Vinci Learning System Review
We are a family entrenched in technology. My husband works for a major software company and I run a social media agency, so between the two of us, we’re on our tablets, mobiles, or multiple laptops and desktops all day long. Don’t even get me started on how much time my husband spent gleefully wiring our home so that everything is connected to the Internet. Everything.
Naturally, our two- and four-year-olds have grown up with gadgets at their fingertips. I’m not ashamed to say that Baby Einstein, Duck Duck Moose and YouTube on my iPad have saved this working mom on a number of occasions; giving me the always-elusive “extra five minutes” to get something (anything!) done around the house. But we also follow a two-rule “tech code” when it comes to our preschoolers and their tech time:
- That they enjoy a balance of entertainment and education
- That tech is used in moderation, meaning, if we’ve played outside all day and we’re looking for 20 minutes of down-time before dinner, then it’s cool with me!
Recently, I was given the opportunity to borrow a Vinci Learning System to try out with my kids. My first reaction had me thinking, “there’s no way we need another device in our house!” Since we already have an iPad, I assumed there wouldn’t be much difference between the two. I was also worried that since the Vinci was designed for kids, it would fall a bit flat for mine, having been a bit spoiled by using Mom and Dad’s devices all this time. This was true of other kids’ devices we’ve had – they never compared to the “real deal” and my kids always just ended up with their dirty hands all over my gadgets again!
I was wrong on both fronts. The Vinci seems to be the only tablet with hardware and software designed with the toddler and preschooler in mind. It’s got the easy-to-hold handles and a rubber bumper to protect it from all the fights and falls. It also looks just like my tablet so my kids don’t feel duped when I take mine back. But the main difference was the learning software that the Vinci runs. These games and activities were clearly well beyond any app that I’ve ever purchased for my kids. And I could tell they weren’t just rinky-dink, little games and puzzles, but created to get kids really thinking. I could tell, because I could see it. Both my two- and four-year-old were excited to be challenged with the more advanced activities offered by the Vinci, eager to move past the more passive apps they were used to on my devices.
You can get a better sense of the Vinci curriculum here. As you’ll see, it’s set up so that the Vinci grows with your child. You can purchase different levels of curriculum based on your child’s age. So Vinci nailed not only my “educational” must-have but the “entertainment” part of my two-rule “tech code” as well. My kids enjoyed the activities and the learning kept them challenged and engaged. Vinci became a staple in our car and at the cottage all summer long!
The Vinci sells starting at $169.99 but then you do need to purchase the curriculum, starting at $89.99 (USD). It’s definitely not the most affordable learning tool on the market, but it is the one that seems to give you the most learning for your dollar. My advice would be to purchase one when you have your first baby and you’ll reap the benefits for the next few kids making the investment well-worth it.
Disclosure: Mom Central received a Vinci Learning System to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are our own.