For a long time, we didn’t own any kids DVDs at all. Now that we’re spending a fair amount of time on the road, we’ve begun slowly adding to our collection. (We don’t own a TV, but we do have portable DVD players).
Tim & I are very cognizant about the power of media to shape our children’s minds and hearts. We strive to select movies that are positive, uplifting, well-done, and, if possible, educational. Because our girls are 2 and 4, we always stick to G-rated films. Movies that fit all our criteria are surprisingly hard to find.
Here’s our ENTIRE kids DVD collection (and a brief synopsis of how I feel about each one).
Colors, Shapes, & Counting by Rock N Learn. Geared for ages 2-5, this simple DVD features simple songs, rhymes, and games to help teach the concepts. It may not be at the pinnacle of creativity, but I’m certain our girls are picking up on the principles. It’s fun to hear them counting along in the back seat. I look forward to trying other films by this company. Their Science & Social Studies series looks especially fascinating!
Spanish For Kids by My Desi Guru. We have a combo pack that includes Simplewords and Numbers & Colours. Again, the DVDs are a bit slow-paced (not the same as watching a feature-length film), but they do a fantastic job of teaching basic vocabulary. Tim & I are learning right along with the girls. “El culumpio” (swing) and “la leche” (milk) have become regular words around our house.
Your Baby Can Read. Created by Dr. Robert Titzer, this DVD system purports to instruct little ones in reading…using a word memorization technique. Essentially, sight words are held up flash-card-style and then there is a quick video that shows the word in-action. There are also simple songs to help solidify the learning. I actually am pretty fond of the no-frills format, but my 4-year-old sometimes gets a little restless.
Character Builders. The 8-DVD set is part of the broader Alpha Omega Horizons preschool curriculum. Tim & I go absolutely crazy with the narrator’s voice (can’t stand it). We’ve almost considered giving them away for that reason alone, but we don’t because the girls enjoy them. Besides, we like the concepts presented in the films: obedience, patience, responsibility, politeness, etc.
Sweetpea Beauty: A lesson about True Beauty. This VeggieTales tale is my 2-year-old’s favorite – probably because it’s about princesses. She goes tip-toeing around the house, saying, “I princess.” Fortunately, the message in the film is that true beauty comes from within. Quick Aside: I sometimes worry that my 4-year-old will pick up on the message that girls with glasses are unattractive since the main heroine in one of the stories is self-concious about them. Interestingly, she’s not a fan of this movie.
Anne of Green Gables: The Collection. This is my favorite movie of all-time and I’m happy to report that my girls now share a deep sense of appreciation for it. The casting is perfect and the script is hilarious, heartwarming, and heartwrenching all at the same time. I haven’t read the books aloud to my girls yet, but it’s on my list for bedtime read-alouds. P.S. We don’t watch the 3rd film – too intense for little ones (plus, I’m not a fan of it).
Disney classics. We have three: Robin Hood, Beauty & the Beast, and Gnomeo & Juliet. The first two are favorites of mine. The music! The characters! The quality! The third one? I’m not enchanted by it.
What movies are in YOUR preschool DVD collection? Tell me the good & the bad.
Also – Have you used any DVDs to help teach foreign language?
* Rock N Learn, My Desi Guru, and Disney sent me copies for review purposes.