To prep for my comprehensive exams in grad school, I spent 7 weeks (50-60 hours a week) absorbing everything I could about human perception. To introduce your kids to the power of the senses in a decidedly more fun manner, check out Braincandy's series of DVDs and music CDs on sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. This product is designed for kids 6 months - 4 years; read on for reviews from three of my mamas (with kids in the 14 month - 3.5 year range), and to learn how to win a Braincandy DVD:

  • Reviewer #1: mom of a 2.5 year old son

    Sense: Smell

    Kid Response: “My son Jack definitely enjoyed watching the DVD… Jack’s favorite portions of the DVD were the children dancing to music during the interludes. He jumped up and joined them and had a great time!”

    Parent Response: “I was a little bored because all the segments on the DVD focused on the sense of smell. I would have preferred one DVD with short segments on the different senses. However, when we finished watching it, Jack walked around the house sniffing various things (like Daddy’s coffee and some fruit that was sitting on the counter). It was cute, and it showed that he understood what he saw and was trying to apply it to his world. I was glad to see this… The background music was enjoyable for parents too.”

  • Reviewer #2: mom of a 3 year old son

    Sense: Touch

    Kid Response: “From the start, I could tell what appealed to Noah about the show, and also what he wasn't so crazy about. For example, he loved the catchy "Makes Me So Happy" theme song and was humming and singing it after only watching the video once. Also, he was really into basically any scene that involved children - the gigantic lollipops scene was a hit, and so was the part where the kids were blindly touching spaghetti in a bowl (after we carved our Halloween pumpkin and I let Noah play with the squishy insides, he imitated the video dialogue saying thoughtfully, "What does it feel like?"). On the downside, unfortunately, Noah was a bit afraid of the Braincandy characters - especially Harry Hand (he was rather frightened when Harry Hand was stung by the bee and also at Harry's response to Hot & Cold Food). But that is something he will probably outgrow.”

    Parent Response: “I love the concept behind Braincandy's Five Senses series - especially the idea that each video is dedicated to one of the senses and is designed to encourage children to experience their environment more fully through their eyes, ears, nose, mouth and/or touch. So I was really excited to watch Touch My World with Noah.”

  • Reviewer #3: mom of a 3.5 year old and 14 month old daughters

    Sense: Touch

    Kid Response: “Unfortunately for mom, [my 3.5 year old daughter] was not captivated…After about 2-4 minutes of viewing, she was on to the next activity despite being able to relate to the children in the video. The one segment that did capture her attention was the 'Touch Test,' a game in which children approximate 3-4 years of age used their hands and sense of touch to feel the contents of a bowl on the opposite side of a screen. This seemed like fun and [my daughter] promptly asked if we could play that game. Shortly thereafter, however, she again found another activity to attend to.

    [My 14 month old] on the other hand, is not generally a TV watcher. While exposed to the TV, she generally has not yet taken interest. She too had a short attention span during the video. She did however, become engaged when she saw babies on the screen, at which she shrieked with joy.”

    Parent Response: “Mom enjoyed the video best. I appreciated the music, the lessons, and most importantly the diversity of characters present throughout. Unfortunately, I think my kids are on the lower and upper age ranges for whom this video is most appropriate. I suspect children between 18-30 months may enjoy and benefit most from this fresh perspective of programming.”

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    Many thanks to Braincandy for sending us review copies and to my mama reviewers for these thoughtful comments. Want to win a Braincandy DVD? FIVE WINNERS will receive one of Braincandy’s award-winning DVDs. Here’s how to enter to win:

  • Visit Braincandy's DVD collection and email with “Boston Mamas Contest” in the subject -- in your email, name one of the Five Senses characters (click on the DVDs in the online collection to learn more about the characters).

  • One entry permitted per person; US and Canada entrants welcome.

  • Entry period is between today (November 28) and December 23rd at midnight EST.