Based in Southern California, Educational Insights, is the manufacturer of playful products with serious educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Our products are designed by seasoned educators and parents who know that, first and foremost, learning must be fun.
I have to just start off this review by saying that I LOVE Educational Insights! If longevity is a sign of greatness you can rest assured that Educational Insights products are great with a capital “G”. This company has been around for over 50 years! When I was contacted by Educational Insights to do a review I hopped onto their website and browsed their products. I quickly discovered that Educational Insights made one of my favorite toys when I was a kid! It was because of Educational Insights’ GeoSafari that I learned the Seven Wonders of the World, the names and locations of the great bodies of water that fill the earth, the names and locations of all the countries in Europe and Asia, and tons of other stuff. It was awesome. I think my mom still has it…I’m might steal it next time I visit! But, I digress…
Educational Insights sent me a couple boxes of their Hot Dots Jr. with “Ace”-The Talking, Teaching Dogpen. This particular product was designed for early learners (PreK+). Each set of Hot Dots includes 32 double sided cards.
We are absolutely loving Hot Dots! I’ve been doing “preschool” or “learning time” with Big Brother for over a year now and am always on the lookout for fun new ways to teach academic concepts. The first set we used was the Hot Dots Beginning Phonics. I thought these would be too easy for Big Brother since he knows almost all of his letters and sounds. I was pleasantly surprised that the set not only teaches beginning sounds, but also ending sounds and rhyming. The Patterns & Sequencing set was equally well thought out and teaches reasoning through pattern recognition and simple 3 step story pictures.
The first few times we used the Hot Dots I had to teach Big Brother to look at the pictures, think about the picture and what sound it made (in the case of the phonics set), and scan through the choices at the bottom of the card and find the picture that was the correct answer. So, not only have the Hot Dots taught phonic awareness and pattern recognition, but they’ve also encouraged Big Brother to focus and reason through implied directions!
You can purchase Hot Dots Jr. at www.EducationalInsights.com for $14.99 per set and Ace-The Talking, Teaching Dog for $12.99
Disclosure: I was provided with the above mentioned items by Educational Insights at no cost to myself in order to facilitate a review. All opinions expressed are my own and are entirely honest.