritzi the mouse as they go from room to room and help us name what we see. Then we go to the playground and get to name what we see there too. Come along and learn a foreign language while having loads and loads of fun!
This video series has won awards as varied as the iParenting Media Award, the Parents Choice Approved Award, the National Parents Center’s Seal Of Approval, the Creative Child Magazine’s Preferred Choice Award, a KIDS FIRST! endorsement and the National Parenting Publications Honors Award.
A mother who was distressed by the lack of quality Spanish language immersion products thought up this series, so she went on to develop this idea. The principle behind language immersion is that the entire film is in nothing but Spanish with no translation at all. This helps children to learn the underlying linguistic skills needed to master Spanish. But don’t worry, there is a translation guide for teachers and parents to better understand what’s actually happening in this film. The animation is lots and lots of fun and this entire video is surprisingly very interesting, even for me. For those within the target age group of two through seven, this would be a fantastic present. Bring it home today and help give your kids a skill they will put to great use. It’s not hard to learn Spanish – just Whistlefritz!
Blogger News Network
Educational research continues to point out that the best method for learning a second language is in early childhood, through immersion – the same way children learn their mother tongue. Living North America puts parents who seek to give their children a bilingual advantage in a difficult position. The vast majority of us are monolingual, speaking only English, the international language of trade and commerce.
So, what’s a mom to do who wants to equip her young children with a solid foundation in a second language when she only speaks one? The lack of high quality resource for Spanish immersion was just the catalyst needed for one mom to launch Whistlefritz and the Spanish for Beginners series in 2006.
The latest release in the series – Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) is designed to appeal to children from ages two through seven – and does it ever. Who would have thought that a 30-minute video, entirely in Spanish, would so captivate the hearts and attention of my one, three, and six-year-old?
I was a bit skeptical as I popped in the disc. My children are largely unfamiliar with Spanish. They’ve seen Dora, watched some educational videos that teach common phrases through English to Spanish translation and repetition, but have no formal language education under their belts. I was so surprised to find my children singing, dancing, and laughing throughout an entirely Spanish presentation of what could pass for cable television children’s programming.
The animated host “Maria” leads children through scenarios revolving around a small, animated mouse named Fritzi who whistles to communicate (hence the company name, Whistlefritz.) Similar in style to the popular television series Blues Clues, Maria and her gang of multi-cultural children in the target age ranges interact against a colorful, cartoon backdrop with the animated mouse, and a variety of entertaining hand puppets. Live action segments are also interspersed throughout the video, showing the children interacting and singing in real settings.
Maria communicates the meaning of the Spanish words she uses through repetition, exaggerated facial expressions, props, hand gestures, and body movements. Her level of enthusiasm is contagious, and she is an excellent teacher. Narrative teaching is broken up with songs from Horge Anya which include activity songs where children are prompted to perform certain hand movements in response to the lyrics, songs about food, songs about the directions (up and down) and so on.
The narrative teaching focuses on greetings, room names, common locations (in front of, on the side of, on top of, etc.), food names, numbers up to ten, bathroom tasks, and more. A vocabulary guide which includes the Spanish words in the order they are presented on the disc, and their English translations is provided to help children decipher the meaning of words which are more difficult to determine from context. Parents who watch the video with their children and discuss the onscreen action and vocabulary with them will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the video, and pick up valuable Spanish skills themselves.
With Maria and Jorge both speaking Spanish fluently, their accents are bang on to my untrained ear. They speak at a slower pace than a native speaker would in order to allow children to follow them, and often repeat words and phrases to encourage children to join in with responses. My two oldest girls were already chattering away from time to time with the disc on its second play through.
The video menu provides options to play the disc through, put the disc on auto play, or play only the song segments. No scene selection option is provided, though with a 30- minute disc that isn’t a hardship.
I’ve been teaching my six-year-old the five-star rating system; when I asked her how she’d rate Spanish for Beginners: Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) she replied, “Six stars, I’d give it eight if I could.” The natural humor, infectious joy, and enthusiasm contained on the video have already made it a much-requested favorite in our home. My six-year-old has asked for it four times today (I had to stop her or she would have kept going.) It’s just this sort of repetition in an immersive language experience that will help build a solid foundation for future studies in Spanish.
