**This post is sponsored by Jamma Jango. As usual, all opinions and thoughts are mine and mine alone.
I know I predominantly review Chinese books and products geared towards native speakers or heritage families because that’s what is the best fit for my family. However, I know that there are many families who have little to no Chinese background that read my blog and today’s review fits right in that sweet spot.
If you’re a native speaking/heritage family, keep reading. You can still use this product (especially since it also comes in SPANISH!)
What is it?
Jamma Jango Language Learning Box is a cartoon-based language education product for young children. It comes in Simplified Chinese/Mandarin and/or Spanish. The box includes a DVD with 3 cartoons, activity book, bingo cards and tiles, flash cards, parent/child discussion cards, stickers, and sticker boards.
Incidentally, the product was created by Julia Wang, a Chinese American mother of two who wanted to have deeper discussions with her kids about the Chinese cartoons they were watching but found that she didn’t know what the cartoons were about! She wanted to create a product to help parents chat with their children about what they were watching.
Who is it for?
Jamma Jango is for actively involved parents who would like to introduce their children to Chinese/Spanish in a fun, interactive, and easy way. It is best for parents and families who have minimal or no background in Chinese/Spanish who prefer to know exactly what is being said in either language. Parents need to be comfortable with screentime since the 3 cartoons are at the core of the product.
Also, this product is about SPEAKING and UNDERSTANDING. It does not emphasize reading or character recognition. (Nor should it!)
Where can you get Jamma Jango?
You can purchase it at Jamma Jango’s website.
What’s good about Jamma Jango?
Jamma Jango is not intimidating. You can start pretty much anywhere and it’s well explained and fun to do.
The materials are high quality, the box it comes in is sturdy, and best of all, the price includes shipping. I love how the vocabulary being taught is not random and is thematic for the beach, the farm, and fruit. These are subjects small children definitely know all about!
Also, despite the cartoon repeating every line in both Chinese and English, it is not boring. The graphics and cartoons are cute and appealing to children.
Glow Worm, my 4 year old, LOVED LOVED LOVED this box.
He immediately did the activity book (and was joined by my 6.6 year old daughter). He loved EVERYTHING. My older two kids seemed less initially excited, but they really loved playing all the games. BY FAR, their favorite was the Jamma Jango dance. Glow Worm kept playing that part on repeat.
Here’s a ridiculously cute video of my children doing the Jamma Jango Dance. I’m not kidding when I say you may expire of cuteness. (In my unbiased opinion, the baby makes the video!)
What could be improved?
Honestly, most of what I think could be improved are minor quibbles.
One of the last activities in the book is a little confusing and I would have preferred rounded BINGO tile corners because they were sharp. I would have LOVED a list of how many tiles per character there were (because I’m totally anal retentive). The BINGO game can also take a really long time because there could be lots of repetition – but it’s a good way for beginners to practice.
My main concern is about the voices on the DVD. The voices are super cute. However, the duck, who is the native Chinese speaker, speaks Chinese with a slight (almost American) accent but the rabbit, who is the native English speaker, speaks Chinese with NO accent. I doubt non-speakers would notice but I noticed right away.
Jamma Jango is an excellent product for non-speaking families to introduce their small children to Chinese. It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s super cute. My kids liked it (especially my 4 year old) and it’s a good value for what you get.
Will your kids become fluent? No. Will your kids be intrigued and learn some Chinese? Yes.