Saturday, May 12, 2012

The best educational videos

When I had my first child, I swore to myself  I would never let her fall under the spell of the likes of Barney, Wiggles, Bananas in Pajamas and Teletubbies whom I find strange and just plain weird. I would choose which educational videos and programs I would expose my child to and not just plop her in front of the TV, open to being a convert to any cartoon show trying to reel in babies and toddlers. I would look for educational videos that really impart learning and aren't just trying to sell you a cartoon character and the subsequent licensed products that evolve from fanatic adulation of such characters.

So far, our favorite videos have been not just educational, but fun and entertaining. Here's our list of favorites:

1. Kids Hirit Vols. 1 and 2 (with Suzi Entrata-Abrera)

I got these videos as a gift from my sister. My daughter started watching them at age 1. She would watch these videos first thing in the morning from her playpen and seemed to love the fun songs and the interaction between the kids in the video. She watched it so much that the videos got scratched and we had to throw them away. We promised ourselves we would get replacements but were only able to do that recently. Now that she's watching it again, at a more appropriate age, it's really helping her identify letters. We were doing flashcards the other day and usually she would just identify the image shown on the flashcard but this time around she tried to spell out the letters on the flashcard! I couldn't believe it. Thank you, Suzi. The repetitive requests to watch your videos are starting to pay off.

2. Baby Einstein DVD collection

I was actually looking for books on ebay when I chanced upon this Baby Einstein DVD collection. There are 26 videos in the collection, each tackling a different learning topic, like language, numbers, music, animals and so on. I hadn't seen them in Singapore or the Philippines so I ordered them from the US. They were quite reasonably priced as well, at about USD60 or Php2,500 for all. Both daughters have seen all the videos as there are some that are more appropriate for babies and some for toddlers. The videos use lots of imagery and orchestral music as well as puppet characters. They're quite enjoyable to watch and sometimes I even sit down to watch them with my kids.

3. Little Einstein DVDs

Little Einsteins come from the same company which developed Baby Einstein so they're also quite educational but geared towards a slightly older group of children. The Little Einsteins are a group of really smart kids who go on missions and travel the world. For each episode they usually highlight a famous work of art or music and a famous place as well. I love it because I've never seen anything like it. This is the only children's program I've seen which really promotes art, music and geography to kids in an engaging manner and doesn't assume these things are beyond the understanding of children.

So far these are the ones that are in constant rotation during the kids' viewing time. We're trying to look for other educational video programs so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please do share.

What's your and your kids' favorite educational videos?

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