I wanted to share with you some of my favorite educational videos.
Before I had children, my Youtube time consisted of watching Monorail Cat, and other entertaining videos like Alabama Leprechan.
When I realized the power of sitting your child in front of a computer screen, I was thrilled. I am not a TV watching kind of person (not only for the immoral content, but I do not think it is good for children’s brains before a certain age), but finding something that would completely engross my 2 year old daughter with was amazing; I knew that I could get a load of laundry or dishes done without interruption.
It didn’t take me long to recognize how many children’s songs/videos were mostly for entertainment; bright colors, loud music, and cute looking characters bouncing all over the screen. After watching these videos over and over, I not only became annoyed, but a little concerned that my daughter was being mentally stimulated in an unhealthy way.
So when I came across some of the following videos, I really liked them. One of the first things I noticed was that Shawn the Train was quiet; there are moments where there is no noise at all. I think this teaches kids how to focus, not to mention it’s nice to have silence in the home. I also noticed that there is repetition within the videos, saying the colors or shapes multiple times. And some of the videos are at least 10 minutes long, which I think helps kids learn to sit still for an ‘extended’ amount of time. These are all cartoons; children have a difficult time distinguishing between reality and fantasy, so real-life videos may be frightening or confusing to young children. Use discretion.
- Shawn the Train (Coilbook)- covers colors, numbers, shapes and more. There are no songs or music, just narration by a child’s voice. https://www.youtube.com/user/coilbook
- Olive and the Rhyme Rescue Crew (Peach Blossom Media)This series covers the Alphabet. COnsistent themes are certain phrases, repeat characters, and a nursery rhyme in every episode. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7kz5unj9Y7Ni2MvtmMC2kw
- The World of Peter Rabbit- This series was created in the early 90’s. With the exception of a short intro and conclusion, it is all delightful water-paint cartoon that follows Beatrix Potter’s illustrations almost to a tee. this is not educational in the school sense, but it gives you a platform to teach your children good character. One thing I like about this particular series is that the episodes are 25 minutes long WITHOUT commercials, and there are books to go along with it. You may want to screen some/all of the episodes, seeing that Beatrix Potter was a turn of the century Brit, and Victorian children’s stories are not as self-esteem focused, but more focused on building character. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fErRjperZiM
- Crawford the Cat- these 5 minute episodes cover various topics such as hand washing, table manners, including others, and cleaning up your messes. I really like how Crawford and the other characters are over-the-top goody two shoes- you do not have to spend much time explaining ‘bad’ characters. I don’t think there is anything wrong with shows that have ‘bad’ characters; in fact, it gives you a platform to teach your children about that. It is just that sometimes it is nice to have some videos where you don’t need to put that extra effort in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_yR-oGNMaA
- StoryBots- these 2 minute episodes feature 1 letter of the alphabet in a catchy and fun song. There are other categories, such as colors and dinosaurs, but I have not previewed these. This is a series that is great for an energetic time of day, or days where you won’t mind songs being sung over and over. https://www.youtube.com/user/storybots
I hope you enjoy using these videos for you toddlers/preschoolers! Please comment and share with other moms!