We all need a break sometimes…to take a shower, make a phone call, clean the house.. or, heck just a break! A good DVD can not only give you that time but introduce your kids to something cool too. No guilt here. We found some of the best DVDs for both babies and toddlers that teach concepts such colors and shapes as well as focus on listening, interaction, and learning. Check out some of our picks and let us know what DVDs you like to put on for your kids.
Wee See. This DVD series is the coolest kids’ DVD we have ever seen. We’re thinking that if you expose your kids to these DVDs on a regular basis you might end up with a Rhode Island School of Design graduate. Part art installation and part educational DVD, the inventive Wee See series combines black and white images of shapes accompanied by a score developed by Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree. The DVDs are designed to tap into a baby’s senses as a gentle introduction to the visual and musical world as well as way to enhance and stimulate their curiosity. I loved watching both collections – DVD one and two – that included animated shapes such as rectangles, hearts, stars, circles, which made for a visually stimulating DVD that was also calming and enjoyable to watch. Both DVDs also include a flashcard mode, which is a silent slideshow of static artwork – giving parents the option of when to introduce movement and music. This is a must-have for not only babies but for toddlers on up to adults. It’s like having a mind massage. Settle in to your beanbag chair, chill out and let your mind expand with the fabulous graphics and innovative beats. These DVDs are top-of-the-line winners! If you want a sneak peek of them, see the wee see – collection one from Rolyn Barthelman on Vimeo.
Little Pim. Designed for children 0-5 years old, the Little Pim series is a foreign language immersion DVD that includes instructional videos to teach your children words and phrases in Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew, English (ESL), German, Arabic, and Russian. My 3.5-year-old daughter and I watched Little Pim’s Spanish DVD Wake up Smiling, and we actually learned the words in Spanish that related to our everyday life: waking up, brushing and dressing. The 35-minute DVD features Little Pim, a panda bear, along with images of children that greet the screen showing actions such as sleeping, looking, stretching, etc, along with optional subtitles so that I could read along. After a few viewings I found it pretty incredible that my daughter was starting to pick up some of the phrases and she wanted to learn even more with Little Pim. Success!
Indie’s Great Teddy Bear Hunt. Created by Belinda Takahasi, a mom and composer, the exuberant Juno Baby series is actually very serious about music. The original compositions are sophisticated enough that you as an adult will learn about concepts like harmony and octaves in a new light while your child will totally dig the music and characters. Who doesn’t like frogs singing in harmony? The visuals are intricate and include hidden musical instruments throughout which is amusing to the preschooler age and up. Specifically, the DVD Indie’s Great Teddy Bear Hunt, features Indie, a cat who invites the viewer to go on a magical adventure with him to find his missing teddy bear. As both an interactive and musical DVD, kids are asked to help Indie on his search by looking for clues – helping to strengthen their learning and listening skills. Designed for kids over 12 months old, the DVD makes use of colorful imaginative characters and puppets, fun music and the introduction of new concepts and objects. My husband who is a professional musician, was totally impressed by the DVD. Consequently, we have 4 more and the character stuffed animals which are nightly friends.
Jack, the Cuddly Dog. This DVD helps kids to explore shapes and colors through the eyes of Jack, a puppy, who lives in Central Park. This sensorial DVD is designed to introduce your baby to new concepts such as animals, trees, mountains, flowers, and beaches as Jack roams around the real backdrop of Central Park. The DVD includes a classical score on piano featuring music by Bach, Chopin, Shubert and Brahams that makes for a calming and relaxing accompaniment to the backdrop of the park. As a warm and nurturing character, Jack really appealed to by daughter who loved the music and beautiful images.