Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here Comes Science - Product Review

Here Comes Science is the third Children's CD/DVD in They Might Be Giants Here Comes series. It follows up Here Come the 123s and Here Come the ABCs. Both of which I have recommended on my blog before. In fact, I thought so highly of them, that I rushed out to buy Here Comes Science as soon as it was available. They Might Be Giants did not disappoint.

There is a lot to like about Here Comes Science. The big selling point from a parent's perspective is that the music is enjoyable (You know, as much as anything is enjoyable after you have listened to it five bazillion times in a row.) There is none of that sappy, happy, so cute you want to puke kind of music on it. There are no silly dances for your child to force you to dance to. In fact, if you changed the words to the songs, you would NEVER know it's kids music. In other words, it's a rockin' album even for adults.

There are a lot of selling points for kids.

The music is fun and upbeat. While it may be interesting music for adults, it's still energetic and quirky enough for kids to enjoy. Songs like "I am a Paleontologist" and "Electric Car" will have your kids (and you) dancing and bouncing along. The little verbal incongruaties that helped make They Might Be Giants popular with the college crowd is excellent with the young crowd as well.

The videos on the DVD are artistically diverse and entertaining. They use a number of different animation techniques which keeps things fresh from song to song as well as exposing your child to some very interesting creative approachs. Additionally, the graphics really add to the educational aspect of the songs by providing simple images that support and enhance the ideas covered in the songs. My favorite video is for "What is a shooting Star?" It really is very beautiful. Michael has really responded to the video for "Blood Mobile". It's amazing how giving different types of blood cells faces can help a child grasp the purpose of each cell. (White blood cells are COOL!)

And finally, the coolest part of Here Comes Science is the science itself. Kids are really just little scientists. They spend a significant amount of time exploring and repeating as they learn about the world. Here Comes Science really plays into that sense of adventure in kids and makes learning about how things work interesting and fun. They go into topics like why the sun shines (with the lyric "the sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma" sqeee!), the order of the planets (addressing the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf star), and good old Roy G. Biv. The science is correct, up to date, and presented in a simple manner for young minds. It follows in the School House Rock tradition, and it does it very well.

On a more practical note, the DVD is 45 minutes long and will automatically replay if you don't shut it off after it returns to the main menu. You can play the DVD with the story that goes along, or simply alphabetically by song. And, while the subject matter is educational, this really is just pure fun and any learning happens because it is fun, not because you are trying to shove facts into a little mind.

So, I recommend Here Comes Science for all of the kids out there*. It's fun, it's educational, and you probably won't want to blow your brains out when you are listening to it for the 100th time in one day. And when I say all kids, I mean girls too. This is a great way to show your daughter that science is interesting, pretty and completely accessible to girls.

Michael recommends it too. How could he not. There is a song called "I am a Paleontologist". I think he thinks they wrote the song just for him.

* So, this is probably obvious, but no I was not paid to promote this CD/DVD. I'm doing this simply because I love Here Comes Science and I can't help but encourage the geekification of America.


LauraC said...

You had me at "geekification of America."

I had no idea they were DVDs also! I thought they were just music. Just added to my netflix!

windycityvegan said...

My daughter wasn't too fond of their ABC CD/DVD, but she got Here Come the 123s for Christmas and still plays it at least once a week. I can't wait to get this one!

Okay, I have to ask: does this CD have "Why Does the Sun Shine?" on it? That song came out when I was at university and sometimes on really sunny days I will still actually hum to myself "the sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace."

Alright, I'm off to to order this. Thanks for posting about it!

windycityvegan said...

Um, I must have read through your post pretty quickly because one of the songs you describes sounds the same, with slightly changed lyrics. Anyway, thanks again.

Oh, and some of the songs from Here Come the 123s are surprisingly good on my running playlist, especially the songs for #8 and whatever song it is when they go for that crazy long car ride.

Mel said...

We will check that out. Analese's new fave PBS program is Sid the Science Kid.

Karla said...

Sounds great! Thanks for the rec.

Heidi O said...

I will have to check it out. I love they might be giants. Instanpole no constantanopole. Hmm I should pull out that cd. But yes Sid the science kid is pretty much a hit in this house.

Steph said...

TMBG! One of my closest friends from college is pretty much their #1 fan. Maybe I can get her to make a copy of this one as I'm sure she bought it the day it was released for me, I mean Cooper!

Carrie77 said...

I work with a bunch of chemists and, yes, yes, I have seen some of the videos and they are educational and the music is catchy It is on my Christmas list for the kids.