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for TV-free families who make some exceptions for DVDs, what DVDs do you allow?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
We've been TV-free for our whole relationship, long before DD (2 years old) was born. So she's never had a TV in the house.

We did a lot of sign language with her, and since she was a late talker, signing became our primary mode of communication. Although we started out just using books and online video dictionaries to learn new words, eventually we started using the Signing Time video series (10-20 minutes a day), which she LOVES. And it really was incredibly helpful for us parents, too.

We're nearly finished with the Signing Time series now (just in time, since she's just starting to talk), and I'm beginning to think about whether we're going to go DVD-free or continue to allow some very limited DVD use.

If you don't provide TV for your child but do allow limited DVD use, what DVDs do you allow?
post #2 of 43
We have a weekly movie night, with old movies, mostly. But we didn't start that until the boys were 5 and 8.

To be honest, we didn't feel there was any need for our toddlers or young kids to be watching any kind of DVD, and if we had done it, it would have been purely to give ourselves a break, (which is totally understandable and I'd never condemn anyone for doing it, but it wasn't a route we wanted to go, plus being the proverbial slippery slope.)

But I love movies and our Sunday movie night is a lot of fun. We have been sticking with the classics: Singin in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music- as well as some of the older live-action Disney movies (Candleshoe, Bedknobs and Broomsticks) and the Miyazaki movies. Now that they're older they are into stuff like Robin Hood and Captain Blood (Errol Flynn!) and Bringing Up Baby.

But really, I'm happy we waited on this.
post #3 of 43
Scholastic DVD's. They are for "sick days", airplane rides, etc. They are really nice. They are animated versions of classic picture books (the audio is the book being read, the video is the illustrations animated). They are very, very gentle, easy, and fun. And most stories are under 10 minutes (with a few stories on each DVD), so it's pretty easy to limit the time spent with them. No commercials, obviously. I've found copies at the second hand stores locally for under $5, but you can also get them on ebay for cheap as well.

My son is 5, but because he has very little experience with media, he will also enjoy the Old School Sesame Street DVD's (a DVD collection of Sesame Street back in the '70's when it was more aimed at pre-schoolers vs. today when it is really aimed at toddlers). It's actually really cute to see him laugh hysterically at some corny Bert and Ernie bit and sing "C is for Cookie" .
post #4 of 43
For cartoons we like Little Bear, and some Calliou. We do like a few Disney movies because I remember them fondly from my own childhood, but only certain ones - like Pooh Bear. It's relatively slower paced. Drat the advertising tie-ins though.

Older movies, like Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music, or generally any tame black and white movie works, even if it's not aimed at kids - they have a much slower pace without that frantic scene changing. Generally the older movie is better than sequels - for Christmas we watched Miracle on 34th street (the old one) and The Bells of St. Mary's. They also love the old Heidi. One movie I want to get is the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan but it's never available on Amazon.

Um. Some live-action movies. I used to love the Black Stallion when I was little, even though it has some scarier scenes. There's also a really good movie, I think it's called The Fox or something like that, it's a newer French movie. The end is a little sad though. Other animal movies are good too like March of the Penguins or movies about dinosaurs.

I also love this website I found for bootleg cartoons from the 90's, they have Maya the Bee, the Little Bits, David the Gnome, and Grimm's Fairy Tales. I love them BUT can only take it in slow doses - it's kind of like anime style and it's a little too fast paced for me, and the characters all talk very fast. I guess I'm way old fashioned if cartoons from 15+ years ago are too fast paced for me, but there you have it.

It sounds like we watch a LOT of DVD's, but that's not really true. We watch a few each week and we have about a smaller DVD case full of them that we pick from, and sometimes we get a couple from the library if something catches my eye. My two are both two, and when they get to a place where they just want to fight and tumble and be moody (which makes going on an outing or doing an activity impossible) then we'll put on a movie and it will distract them long enough to forget they're mad at each other. (And gives ME the chance to do some deep breathing!!)

I agree with the PP that they're not something a toddler NEEDS in the least for any sort of developmental benefit, but rather if you're looking to enjoy something as a family.

Oh, and for a VERY short time we had cable, I'm talking for like two weeks. There was a cool channel there called Sprout and they had some decent shows. One was about a gnome named Noddy and another one was about a flower fairy thing and her fairy friends. They were cool but I wouldn't pay the price of cable just to be able to watch them.
post #5 of 43
Our daughter didn't watch any DVDs until age three when I used the Sesame Street Old School DVDs to get her to sit still for lymphatic flush massage and facial massage to reduce ear infections. At four we watched the Signing Times videos one time a week during the Summer. She occasionally asks to watch DVDs and we have a 3 media per week limit (DVD or computer game) set in the house. We have yet to get past two and that usually includes a Family Movie Night. I've had to be vigilant with my parents who always want to have a DVD playing and don't realize that the Disney movies are inappropriate and frightening for young children, esp. those with minimal exposure to TV.

The Sesame Street Old School Videos are lots of fun! We've also found videos like Learning Ballet etc. at our local library.
post #6 of 43
Logan still hasn't started yet. He is currently 3 years old. Our days are busy and honestly he has no clue what he missing. I think we will probably start something once he is 5 but I wouldn't mind waiting till 7 if possible. We may move over seas so if we do that might help me be able to wait longer.
post #7 of 43
We do three or four a week, but I try to have half of those be in German. Since I am not a native speaker, I like for Elsa (3) to be able to hear it spoken (we are trying to present the opportunity to learn it for her). She also likes the occasional Bob the Builder and Strawberry Shortcake!
post #8 of 43
I'm a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's movies, especially "MyFriendly Neighbor Totoro". I also let ds watch "Mio and Mao" on YouTube (it's super cute claymation). Pocoyo is also really cute, Netflix has it.
post #9 of 43
My son really like animal movies, that is what him and DH watch, like discovery type. We don't do tv but do some Disney movies and animal movies.

