Sunday, September 23, 2007

Books, DVDs, & Online Toddler Activities

I'm down to a couple favorites for BabyG's new name: Grasshopper I really like. Verdita I decided against, in the end. I like G-pers, G-minor, G-whiz, and am also considering just making the G her and dressing up as we feel, as we go. Recently a friend suggested Greenhorn, which I think is funny, but not the right name. Have to confer w/GreenDaddy.
We haven't discussed Gpers' media tastes in the blog. Ever I think. And though I take inordinate pleasure watching her move gravel around or discover fallen leaves, there are actually times when we read books or watch the computer.

I read her books after taking her out of the bath in the morning, and before I get ready. Then, throughout the day we read on and off. And GreenDaddy reads her to bed at night.

Her first favorite book was a popular one: Moo Baa La La La. "A cow says moo, a sheep says baa, three singing pigs say, "La, la, la..." Since she was a little over a year old she's had at least the animal sounds memorized, and now she can actually recite most of the pages if it occurs to her to do so. Reciting this book while I'm driving the car or she's upset or sleepy is generally a surefire way to settle her down.

Or it was, until To Market To Market (this is a link to Amazon because I like reading the book reviews there). It's based on Mother Goose's:

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.

Anne Miranda, the author, sends an old lady to the market for a farm's worth of animals, one at a time...but everytime the old woman returns from a trip to the market, the last animal she bought has escaped: the pig leaves the pen (uh oh!), the goose gets loose (uh oh), the goat eats her coat (uh oh)... You get the picture.

In the end the woman decides its no good trying to imprison or eat the animals, so she ends up taking them all to the market and together they buy tons of fabulous tomatoes, okra, corn, potatoes etc, go home and make vegetable soup.

I found the book listed in somebody's Amazon list of vegetarian books for kids. I guess this is vegetarian, but it's vegetarian in crazy, lovely way. No animals get eaten-- in fact at the end, the old lady and her menagerie snooze together on the kitchen floor. My hunch was that Gpers would be fond of it in a year or two because the illustrations -- very cool collages of vintage photographs from markets and cartoons -- seemed a little old for her.

But, of course, I remember reading all her books and thinking: no way my baby is going to like this, and then it's what she loves the most. As it went with this book. She loves the "uh ohs" in the middle of every rhyme. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Video Games

Boohbah Zone. I found the site Googling. The website refers to a BBC show called Boohbah, that I believe was only on air a couple seasons. Made by the Teletubbies people. We eventually rented the cd to discover the program is actually stranger than Teletubbies. But on the computer game version, Gpers loves watching the Boohbahs dance.

Kneebouncers is Gpers other favorite game. Boohbah I have to move the mouse around for her, except in a couple games where she's learning to do it just in the last few weeks. But Kneebouncers uses the whole keyboard: she has to push any key at all and it makes little things happen. She loves it.

Animal Noises we just click around and listen to sounds she loves to hear.

Stories at Nick Jr We (I) especially like the the Grumpy Bug, read by Sandra Bernhard.


You Tube. That's right. When GreenDaddy failed at hooking Gpers on the Daily Show, he made his way to YouTube and got the baby hooked on cat madness.

GreenDaddy likes to comment that watching YouTube has made him think television and movies aim to high: people are satisfied with very little. These cat videos and slide shows Gpers is addicted to are a case in point. She will watch cats, dogs, birds, any of these things. Sometimes we just watch the opening to Boohbah, which is on YouTube, and which is usually about as long as she's interested.

My First Signs by Baby Einstein. When I'm getting out of the shower and she's just bathed, I set her in the chair while I get ready, and she watches this on the computer. She calls it Boohbah. She's learned the signs since she's watched everyday for about a month, and even though she knows the words for most of ths signs already, she loves having something to do with her hands. The whole family has a crush on Marlee Matlin, the actress in the video. I've watched snippets of her talking with puppets (who don't have any arms or hands: strange in a signing video) at least 50 times, and I still like watching her.


Grandma Two things Gpers asks for in terms of the computer: Boohbah (any of the videos or the games) or Grandma. Grandma is my mother, who has a web cam. It took awhile, Gpers recognizes and asks after my pixelized mother with regularity. She's coming to visit the end of October and I think we're all curious to see how she reacts to a 3D Grandma.

We're wondering if she'll demand real life Windows Live Messenger my mom sends little cartoons or what have you, that last two or three seconds. After we all talk about ten or fifteen minutes, Gpers starts asking for them. Will she expect 3D Grandma to produce them in the air around her head?


GreenDaddy said...

Another book I'm surprised Gpers has already started to like is Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. She began by loving a page in the middle of the book showing a mom and dad with a newborn baby in the hospital. Then her enjoyment spread page by page out to the beginning and end of the book.

Anonymous said...

heh heh heh.

mr bush

Anonymous said...

I remember reading that Quorn is very very bad for you. Might want to look into it!