The DVDs are an important part of the series. If you are opposed to babies watching any TV, please read my suggestions regarding babies watching television by clicking here. There are two ways to utilize the DVDs: you may allow your child to watch the videos independently or watch the videos with your child. It is better to watch the videos with your child, especially the first few times. The videos were created to have your child engage with the videos by making sounds related to the words, touching corresponding body parts, or answering questions. When your child is watching the videos independently, consider having him sit in his highchair or other secure seat. When you have time, sit with your child and interact with the videos by saying the words when they first appear (before the voiceovers begin).
If you have American English videos, you have the Your Baby Can Learn! Special Edition DVDs that have two separate videos for each of the five volumes. Start by showing the Classic version of Volume 1. While these videos were made from the late 1990s to early 2000s and have a homemade feel, the quality is still vastly superior to what people viewed on television until only recently. The videos are very simple, and many parents over the last 17 years have told us that they felt a connection to the children in this version. You will be watching these same children in all five Classic volumes. You also have the Newer versions of the videos, which have a higher production value. This is the first time that babies and young children have been given both versions on the same DVDs.
Having two different versions should be better for several key reasons:
- More videos showing the meanings of word give children more opportunities to generalize and refine what the words mean.
- More audio descriptions of the words allow more examples of how to use the words and what they mean.
- More variety should help infants and young children stay interested.
When possible, watch the videos with your child and be a great role model by engaging with them.
The following are great ways to interact with your child and the videos:
- Encourage your child to say the words as soon as they appear on the screen.
- If your child can’t talk, say the words as soon as they appear on the screen.
- Answer the questions asked by the children in the videos.
- Ask your child to answer questions about the words or their meanings.
- Do physical actions related to the words (for example, for the word pointing point and describe what you are doing, and for arms up raise your arms above your head).
- Encourage your baby to repeat the same physical actions.
- Touch your corresponding body parts while watching the videos. For example, for the word arm, let your child see you touch your own arm. If your baby is in the mood, gently assist your baby in touching her body parts. It is better if your baby is looking at the word nose while touching her nose.
- Encourage children who already know their body parts to say the words when they first appear, then to touch the corresponding body parts while the words are still on the screen.
- Occasionally, you may pause the video and allow your child to find a nearby item in your home that matches the words in the video (such as a red object or a toy car).
- For the Word Games part of the videos, get up and point to the TV. You can also pause the DVD and give your child extra time to answer the questions. Use word cards and demonstrate the same activities that are being shown in the Word Games section.
- Please try to make sure your child is not looking at the television at an oblique angle. Your baby should not be lying down at an angle to the TV. Sitting or standing and facing the TV is better than lying down in most cases.The only angle that works well when lying down is when the child’s body points toward the TV.
- To increase the probability the videos will maintain your child’s attention, it is important to reduce or eliminate entertainment-based television during the months needed to complete the series of videos.
- When we go to a cinema as adults, we do not have distractions in front of us such as paying bills or washing the dishes. Try to create a similar environment with few distractions for your child – remove most of the distractions in the room prior to showing the DVDs. It may also help to dim the lights to make it easier for your child to focus on the TV. Infant researchers try to remove distractions from a child’s environment so it is easier for babies to focus. Many research labs are plain rooms with almost no distractions in the room, making it more likely the children will focus on the task at hand. At home, please help your child by removing as many toys and other distractions as you can.
- Please try your best to engage with your child as he watches the videos. However, if you are busy, you can show the DVDs while monitoring but not assisting your child.
- In the FAQs, there are tips for showing the DVDs to active children who aren’t staying seated. Please read these suggestions for ideas to help active children focus on the videos.
For information on how often and when to show your child the videos, please see the Product Use Guides and Viewing Schedules.