Any Good Edutainment Videos Out There?

August 3rd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Dad Video, Video, Video  |  7 Comments

More than a year after we started Sasha watching the “Baby Signing Time” series of DVDs, she’s had enough. Now, every evening when we turn the TV on to watch Rachel de Azevedo Coleman and her animated friends Alex, Leah and Hopkins (the Frog), Sasha freaks out. Sometimes we think it’s because, from volumes 2 to 3, Rachel goes from being humanly round to scarily thin. Other times we think Sasha’s bored—she’s learned all she can from the videos, which is quite a lot. She signs constantly, and signs as she speaks, to make her meaning clearer. But at this point, she’s gone as far as she can go.

Which means we’re now looking for a new video series to start her on. Ideally, since we’re ambivalent about her watching TV at all, we’d like it to be educational. But, of course, not so educational that it’s unwatchable for the rest of us (and Sasha herself). Songs are important—the repetition really drives lessons home. And I guess it should be age-appropriate, too: She’s 20 months old, and I’ve noticed some preschool-oriented shows are still too sophisticated for her.

So, any suggestions? I mean, besides turning the TV off and, like, actually engaging with her. Cuz God knows I’m not gonna do that!


  1. Amy says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 3:24 pm(#)

    That’s right around the age my daughter started watching Yo Gabba Gabba. (There are plenty of episodes on video if you don’t want to turn on commercial-filled Nickelodeon). She loved it, I loved it. In fact, she recently outgrew it, so I had to have another kid to have an excuse to watch it for a few more years.

    You’ll be amazed at what your kid can learn from these shows. I was recently talking to a friend of mine in the TV biz who said she trusts a couple of these shows more than teachers, because she knows the educational experts who work on them. Now sure, there are plenty of ways to cynically pick apart these rationalizations for kids watching TV, but there’s good stuff out there. Hell, my daughter’s ready to become a paleontologist from watching Dinosaur Train.

  2. Matt says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 3:30 pm(#)

    Very amusing you should mention Yo Gabba Gabba! I’m a huge fan, and have watched episodes (via iTunes) with Sasha from time to time. But she never really got excited about them. I think that was before she really started speaking, though, so maybe now she’ll get into it. We’ve got a long car trip coming up, and a new iPad, so this may be the time to test it out. Thanks!

    What’s Dinosaur Train?

  3. Ken says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 3:42 pm(#)

    Our daughter loves animals so we cycle through the Planet Earth, Life, and Blue Planet series. They mesmerize toddler and adult alike.

  4. Suzy says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 7:28 pm(#)

    We love watching episodes from the first few seasons of Sesame Street. The music is great!

  5. Jill says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 8:18 pm(#)

    I agree on Sesame. If you have DVR ability, there’s a Play with Me Sesame show on Sprout that’s only 30 minutes (as opposed to the full hour of Sesame Street.)

    While I totally respect others’ choice of Yo Gabba Gabba, I’m not personally a fan. I stopped letting my daughter watch that show because I just thought that it didn’t give kids credit for being as smart as they are. (I kind of think that guy talks to kids like they’re morons. I don’t know. Others here are obviously fans; maybe I just didn’t get it.)

    There’s a Canadian show called Hi-5 on Discovery Kids that my daughter got a charge out of when she was younger. And there’s also a Scottish show called Balamory that used to be on Discovery Kids. (Probably available on DVD.) She was 2 1/2 or 3 years old at the time, but it was her first experience with TV and she liked both of those.

    Maisy is also great for little, little ones. It’s based on the books by Lucy Cousins and I’ll bet it would be perfect for a 20-month old, especially if she knows and likes the Maisy books. I’m not sure what channel it’s on; Nick maybe?

  6. Vickie says:

    August 3rd, 2010at 9:27 pm(#)

    Big, big fan of SuperWhy on PBS. That show + Signing Time taught my son a looooot of sight words and he is a fair decoder of words at 4.75. Plus it’s very child-friendly without being inane.

    My kids also love Maisy, esp. the nearly 2-year old. I wish the characters spoke clearly, but the narration is fine and the stories are really sweet.

  7. Christy says:

    August 5th, 2010at 3:29 pm(#)

    She may be telling you that she’s bored and doesn’t want to watch any of the shows. My son is three and has never been interested in any of the kids’ shows, which is fine with us. He loves to color, ‘read’ books, and do pretend play by himself instead. He does like to watch Discovery Channel and sports programs with us though.

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