Sunday, November 30, 2008

eebee's adventures!

Waaaaaaaaaaay back when Sam was a baby and we were new to the world of videos on demand, I went through the entire 'kids' menu trying to find some good quality programming. Amidst all the PBS and Nick offerings I stumbled upon eebee's adventures. It was a big hit with my wee boy, and for a few months we would watch some of the short videos every few days.

Cut to almost three years later. Sam is now very opinionated, and when we flip on the TV he is usually the one choosing the show. Lucy doesn't seem to mind too much, but I've been trying to come up with something they can both watch and enjoy. Plus it needs to be something I don't find to be completely mindless drivel as well. Needless to say we end up watching the 'Your Baby Can Read' DVDs quite often. 

Luckily the Parent Bloggers Network came to the rescue, sending us an eebee's adventures DVD and a soft eebee book for our viewing/playing pleasure. The video contains three segments: laundry list, just you and me and little objects, big ideas. The book is all about laundry time and ties in nicely with the video.

The main focus of eebee's world seems to be learning from the objects around you. Eebee and the other children featured in the video use fabrics, mirrors, cereal and pots and pans in their learning adventures. There are simple, catchy songs that got both of my kids dancing and singing along. Plus the title song is easily adaptable to accommodate any child with a two syllable name. I don't get it entirely, but they both lose their minds when I substitute 'Sammy' or 'Lucy' for 'eebee' in the song. 

The book is also a fun little learning experience for young minds. The laundry book has activities such as putting towels in the washing machine and hanging clothes on the line to dry. It's bright and colorful and full of different textures. Lucy especially loved the crinkly parts. Being almost three, Sam was a little too old for this book, but he actually had some fun showing Lucy all of the ways to play with it.

As a bonus, it doesn't feel like they are trying to sell my kids something every other minute. I mean, even Sesame Street had commercials these days. Yes, they have toys and other merchandise, but they don't beat you about the head with it. 

As a parent, I have very much enjoyed eebee's adventures. It's simple approach to learning and exploring with everyday objects has made me more creative with my own everyday objects. 

Care to win a copy of eebee's adventures 'All in a Day's Play' and the 'Laundry Time' soft book? Leave a comment here by friday 12/5 at midnight to enter!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Truly Amazing

From the moment my first child was born I was astonished. His tiny body, so recently surrounded by my own, made so many miraculous changes practically in the blink of an eye. The transition to breathing rather than getting oxygenated blood via the cord. The closing of heart valves and the opening of new ones. Without these, his life, and human life, would be impossible. 

In Amazing Baby, Desmond Morris covers everything from these first moments until your sweet little newborn is somehow a two year old. From organ systems to personality development, this book covers basic biology in a way that would make any person, parent or not, interested in these lovely little beings. 

Accompanying Morris' text are hundreds of stunning photographs. These are what transform this from simply a parenting reference to a work of art. Take it from someone who considers photographing her children a highlight of her day: these photos are a big part of what makes Amazing Baby amazing. Also, you don't have to take just my word for it. Both of my kids attempted, on several occasions, to kiss the photos of the adorable babies. Luckily I had dry washcloths near by so that the book wasn't ruined. Several of the photos are also accompanied with overlays which show complex internal structures, such as the newborn skull, eye anatomy or brain lobes. 

With all of the information on development and anatomy, Morris never misses an opportunity to drive home his main point that parents have the most profound effect on their child's development. As he states at the end of the book, 

"Looking into the tiny face of a newborn baby as she nestles in her mother's arms, it is important to remember that they way the little infant is treated during the first two years of her life will have a profound effect upon the course she takes later as an adult. It should be easy enough for a child who has enjoyed a loving, richly stimulating, fun-packed infancy to grow up into a happy, well-adjusted adult. For an neglected or deprived infant, however, it may prove much harder."


Thanks to the The Parent Bloggers Network for introducing me to Amazing Baby. I'm definitely going to be holding onto this one. You know, just in case!