Speaking of movies, I happen to be watching one with my little man right now. Finding Nemo is a great film for kids. I like it because it’s full of colour – bright colours appeal to my son, who’s only 8 months old. His favourite is Aladdin, full of rich reds, purples and golds. But, back to Nemo for now.
Putting aside the narrative, which he’s obviously too young to understand, the movement of the characters, as well as the sounds, seem to excite little J. He’s sitting there, eating his blueberry and purple carrot baby rice cake, squealing, kicking his little feet, and bashing the tray of his high hair with his tiny hands. I’ve tried various films, to see what interests him, and very few grab his attention like Nemo … or Dory, for that matter. Plus, I just love Ellen. Just keep swimming!
I mentioned Aladdin. This was the first film I showed J, because I went to see the musical twice while I wax pregnant, and thought he might recognise the music. I don’t know if he did or not, but he certainly liked it. He watches with such concentration, exclaims at Abu the monkey, yells at Jafar, and generally reacts the same way in the same spots in the movie. He seems to enjoy the music – and music, in general, as he listens intently to his daddy playing the guitar, or me singing along to CDs in the car. Sometimes I’ll sing him something from the movie and he grins and flaps his hands.
The Lion King is also a frequent feature in our viewing schedule (no, we don’t really have a TV schedule, I just pop on a movie for a bit so he has some entertainment while eating or to give me a few minutes to make lunch or do some laundry!). Again, the bright colours and varied characters and sounds seem to draw his attention to the screen.
I like movies for kids, because they introduce often difficult to understand concepts, like death and sacrifice, as well as various types of love, perseverance, wisdom, and humility. But for bubs, films are good for exposing them to music, shapes, animals, movement, expressions, and so many other things. There are other important tools, of course, importantly books and face-to-face learning from parents and interaction with other children and with the world at large. But this post is about movies, so those get a passing mention here.
I realise this sounds like my little man watches a lot of TV, but he doesn’t. He may watch a whole movie in a day, but it’s in various sittings, usually for no longer than twenty minutes at a time, which appears to be the extent of his attention span for any particular thing. We do many other things, like reading (or, trying to, anyway … he tends to prefer chewing the books instead), playing silly games, going for walks, trying to crawl and stand, going shopping (he likes looking at EVERYTHING when we go out), going for drives, and fighting over the iPad (no, he doesn’t use electronics, but he seems to think everything I touch belongs to him!). Our days are full, sometimes productive and fun, other times long and tiring and hard. Such is life with an infant, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I hope that when J is older, he will enjoy some of the other films I liked as a kid. My parents used to rent “family movies” from Video Ezy, and we’d watch them altogether. Stuff like The Shaggy Dog, Pollyanna, Dennis the Menace, and so many others. There are lots I want to share with him, like the Harry Potter saga (I won’t get into the books versus movies debate here, but I’m pro books … though the movies are entertaining in their own right), and The Swiss Family Robinson. Maybe they’re random sorts of things to like as a kid/teen, but I like movies (and books) that require you to think creatively and leave you in the world of the story for just a little while longer after the film is over. I want my son to explore his already-apparent creativity and not be afraid to dive into his imagination. Films can sometimes give us that little nudge into the world of movie magic.
Mini Mummi Blogger 🌺
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!