Whether you want to give your children a taste of Spanish for National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct 15, 2009), supplement a more traditional language program, or use the Spanish for Beginners series as the first step in a full-immersion course of study, Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) is well worth your investment in time and money.
Quiverfull Family quiverfullfamily.com
By now it’s well known that the best time to learn a second language (such as Spanish) is during early childhood, and that the best method of instruction is total immersion — with no English spoken and no translation used. Developed by a mom who wanted to teach her children Spanish effectively, Whistlefritz Adentro y Afuero (Inside and Out) is the latest in a series of total immersion beginning Spanish videos for kids ages 2-7. Extremely well-produced and instantly engaging, these videos could compete for airtime against any existing educational TV show for young children. Whistlefritz uses a proven Blues Clues-like style, placing an engaging live host against a backdrop of simple animation, with Fritzi, a mischievous mouse, as her sidekick, and live (adorable) children to interact with them. The actors speak slowly and clearly, and, when appropriate, representations of the word or phrase being taught are shown on the screen. Your grandchild will learn the words for many common foods, the numbers 1-10, etc., not to mention the phrases that make every day simple interactions possible. For instance, Donde Esta (Where is)?, Muy Bien (Very Good), and many more. A bonus —the real children throughout the video, in scenes shot at a playground and eating various common foods, are familiar for kids, helping them realize that even though their native languages are different, they all enjoy the same kinds of things. And, with superbly entertaining and educational instruction such as this Whistlefritz video, it’s entirely possible for them to communicate with one another! In addition to Adentro y Afuera, Whistlefritz offers two other beginner videos — Los Animales (Animals), and Vamos a Jugar (Let’s Play).
Grandkids Gift Guide
I was pleasantly surprised by award-winning Whistlefritz’ Spanish for Beginners Video + CD series because I expected my 3-year-old daughter, whose first language is Spanish, to be a bit bored with it. I was wrong.
Vanessa actually loved Adentro y Afuera’s videos main character, Fritzi, a cute little mouse used throughout the program to teach children Spanish vocabulary. She also loved the songs and actually got up and danced to “El Baile de las Manos.” The rhythm was contagious, I must admit, and the lyrics simple.
One of the things I enjoyed about the videos production is the variety of methods used to teach basic Spanish. The video includes animation, entertaining music and fun puppets, among other things, making the process of learning actually fun. I caught Vanessa giggling several times when the puppets came on. I also caught her responding to the questions asked by Maria, the program’s hostess.
The latest CD of this series, ¡A Bailar!, was also a hit with my daughter because she immediately recognized a bunch of the more popular songs and quickly started singing them. Whistlefritz is a company founded in 2006 by a mom who wanted to teach her children Spanish, but couldn’t find high-quality immersion programs. So she decided to create her very own CDs and videos. Two things I really liked: both CDs and video are completely in Spanish (immersion is the idea here) and you really don’t have to speak Spanish yourself to use them with your kids.
I think it’s great to give children the opportunity to learn a 2nd language when they are young and when their minds are ready for it. With the rapidly changing demographics of our country and with the way technology is linking the world in business, knowing a 2nd or 3rd or 4th language can be very beneficial.
The Whistlefritz program allows your children (and you!) to learn with total immersion into the language. They don’t have your mind flipping back and forth between English and Spanish in a way that is confusing and ‘feels like school.’ The CDs and videos are totally in Spanish, but don’t let that frighten you 😉 It actually makes it easier because your brain is thinking in Spanish instead of flipping back and forth. (You can check their site to get a more detailed explanation than mine).
I got to try out a couple of their latest releases and I am impressed.
- Spanish for Beginners Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) video – This is designed for kids ages 2-7, but older kids and parents can pick up Spanish words and phrases, too. It’s all in Spanish with plenty of hand motions, expressions and demonstrations that make the meaning of the words clear. And the whole thing is done in a fun way that makes it feel like an entertaining video instead of typical teaching. Even small children can quickly pick it up – doing hand motions along with the video and repeating and understanding the words.
- A Bailar (Let’s Dance) Spanish Learning Songs – There are 16 songs that kids can sing along with. Some are familiar (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and easy to quickly understand the meaning. Songs will help your child remember the words and pronunciation – and your little ones can quickly be singing in a new language! You can listen to clips from the cd and watch parts of the videos on the Whistlefritz site.
