When You Buy Children's Videos

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A universal goal in child care and early childhood education programs is to promote the development of the whole child. Although videos should be used sparingly, they can be a great supplement and engage young learners through song and movement. When purchasing videos for children, be sure to ask yourself the following questions.

Is it appropriate for children?

The video should NOT have the following: gratuitous violence or sexuality, physical or verbal abuse, bias or stereotypes, or modeling of unsafe behaviors.

Is it age-appropriate?

Infant-Toddler: Toddlers relate best to music, movement and color. Look for themes that are familiar. Good videos takes in mind their short attention span, and keeps them engaged and active. 

Preschool: Again active involvement is key. Simple stories with simple, rhythmic language and humorous real life situations are good. Animals and fantasy themes are always popular.

Is it a valuable part of the curriculum?

Videos are not to be used as a time filler or baby sitter. View with the children and don't be afraid to use the pause, fast forward and rewind buttons. Use the video to extend classroom themes or children's interests. Do hands-on activities; role-play, create art projects read related books. Encourage participation: dance, sing or respond to characters.