The Best Educational DVDs for Children Ages 2-5
My oldest son is four years old and my daughter is 2 ½. They both really like to watch TV. I try to limit the amount of TV they watch, but I’ll admit that sometimes I’m thankful for the 30 minutes of peace I can get from popping a DVD into the player. Since my kids watch at least 30 minutes of TV a day, I make sure the content is educational. The DVDs listed below are some of my top choices as a parent. So while I’m cooking dinner, making a grocery list, or just needing a few minutes to myself, these are some of the DVDs my children really enjoy. Most of them can be checked out for free at your local library.
Order WordWorld Today!
WordWorld is a land where everything is made out of letters. The show features a group of animal friends whose bodies are built out of the letters that spell the word they are. For example, Sheep’s body is made of the letters S-H-E-E-P. The main characters are Pig, Sheep, Dog, Bear, Frog, and Duck. In addition to the animals’ bodies, words and letters can be seen all over WordWorld where the animals live.
During each episode, the characters “build a word” using letters they’ve collected. When the letters are put together to form a word, the word “comes alive” and becomes the word that it is. The show teaches kids to recognize letters and their sounds and spell short words. I really like this show because it helps pre-readers get excited about letters and reading.
My son’s favorite WordWorld DVD is “Rocket to the Moon.”
Signing Time! teaches American Sign Language (ASL) to children through demonstration. Rachel, her daughter Leah, and nephew Alex are the main characters. Each DVD focuses on a specific topic, such as “The Great Outdoors” or “The Zoo Train”. Rachel demonstrates each sign, and then it is repeated by a number of children, including Alex and Leah. Each episode is loaded with fun music and vibrant animation, with the exception of volumes 1-3, in which the animation isn’t so hot. I recommend starting with volume four or higher.
Just a warning-the music is so catchy that you may have it stuck in your head for days! Even for children who don’t use ASL everyday, watching Signing Time! expands vocabulary and increases language and reading abilities. At age two, my son has learned words most five year olds don’t know. Signing Time! is a wonderful learning tool.
My son’s favorite Signing Time! DVD is “Leah’s Farm.”
Let's Boogie at Leah's Farm
This show was created by the Baby Einstein gang to target toddlers and preschoolers. Each episode introduces children to a short piece of recognizable classical music and a famous work of art. Instead of focusing on letters, words, and numbers, like most other children’s shows, The Little Einsteins emphasizes art and music.
There are five main characters, including four children and their trusty rocket ship named “Rocket.” During each episode, the children embark on and complete a mission. Leo, Annie, June, and Quincy travel the world, from the Redwoods in California to the Taj Mahal in India. Young viewers will learn about places they have never seen. The selected music and art work are incorporated throughout each mission, and viewers are encouraged to participate through clapping, singing, and more. This artistic and cultural show is fun for parents and kids to watch together.
My son’s favorite Little Einsteins DVD is “Flight of the Instrument Fairies.”
Little Einsteins Theme Song (Watch Out - It's Catchy!)
Order Sesame Street on DVD!
I'm sure you knew this was coming! I couldn't possibly write this hub without including the classic of all classics! Sesame Street has been known for decades as one of the best educational television shows for kids. I remember watching it myself over twenty years ago, and now my son enjoys it just as much as I once did.
The show takes place on a street where people of different ethnicities and generations live along side other species. What a great way to teach kids to accept others. Children learn that it's okay to be different. Sesame Street touches on endless topics, from letters and numbers to opposites and feelings to health and foreign language. It's like preschool in your living room.
With occasional celebrity appearances, even parents can be entertained. It's funny to see a star from your favorite TV drama singing and dancing around with a bunch of muppets! Parodies of adult TV shows are also featured to keep parents laughing. Overall, Sesame Street gets five bright shiny stars for being a show that's educational and fun to watch at the same time.
Sesame Street's Muppets sing with REM about feelings
TV watching at a young age is a controversial topic. Like anything else, moderation is key. Parents need to pay close attention to what and how much their kids are watching. If a child spends all day in front of the TV watching filth, that's a problem. Fortunately there are many educational shows that can be agreed upon by kids and parents. These programs can be used as teaching tools in addition to entertainment. I've provided a few suggestions for kids ages 2-5. If you'd like to read more about educational TV shows and DVDs for children, explore the links below.