Lets talk about a topic that applies right from when you start letting your baby watch television.
I was and am not crazy about television in general. I think that it is good to encourage our children to use their imagination and play instead of sitting in front of the television hour after hour though. Now having said that, of course I let my daughter watch television. I do decide what type of shows she is allowed to watch and for how long she can watch tv.
Prior to my daughter there were significant periods of time in my life where I did not have cable because I just did not enjoy watching tv all that much. Sure there were shows I enjoyed, but there was always so much to get done. I just never seemed to have the time to watch tv. I also found that when there were times I decided to just relax and watch tv, that I had access to 200 some channels and it seemed like there was nothing on! So I cancelled cable. I did not even notice that cable was gone from my life.
Well, one day the cable company called and offered a great deal so I hooked it up again. I was paying a bill for something that I did not use. When my daughter came along I realized just how much I do not like tv. So I cancelled it again.
I wanted my daughter to have entertainment, especially educational entertainment so I started checking out tv shows and deciding which dvds I would purchase for her to watch. I know this might be extreme for some parents, but we can at least talk about what shows we think are great kid’s shows.
We talked in an earlier blog about Baby Signing and the Baby Einstein dvd series. The Baby Einstein series is a must for any parent. I list my recommendations in the blog where we talk about baby signing. The Baby Einstein dvds are not just for signing (only a few deal with signing). They have an entire collection. We have twenty four Baby Einstein dvds and we do not have them all. They are amazing dvds. Check out my earlier blog on this series because you can watch one of the Baby Einstein videos in my blog.
Another amazing dvd set that is educational is the Leap Frog series. If you look at the reviews at Amazon about the Leap Frog series, most parents purchased the series when their children were quite young and as a result, their children knew their alphabet, numbers and had a good vocabulary quite early. You really have to check this series out.
I think one of the most innovative and educational dvd series that is available is one called Word World. Word World is a cartoon series where everything in the cartoon is made up of the letters that spells the word. So the cartoon dog is made up of the letters d-o-g. It is amazing to watch and excellent for word – object association. You have to check this series out for sure.
Check out the pictures below. They show how the characters and houses are in the Word World program.
It would not be right if we did not talk about a classic. My daughter is absolutely crazy about Elmo. She cannot get enough of Elmo and she has always loved him. The Elmo dvds are pretty inexpensive and very educational. Elmo has taught my daughter a lot. They have great dvds such as the one about opposites. These are definitely amazing dvds.
Hi-5 is another series that my daughter loves. It is a very educational series as well. They learn colours, songs, dancing and much much more. The first song my daughter sung to was North, South, East and West by Hi-5. It was really cute. A word of caution though. I found that a lot of the content repeated from one dvd to another so make sure you just do not purchase a bunch of them without reading what is in them. I would suggest following the volumes or buying the seasons, but do not buy both. If you purchase some of the volumes and then purchase a season you will have duplicate content.
Ok this next series I am going to talk about I will be honest that I purchased with reservations at first. Most people have not even heard of Toopy and Binoo. Toopy is a mouse or rat or something like that and he has his little friend who looks like a stuffed cat. I cannot believe how much my daughter loves this show. I cannot believe how many words my daughter learned because of this show. My daughter still stands there watching an episode of Toopy and Binoo and giggling so hard she is standing on her toes. It is funny and amazing to watch.
Toopy and Binoo dvds are hard to find and the toys are even that much more difficult to find. Do not even try to have a Toopy and Binoo birthday party because they do not make birthday supplies in this theme yet. I searched everywhere for Toopy and Binoo stuff and just could not find it.
Just the other day I bought another classic for my daughter, Clifford The Big Red Dog. My daughter loves this show too. I actually was not sure if she would like it, but she does. Now I will always be honest about the best deals around for things and I tell you there is no better deal out there for Clifford dvds than what I found the other day. I purchased the best of Clifford series which has five dvds in the series for more than 450 minutes of shows for (are you ready) $7.99. I got this set in a bin of dvds on sale at Superstore just two days ago. You cannot beat the price and the series is educational. I have the series I am talking about below in the Clifford carousel of dvds and check out how much it is there!
Everyone knows about Barney. Barney has been around for more than twenty years. Barney is a great series. The Barney dvds are very educational. I could not believe how early my daughter said Barney! She thinks that this purple and green dinosaur is amazing. My daughter has a hard Barney doll that sings and talks and she carries him around everywhere. Sometimes it is good to stick with the classics! They are still around for a reason!
Now lets talk about Blue’s Clues. This series is up there for my daughter along with Barney and Toopy & Binoo. She is crazy about Blue (a blue dog). She has a blue stuffed dog and she carries him around quite often. There are three types of Blue dvds that I know of. There is the original series of Blue’s Clues with Steve in them. I hate this series. I am sorry Steve, but you freak me out! Steve seems a little weird to me. Then there is the Blue’s Clues series with Joe. Ok Joe I can handle. Joe does not seem as weird to me. Joe replaced Steve. The newest series is Blue’s Room. In Blue’s Room, blue (the dog) is not a cartoon, but now is a puppet and can finally talk to the kids. In Blue’s Clues Joe and Steve do the talking and Blue is the cartoon dog that just barks and such. My daughter likes all the series. She loves puppets so Blue’s Room is a real hit.
My daughter is absolutely crazy about the Backyardigans. I actually enjoy this series too. I am not sure why! I think it is the catchy songs or something. Backyardigans is a cartoon series where there are five characters who are friends and use their imagination to explore everything. They always start out in their backyards and as the adventure starts their imagination transforms their backyards into whatever is needed for the adventure (ie, ice age, forest, fairytale land). It is a great show.
An honourable mention goes to Farzzle’s World and Ni Hao Kai-Lan. My daughter likes Farzzle. Farzzle is a baby and makes baby sounds as he explores different things. My daughter gets bored of Farzzle though quite quickly and does not ask to watch it very often.
Ni Hao Kai-Lan is newer and is a little asian girl who talks in english and in her native tongue. It is good for having your child hear another language. I have not bought any Ni Hao Kai-Lan yet. My daughter has seen the show over at a friend’s house and she seemed to like it, but was not absolutely crazy about it. I might buy one or two just to have around for something different now and then.
Now who not to buy in my daughter’s opinion….
My daughter has never liked Dora the Explorer. I am not sure why, but she will not even look at the tv once she sees that Dora is on. She does not like The Wiggles. I do not like The Wiggles either. My daughter also does not like The Doodlebops. The Doddlebops are all dressed up weird with weird makeup and my daughter just does not even give them a chance.
That is our review for you. We have quite the collection of dvds in our house. My daughter has a wide variety of dvds to choose from and I am comfortable with the dvds we have in our library for her. We do limit the amount of tv she watches though. I read that the recommendation is to not exceed two hours of tv a day. In the end though, you will make the right decisions for your children. It is all a matter of preference. I know a lot of kids that watch more tv than my daughter and they turn out just fine.
I hope our review of dvds has helped you decide what dvds you will spend your hard earned money on. I hate wasting money on a dvd that I end up not liking.