Monday, May 15, 2006

Baby First TV

While perusing the net this weekend, I stumbled upon a new television channel geared towards babies. BabyFirstTv is the first network focusing on the untapped 6-36 month old viewing audience. Its programming includes many subjects ranging from sensory development, language and number skills to creativity enhancement and social skills.

A self-described educational tool, the channel is hoping to target parents who want to enhance their baby's development. The network's premiere ironically tails the latest study discouraging ANY television viewing for persons under 2 years. Many scientists brand TV viewing as too passive to positively affect cognitive development, even going as far to say it will lead to problems like ADD.

I checked out the channel, which is only offered on DirecTV (Ch. 293.) Some of the segments seemed educational. The "I Can Sign" portion caught my attention using pictures, language and children performing the sign repeatedly to impart the knowledge. Other segments featured drawings in progress, interactive puzzles and short stories. The station offers a color coded flower system to clue in parents as to which educational subject is the focus of the current content. Helpful interactive hints periodically flash in an effort to help parents utilize the programming.

Aveline seemed to enjoy the content. I found some of the stories to be scratch-your-eyeballs -out cheesy. It is definitely something that has some educational value if you use it as a tool and not a babysitter. DirecTV is giving a free preview through the month of May. After that, the channel will cost $9.99 per month. I think I will pass on subscribing and stick to good old Sesame Street. I'll use the ten bucks I save per month and buy Aveline a book we can read over and over again.


Uncle Crappy said...

Books? What are you thinking?

Actually, we've done our best to confuse our nephews in the area of gifts from family members. We generally give only books, although Uncle Crappy does occasionally slip in a Bucks/Browns/Indians item, just so they don't forget they're native Ohioans. We've saved from being the "boring uncle and aunt" because when we visit, we actually get up at 7 a.m. to play.

Here's about the only advice that I, as a non-parent, would hazard to give a parent: They have the rest of their lives for crap. While it still means something, stick with the books.

Joel & Jamie said...

I too have been watching the baby first programs. Some intrest Chey, but no more than her regualr programs.

Lately she has shyed away from her programs and is just interested in going, going, going.

10.00 for the programs? I think we will pass too. I really enjoy learning to sign, but I guess I can get a book right.