This post was updated on April 2nd, 2020.
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I do use the TV for my children but I try to be intentional about its use. And often when I ask my kids to sit down and watch TV so I can be intentional or productive without distractions…they won’t do it. Sigh. They would rather play or read. My days are busier without the TV on but in the end it’s better for them and I don’t have to deal with the “after TV crash” of emotions that inevitably happens every time.
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WHEN DO I INTENTIONALLY USE TV?
- when the children are sick and I need them to sit.
- when I’m about to lose it and need a few min to gather my sanity.
- if I have to make a phone call
- long car trips
- in the car when mom needs a break (notice I had two scenarios where mom needed a break?)
We go days and days and weeks without turning the tv on at home. But we watch in the car more often than I’d like. It’s my only break somedays with little kids at home who don’t nap at the same time. We don’t have cable anymore. We use our Apple TV and DVDs I’ve purchased with their development in mind. On our Apple TV we use Netflix, Amazon Prime and DirecTV NOW. DirecTV NOW allows us to sign in to other apps like Showtime and HGTV apps to watch regular programming. (Showtime is for parents to watch shows like Billions). 99% of the time we watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes downloads.
WE TRY TO AVOID COMMERCIALS.
I hate commercials. I have let my elementary aged daughter watch HGTV with me on occasion and I hate that commercials come on. We use it as a learning exercise to discuss what the advertisers are trying to sell us. We talk about it. But oh boy is she susceptible to marketing! It’s shocking.
OUR FAVORITE KIDS SHOWS ON AMAZON PRIME
- Children of the World Series. & Families of the World.
- This is great to show kids how other families around the world live. They almost always do more chores than we do in America. They usually feature two families from each country. One family is usually living in a more rural area where the other lives in the city. The children narrate their life. My kids (older mostly) love this!
- Creative Galaxy. After one episode they are usually off to craft. It’s full of great ideas.
OUR FAVORITE PBS KIDS TV SHOWS OF THE 2000’s
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. These catchy songs will always be a staple in our family.
- Reading Rainbow. We watch this on Amazon Prime now or we rent these DVDs from the library.
- Sid the Science Kid.
KIDS SHOWS ON HULU
I like Hulu because for a few dollars more every month we can watch TV without commercials and I really like that option with kiddos. They are so susceptible to marketing, even if we work on discussing why we shouldn’t be.
- Sid the Science Kid.
- Barney (Call me crazy but they are sweet shows and we like things that are sweet influences on our kids. I cannot tell you how shocked I am at the attitudes I see in our culture right now in books and TV shows.)
OUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S MOVIE DVDS
I know. I hate having STUFF around. I prefer less things. But sometimes the “good old stuff” is only available in a good old-fashioned DVD….not for download.
- Inevitably on every DVD there are books that one kid doesn’t like. We just skip past that one.
- There are about 20 books on each DVD.
- Each movie is approximately $4-5 so totally worth it!
- Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics
- 20 Animal Tales (This is one of our all-time favorites!)
- 20 Holiday Adventures
- My kids love these! Starting at about age 2 they really enjoy these and no one really gets too sick of them unless we each them too much.
- They are entertaining even when they’ve learned the concepts in the videos.
- I’ve actually warn out a set (they’ve gotten scratched so I have to replace many of mine.)
- They will last you a LONG time. Years and years.
- The 10 DVD set is a great deal because you get 6 free or something like that when you add up the cost of the separate DVDs.
- These are available in a digital format also I think. We like the DVDs to play in the car.
- 10 DVD BOXED SET
- Meet the Math Facts Set – Addition & Subtraction (I guess I bought this one separate!)
- Let’s Pray
- Bread of Life
- The Rosary
- Born into the Kingdom
- O Holy Night / King is Born (Christmas)
- The Mass
- The Saints
- Following in His Footsteps
- He is Risen (Easter)
- Joy Toons
- The Sacraments
- Stations of the Cross
- You are Special
Blessed – First Reconciliation and First Communion by Dyanimic Catholic & Matthew Kellly
Vacation Bible School DVDs
My kids love continuing to watch those songs and the motions they learned every day over Vacation Bible School week. The memories and songs live on and they have so much fun with them. And it’s even better when their VBS friends come over and they can sing and dance in the living room (or car) together.
Our Wedding Video
- The kids love watching our wedding video. It’s really neat. Except when I walk in the room and see my dad and I can’t hold back the tears. When I was trying to decide if I should pay for a videographer at our wedding someone told me one day, when my dad was gone, I would want a moving image of him. They were right. I do. I love that video. The kids watch it all the time. It was worth every penny.
FAVORITE AUDIO BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
We love audio books. We started using them when my first daughter was about 2 years old and we started with her favorite story, Curious George CD and book (the classics). I’m not even sure if you can get that one anymore!
NOW, WE USE AUDIBLE. Here’s how it works..
- Sign up at audible.com for your free trial membership (get free books).
- We have the Gold Membership right now.
- You will start accumulating points every month for your membership.
- I go online to audible.com to buy a new book. Kids books are often only $1 so I won’t use a credit (because these cost around $14.95) I will just buy that book. But if the book costs MORE than I paid for that credit, I’ll use my credit and save money no that book.
- Go to your audible app and you can download the book and start to listen right away.
WHAT IF I HATE THE BOOK? This does happen. I don’t like the book. I can’t get through the book. The kids don’t like the narrator. You can chat with Amazon and they are awesome. They will RETURN the book credit or cost to you! Isn’t that amazing customer service? I LOVE AMAZON.
OUR FAVORITE AUDIO BOOKS
**Many are under $2 each!!! Some are under $1 and include photos if you play it on your iPad you actually get the images of the pages too!**
I NEED YOUR HELP!
Will you comment and recommend your favorite educational DVDs and audiobooks?
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