Thursday, January 7, 2010

GyMathtics DVD by Exploramania

The TOS Crew all received a free copy of the first GyMathtics DVD (retail $24.99) from Exploramania. The concept of this DVD is to "workout" your body as well as your brain by learning various aerobic exercises set to specific math concepts. (kinesthetic learners particularly have the potential to benefit from this sort of supplement, and the visual and auditory aspects shouldn't be overlooked either.

The Exploramania website suggests that the aerobic exercises in the 30 minute DVD are good for all ages, and that the math concepts are geared towards 2nd-5th graders, but based on my children, I would say that the DVD would be most appropriate for 2-6 year olds. While they aren't exploring the math concepts much at those ages, they can become familiar with the terms, and get a little energy out as well.(I recommend this for the cooped-up winter months if you live in the north...and maybe the cooped up in the AC months if you live in the south;) )

From the website~ The complete 30 minute program includes:
  • Shape Stretches Warm Up: Stretch your mind and body with line, circle, and polygon stretches.
  • Counting Calisthenics: Aerobic movements work your heart as fun counting concepts work your brain.
  • Pattern Power: Growing and repeating pattern exercise combinations challenge minds and strengthen muscles.
  • Well-Being Wind Down: Relaxing stretches cool down the body and open the mind to think about healthy lifestyle choices including the Nice Wave Stretch and Big Dream Stretch
In general, I have to say that this was not a favorite... although my two year old seems struck by it, but then... he enjoys most videos, because they aren't the norm in our house. Also, I am not by nature an aerobic exercise/exercise DVD sort of person, so this may color my review somewhat.

There are a few things that made the aerobic exercises difficult to watch...
  • The colors of the studio and the colors of the pants/shorts worn by the folks doing the exercises blended in, which didn't help when they were pointing out "right angles" being made by the legs...they couldn't be seen!
  • The repetition of the phrases "If you can do ____ that's Great! If you can ___ that's even better! If you can ___ that's amazing!" and some form of "We are Getting healthy and Getting Flexible and Challenging our minds!... Isn't Exercise fun?"(major reason why I felt this wouldn't appeal to older kids... my 9 and 12 year-olds were rolling their eyes the first time we played the DVD...)
  • While I appreciate what Ms. Carrie is trying to do, it doesn't work very well when she is saying "Isn't exercise fun?", but as she gets further into the exercises she sometimes looks more like it's drudgery than fun...
  • The cool-down portion with the ethereal synth-vox "music" seemed a little odd and out of place.....
I am sure that there are those that enjoy exercise videos and I think that group, as well as the age group that enjoys Barney would be the best audience for the GyMathtics DVD. Other products that Exploramania carries are GyMathitics 2.0 (targets grades 4-7 math concepts), Exploracise Yoga math Mat, and Exploracise Thumballs (practice math facts).

As always, please check out the TOS Crew for other opinions, and I hope that this review was helpful to you as you make choices about what purchases will best suit your family. Blessings~

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