Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nov 21: Entertaining toddlers with YouTube

One of the great things about the internet is that just about anything you want is right at your fingertips. It's amazing to think that the internet as we know it didn't really exist when I was in college. I didn't have an email address until I had my first teaching position, as crazy as it seems now.

Carter will grow up in a very different world than the one I did, for better or for worse. When I was a kid, there weren't even video players, so the idea of being able to watch TV "on demand" would have been inconceivable to me. If I wanted to watch a video of funny cats, I'd just have to hope I got lucky and that something like that would come on one of the five channels we got. But these days? There is YouTube.

We recently realized that YouTube is a great source of video clips for toddler entertainment purposes. Whatever Carter is obsessed with, we can find videos of it to watch. He loves videos of himself dancing and doing interesting things. The video of him riding the tractor with Papa Christian is a favorite, for example. There are also videos of all kinds of animals, of trains, of bugs, of everything. It's hard to find good ones, sure, but they're out there.

One of our current favorites is this tractor square dance video. I had no idea there was such a thing as tractor square dancing before we stumbled on this video, but it's pretty cool.

Another one we really like is this compilation of funny cat videos. It makes Carter absolutely shriek with laughter!

It's also fun to look for music videos (both professional and fan-made) and videos of performances. Doug and I both love musical theatre, and we are trying to find ways to introduce Carter to it. One thing we do is show him video clips of performances from musicals, and he usually loves it. Here he's watching a clip from the British cast of "Legally Blonde" Doug found on YouTube, and dancing (and possibly singing) along.

He's really interested in belly buttons right now, btw. ;-) We've been doing Skype calls with my mom lately, and today did one with my sister and her kids as well. I'm not sure if Carter understands what's happening, or if he thinks it's just another video, you know?

Finally, here is a picture of Carter eating spaghetti at dinner. His portion of spaghetti was about the same size as mine, LOL. My diet is working really well, but I miss those carbs...

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