TV game set recommendation for deaf young kids

March 17, 2007

When shopping for a good video learning system for my 3-year-old deaf daughter, I was frustrated by TV / video games that involved spoken instructions. For example, Leapfrog’s LeapPad learning system looks excellent, but had a lot of speaking without captioning. Fergetaboutit.

Vtech v.smileAnd then a friend of mine came across VTech’s V.Smile Learning System (available in blue/orange or pink/purple). It’s a game console that hooks up with your television, and comes with a colorful, easy-to-use (at least for toddlers and young kids!) joystick. Game cartridges — nay, “Smartridges” — are plugged into it, and there is a good variety of games to choose from, almost all movie- or tv-related (like Spiderman, Cars, Lion King, Winnie-the-Pooh, Dora, Nemo, etc etc). Chances are that your son and/or daughter’s favorite characters can be found here! (My daughter has a marked preference for characters from Cars and Finding Nemo.) I see that there’s a new V.Smile “Gym” game with a floor exercise mat that would get kids jumpin’ and jammin’. Hmm, that’s next on my shopping list! Oh, wow, and a plug-in “Art Studio” that looks like a doodle pad. Awesome.

Best of all, it’s almost all totally accessible for deaf kids. It has received three to four stars (out of 5 in four categories) from AblePlay, which rates games for appropriateness for children with disabilities. My daughter was quickly able to figure out how to play some games on the “Lion King” Smartridge, although the “Cars” games (geared toward the slightly older 4-6 years old crowd) still escapes her understanding. Means I ain’t gonna let her drive my car anytime soon. Thank goodness.

The V.Smile Learning System is also available for babies, and has a portable version. There’s also a version for slightly older kids. I bought the Vtech V.Smile Learning System on sale for $39.99 from Target; it’s currently selling for $49.99. It’s also available from other major retailers as well.

Now, pardon me as I wrap this up and push my daughter out of the way. I wanna play too. Oh, wait, I can purchase and plug in a second joystick, so that she and I can play at the same time. Whew.

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3 Responses to “TV game set recommendation for deaf young kids”

  1. MAS Says:

    I bought that system for my hearing daughter who is also 3 years old last Christmas. It was surely worth it and I am able to help her to play because I don’t need to worry about lot of speaking on it. Good thing I didnt buy LeapFrog which I almost did!

    My daughter likes The Little Mermaid and we did bought it in spanish version. We want to teach my daughters three languages ASL, English and Spanish.

    Beware, I have read a lot about V.Smile and it is easily broken if kids were left alone playing without adult supervision. I didn’t have problem because I put the V.Smile system in the TV cabinet and it is hard to open for my daughter so just joystick coming out of TV cabinet. That way it will prevent breakdown.

  2. Denise Says:

    My whole family are Deaf. We bought VSmile for our daughter two Christmas ago just before she became 3 years old. Right now, she enjoys it very much and I would agree and disagree if its good for Deaf children. It depends on the game itself. Like Noddy, that is a game that I wouldn’t recommend for a Deaf child.

    Elmo, part of it is good, the others, forget it. Lion King is a good one, same for Cars. The Jammin Gym, alot of talking and music, as adult, I was able to understand it but my daughter couldn’t unless I am telling her what I think is going on.

    Want to get the Thomas the Train one, but haven’t gotten the chance so anyone know?

    Sometimes, I would look at LeapFrog ones but I am really happy with VSmile.

  3. alex Says:

    hi nice site.


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