Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Eebee Charms and Encourages Exploration

When Cordy and Mira were babies, I tried out all of the baby DVDs designed to make them geniuses. My girls, however, never showed much of an appreciation for Mozart or Bach. And despite the success of those DVDs, I found they were really not very useful past 8 or 9 months. At that point I wanted them to watch programs that they would learn something from, and that something would be more than bad puns from Spongebob.

While Cordy has moved on to preschool programs and activities, Mira still falls in this age of being mostly non-verbal and wanting to explore and learn. Parent Bloggers recently introduced me to Eebee and his DVD Eebee's Adventures: Figuring Things Out. It advertises itself as a DVD that encourages toddlers 12 months and up to explore and participate in active learning.

When I first watched the DVD, I wondered if this was advanced enough for my 18 month old. The first scenes were of Eebee - a non-verbal puppet with some interesting hair - and his real-person playmate Kristy tackling a mountain of pillows. This was something Mira could already do. But soon I realized that this was only the beginning of several scenes, and that most were right at Mira's developmental level.

For each scene, they would show Eebee and his friend attempting some activity, such as crawling through a tunnel, playing with a flashlight, and building block towers. They interact like a parent introducing a new game to a toddler, and then stepping back to let the child explore while providing encouragement. The scene then cuts between Eebee and real children doing the same task. There's no dull explanation of what to do, or why the child should try this activity. Instead, this DVD works on the idea of having a child watch and then mimic the ideas.

Mira was immediately drawn in by the puppet Eebee. He's a cute puppet, and makes babbling and cooing sounds like a typical non-verbal baby or toddler. She enjoyed watching the kids and Eebee trying to do the activities, some of which required problem-solving skills, such as putting stacking cups together out of order and having one not fit as a result. After viewing it a couple of times, I noticed she was now trying some of the activities they did. She is more interested in blocks now, and she has taken an interest in the stacking cups that she previously ignored.

This is a fun DVD, and even if your child doesn't like to watch it (a rare event, I think), it also serves as an educational tool for parents, too. Watching Eebee and Kristy interact is practically a script for parents to follow in interacting with their own children. I was impressed at how Kristy encouraged Eebee without doing too much for him. It reminded me to pull back a little and let Mira explore in her own way more. Extras on the DVD include interviews with the experts who put this DVD together, explaining the developmental principles behind the action.

As part of this set, we also received an Eebee's Adventures soft vinyl book called Bath Time. This book is designed for the bath, and includes two squeezy areas that suck in and then squirt out water. Mira thought the bath book was fun, although her older sister had more fun squeezing the squeaker in the book continuously.

Overall, I'm impressed with Eebee's Adventures, and I recommend the Figuring Things Out DVD for those with young toddlers. There are two other DVDs in the collection, along with other books and toys, including an Eebee plush doll.

1 comment:

cholmes202 said...

My son has been watching eebee for almost a year and a half now! He will be two on New Years Eve. We have so much fun interacting with one another like they do in the movies. eebee teaches your baby how to play with everyday household items and to be creative. eebee provides us with the best bonding time together! This is a must for parents!