It is something to do when we have way to many rainy days in a row and have run out of crafty, reading, playing, type games. I do enjoy plopping on the couch with the kids and watching a movie some times.

It is few and far between especially in the summer but more often in the dead of winter.
post #10 of 43
We were DVDs-only for a long time and my DD was allowed to watch Bear in the Big Blue House, Blue's Clues, Totoro, and tapes of It's a Big, Big World from PBS.
post #11 of 43
We do 1 or 2 DVDs a week, and we try to do it in a family movie night format, although not always. I'm not sure what age you are asking for, but I hope some of these help!

I wanted to second the Miyazaki recommendation - Totoro & Ponyo are good for little guys, and my older daughter loved Spirited Away. All his movies are so magical

We also love Mary Poppins, and we recently got Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which is actually really cute and well done, and my kids think it's hysterical. This weekend we're planning to rent The Sound of Music, and I've been tossing around the idea of getting the old Parent Trap, I remember loving that one as a kid.
post #12 of 43
We love Ponyo!!
post #13 of 43
DD is almost 3 and the only "movies" she's seen are a few Donald Duck cartoons (and she's only watched them on special occasions, like when she was sick). Eventually, we plan to have a weekly movie night, where we show classics like Mary Poppins and some of the older Disney films that we have on DVD.
post #14 of 43
ds is just 20 months, so we still don't do dvds with him, but I have started collecting a few for when he's older (5ish maybe?). Mostly older family adventure kind of movies, with a few cartoon movies thrown in. Honestly it's stuff I enjoyed as a kid, like Willow, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Swiss Family Robinson's, The Secret Garden, Little Rascals, The Never Ending Story, All Dogs go to Heaven, and a couple more that I can't remember off the top of my head. We like to have movie night once a month or so, and it will be nice to include ds when he's older, so I pick things off of the 5$ rack as I happen to see them.
post #15 of 43
I guess we're the weirdos of the no-TV world, as well as the weirdos of the TV-watching world. We don't do kid-specific DVDs. We get regular DVDs, and usually watch them after DS is asleep, but will watch some stuff while he's awake. He is a huge Star Trek: Voyager fan right now. I think he might watch some TV at the babysitter's house twice a week (he goes to an in-home daycare two mornings a week when DH's and my work schedules overlap) because she puts PBS on during pick-up and drop-off time so she can converse more easily with parents.
post #16 of 43
We do a mix of kid and more adult DVDs. When DS was littler, it was more stuff like Little Bear and Pooh. Also Richard Scarry. Now he's 6 so he even watches Star Wars and loves it. Most Pixar movies. We also have watched a ton of older movies and DS became a huge Gene Kelly fan so pretty much anything with Gene Kelly. Robin Hood was also huge around here for awhile.

Now we also have DD, who is only 2. If both kids are watching, it's usually Pooh or now Angelina, or Richard Scarry. They also both really liked Wallace and Gromit (sp??). We had lice in April (ugh!) so they got to watch something every night while we did the comb-throughs, but usually it's more like one movie a week.
post #17 of 43
We don't have a television and dd was completely screen-free until she was almost 3. Now (she's 4), we allow a small amount of DVD-watching on the computer every day. Her being in full-time school was a big reason behind the shift--when she comes home, we find it really helps her to have 20 or 30 minutes of decompression time before family play time, dinner, etc.

We have: the original 1977 Winnie the Pooh, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Aristocats, Wallace and Grommit, the original Boris Karloff How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Toy Story (a recent gift from my SIL). We also allow Dora the Explorer, which is available commercial-free/streaming over Netflix.
post #18 of 43
I keep a variety of DVDs and some VHS for her ranging from classic Disney movies to educational DVDs. I also check out DVDs as a treat from the library where I work. She's allowed to watch while I am at work when she's usually with her grandmother. With me though, the movies are usually a treat or some type of reward.
post #19 of 43
DS is 3, and he watches shows that we have downloaded--Fireman Sam, Dora, Bob the Builder. When he was a little smaller he watched Miffy that we would record from PBS. However, we got rid of cable TV and our DVR, so now we just watch on our computer. We used to do Caillou, but DS would imitate a lot of Caillou's negative behavior, so we axed Caillou.

Our TV is never on during the day, I personally never watch it (DH watches sports sometimes after DS has gone to bed, or we'll rent a movie to see together), but I still feel bad that I do let him watch some screen on a daily basis. At least he's not seeing commercials.

Oh, and he loved the Signing time videos. Our speech language pathologist lent them to us. We still talk about Rachel and Alex and Leah. LOL.
post #20 of 43
For us the TV-free is really about screens and fast-moving images that cannot be interacted with as well as the sedentary, non-creative time away from other (better) pursuits. So DS was totally screen (and electronic toy) free until he was 3. Now we have some Little Bear DVDs for when he's especially sick (like a fever or really nasty cold). Of course, he's only sick about 10 days a year and even on those 10 days he's only seeing an hour or two a day, not all day.

I think Little Bear is so sweet and gentle, it is not 'educational' which was important to us, it resembles our values/lifestyle, and the images/frames are nice and slow.
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