Although I'm not a big TV fan, there are some shows that really do an especially good job connecting with young children. And let's be honest here, sometimes mommy needs a break from being the main source of entertainment in the room.
I'm sure we probably all remember watching the highly educational classic, "Seseme Street". Then there's all the kiddie programming on cable geared more toward pre-school age learning. And let's not forget the astounding educational DVD series "Your Baby Can Read" where 9-18mo old babies can learn to read (I'm not a fan of this concept at all). However, today I want to talk about why the "Baby Einstein" DVD series is quality baby viewing.
"Baby Einstein" (here's a clip) was created a decade ago by a mother who wanted more exploration-based programming for her baby. The series strikes the perfect balance between play and education. It's like "Seseme Street" for babies, hitting right at their development level. Each episode features a mix of puppets doing various things in different settings, real world scenery and situations, narration and various characters demonstrating first-words while those words are flashed on the screen. For example, they will show a child playing with a ball, an illustration of a ball and the word ball underneath as the narrator says "ball".
Our favorite episodes are "My First Signs" which is the cause of Regina Jade knowing the signs for "play", "cup" and "table", and the Shakespeare poetry edition because it's just beautiful to hear. Generally, "Baby Einstein" presents a global view of different places, people and things.
In addition to the educational qualities of this series, most parents enjoy watching. The sounds are cute instead of annoying. The narration is soothing instead of annoying. And the characters are quirky instead of annoying. I'll choose this any time over "Micky Mouse Club House", and it's the only show our RJ actually pays attention to and interacts with. When the DVD intro begins she squeals, claps and gets in position to laugh and learn.
Note: "Baby Einstein" is meant to be watched with your child as an opportunity for entertainment, learning and bonding. However, pediatricians don't recommend any television for babies under 2yrs old.
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