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?
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.
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" .
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.
The Sesame Street Old School Videos are lots of fun! We've also found videos like Learning Ballet etc. at our local library.
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.
~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
I truly don't see much inherently wrong with watching movies. I see a problem when there's too much of it.
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
I look up suggestions, or new movies that spark our interest on either
pluggedin dot com or
sceneit dot com.
Both sites tell you scene by scene EXACTLY what is in the film/game that may concern some parents. Like how many cleavage shots or uses of "borderline" curse words, like "sucks" or "dang." (for parents that value modesty and clean language-- but there are obviously other categories of things that you may not want to show your DC). Both these review sites cover a LOT of categories including political slants and hidden msgs.
It helped me make informed decisions, so I didn't feel I had to take someone else's word for it-- I could know ahead whether to even preview the movie.
I also preview anything my DC will watch before they may see it.
Now that most of the shows I enjoy are out on DVD, I can see going TV-free much easier.
For those of you with computers, do you actually watch the shows/movies on the computer, or do you use the AV cable from your computer into the TV?
Proud Catholic (30) and mama to V (10)
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The mama who said they had dvds of sesame street from "back in the day".
Where di you get those dvds?
I also came across some old/vintage Sesame Street on YouTube -- I haven't spent time exploring how much is there. I know some parents who who posted said they burn their own DVDs with compilations of YouTube clips.
Scholastic / Weston Woods - Classic Children's Books told on DVD
Older movies like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music,The Secret Garden, Milo & Ottis, The King and I.
We also have the Classic Sesame Street. We either got them from the library and made copies, or downloaded them, I can't remember.
Thomas the Tank Engine
Shaun the Sheep
World World, Angelina Ballerina, Miffy and Toupee & Binou, in small doses.
Older DS is 2.5 and likes Pocoyo.
We mostly have videos when I'm sick, a child is sick, we have a trades person at the house and we're paying them by the hour so we'd rather our kids not bug the crap out of them, DH has a phone interview, etc. The kids watched a lot of videos when we moved.