Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Toddler Video Recommendations

I wrote this over a year ago in response to a fellow overseas mom's request for video suggestions for her toddler (specifically she was looking for "quiet time" DVD's to be used while she and her husband were having their devotional time in the mornings, but was having trouble with some of the videos she had hyping up her son). I thought I'd put it up here, in case it would be of use to anyone else.

- It's not animated with stories, just worship music, but we love the Praise Baby DVD's. They're contemporary worship music with Baby Einstein-type graphics (i.e. pictures of kids, toys, landscapes, etc.). While we're not huge Baby Einstein fans (although we do own a few select ones), these are great for when the kids are up before we're done with our QT's in the mornings. The lead singer is the lady who was the little mermaid in the Disney film, and she's a believer. I've looked at reviews and borrowed a few of the other "Christian Baby Einstein"-type videos, but I didn't like them as much, because they were instrumental, and I really like the fact that my kids are learning the words to the worship songs. Oh, and lest you be worried about the age for these, MA turns 4 next week, and she still loves them (and, shhh, JW still watches them some, when they're on :-).

- Other than that, we do VeggieTales and Story Keepers for QT videos, but both of those would probably lend themselves to the problems you're already having. Sorry, I can't be more helpful with more options.

- The Boz videos were just coming out when we were in the States last (we got magnets when we purchased something somewhere), so I'm glad to hear good things about them. I'll have to get a couple while we're there this summer (short trip for my brother's wedding). Follow up: we can't get enough of Boz. ZL *loves* Boz, and we're amassing a collection of them.

- As for educational videos, we're very into Signing Time and Baby Signing Time videos/DVD's. We bought the Baby Signing Time DVD's for ZL with some gift money and then had my brother TiVo and tape regular Signing Time off of his PBS station. They have a list of stations that carry their program, which might be worth checking to see if you have friends/family in one of the areas.

Some other educational videos that we like are:
- must-have in my book: at least The Letter Factory and The Talking Words Factory from LeapFrog; by far, the easiest way to teach children basic phonics and sounding out words
- Sesame Street Let's Make Music (the cast of the musical Stomp on Sesame Street)
- " Learning About Letters
- " Elmo's Musical Adventure: The Story of Peter and the Wolf
- " Alphabet Jungle
- Baby Einstein Meet the Orchestra
- We're just starting to watch the Little Einstein series downloaded from iTunes (my kids got iTunes gift certificates from my brother for Christmas so they could buy shows [with our approval, of course]). I like these for their classical music aspect. Follow up: we're big Little Einstein fans now, too. Love the musical (and general) education aspect.
- There are a few more, but we rotate our kids' videos, so only 1/3 are out right now. I keep the majority of the educational ones at whatever level I'm pushing out (learning letters or basic phonics or sounding out words), but I'm sure there are a few in their khazana in their room, and they're asleep. I'll look tomorrow and see what's there.

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