- The Adentro Y Afuera video and the A Bailar cd are both available at a discount on Amazon. And I really like that even though they have a whole program available, you can also buy them individually instead of investing in a huge set before your kids have gotten a chance to try it.
This Spanish program has won awards galore! And it’s no wonder. Whistlefritz, which produces The Spanish for Beginners series is irresistible. I watched Adentro y Afuera (Inside & Out) with my daughter and twenty-two-month-old grandson. He had a one word response, “more” which I’m sure he will be saying in Spanish soon! And my daughter wanted to borrow the video until she could purchase it.
The video features a proven Spanish immersion technique. It engages children immediately with teacher Maria, an adorable group of children, and Fritzi the mouse. We learn all around the house and if that’s not enough fun, we go outside for picnics, playground adventures, and hide and seek! While children watch, they are learning Spanish in a hands-on way that is meaningful in their world. Whistlefritz is a great Spanish immersion program for individual families, but it’s also perfect for preschools, schools, and other child care programs. Check out the website: whistlefritz.com to order and to learn more about their other products.
Edna Wallace, Editor
A new girl joined JustaBXgirl’s class last week. My little socialite came home and told me that she was both happy and sad about the addition to her group. She explained that she was really excited that there was a new girl in the class so she could have a new friend but that she was really sad because she couldn’t talk to the new girl. I asked her why she couldn’t talk to the new girl. I figured she must have meant that the new girl was on the other side of the room and she hadn’t had a chance to welcome her. It turns out that the new girl only speaks Spanish!
My darling daughter doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. Okay, I exaggerate. She speaks three words of Spanish. She knows Abuela, hola and basura. Oh, make that four. She knows gracias too. I must confess that I don’t speak much more. I never learned as a child. My parents spoke English at home, my maternal grandparents are both deceased and I didn’t spend much time with my paternal grandma. Oh, we’re up to five words. JustaBXgirl knows bisabuela (great grandmother). Over the years, I have picked up bits and pieces of Spanish. I know enough to usually order food and I might not be totally helpless if lost in a Spanish speaking country but I am far from fluent.
I always swore that when I had a child that my child would be multi-lingual. My child wouldn’t speak a mere language or two. Oh no, my child would speak at least three languages! Ha. You know that saying about how a person is a perfect parent until they have children? Yea, that saying is about me. Once JustaBXgirl could share her opinions she let me know that she wasn’t interested in learning a different language. She would also get frustrated with me when I would speak to her in my broken Spanish. She still does for the most part.
The first time that she expressed being interested in speaking a second language was when we went to Paris. I explained to her that if she really did want to live there one day she would need to learn the language. Finally, getting her into the idea of speaking French I still struggled with how to get her interested in Spanish. We have finally found the reason thanks to her new friend joining her class. She has been communicating by using lots of sign language. While her interest is peaked to begin using Spanish regularly I have turned to our friends at Whistlefritz. I know that when it comes to language lessons I can’t do it on my own. I also know that Whistlefritz will make learning fun for JustaBXgirl.
Whistlefritz is a high quality immersion program that teaches littles a new language through live-action, animation, and music. The great thing is that they realize us adults might need a little support as our littles are learning. You can get the entire collection or start with parts of it and build from there. We are starting with Canranval and Adentro y Afuera. Carnaval is comprised of fourteen songs that not only cover different topics but different musical genres. I think it will be the perfect way for JustaBXgirl to jump in. We will be following it up with Adentro y Afuera which is a DVD set that helps littles become familiar with everyday words that are in and around the house.
Once JustaBXgirl finds a sense of mastery with these we will move on to check out some of the French content. I think once she gets some Spanish basics down then it will be easy for her to find the similarities in French. A great thing about the Whistlefritz program is that it is available both in both physical and digital products. I really like the physical because it allows JustaBXgirl to take her Cozyphones, grab her personal DVD player and work independently. When she is working on a device that is connected to the Internet, I feel I need to helicopter a bit more.
Do I think this will get her chatting up a storm with her new friend? No, but I do think it will help her feel a bit more confident about being able to communicate by having some of the basics down. Do your littles speak other languages? Do you? Is there a dream language that you would learn if you could?