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Article:    Our Favorite ABCs and 123s Videos/DVDs for Preschoolers 

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Here we compile our favorite videos and DVDs for preschoolers with a strong educational component. Learning letters and numbers is made fun and easy with these top picks.



Top Video/DVD Picks for Learning the Alphabet

 

Top Pick in DVDs for Learning the Alphabet. A new and fabulous children's DVD (and audio CD) by They Might Be Giants and Disney Sound is entitled Here Come the ABCs

They Might Be Giants: Here Come the ABCs features songs about letters set to fun animated scenes that will entertain the whole family, and educate preschoolers. They Might Be Giants (John Flansburgh and John Linnell, an alternative rock musical duo who first ventured into the kids' music market with the album, No!, a recording that debuted at #1 on Billboard's Children's Music Chart) had complete creative control on the DVD, and employed graphic artists, illustrators, and puppeteers from around the globe in order to create this funky and charmingly out-of-the-ordinary project. TMBG recently wrote the theme song for the animated series, "Higglytown Heroes", on Playhouse Disney, and twelve of the Here Come the ABCs videos will begin airing on Playhouse Disney shortly. One video claims that "LMNO" are sometimes confused for one letter, but they're not! Others include, "C is for Conifers", "F is for Fake-Believe", "ZYX", and "QU". The DVD is hosted by John and John as puppets. 

This DVD is distinctive, highly "edutaining", and a must-own for families with young children. Whether kids are deciding which squiggly lines are letters (and which are not), or visiting the Alphabet Lost and Found, kids receive an amazing, creative lesson in alphabet/letter recognition with plenty of reinforcement. Fabulous! Our Full Review of Here Come the ABCs can be found here.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: They Might Be Giants: Here Come the ABCs (DVD) or Here Come the ABCs (audio CD) 

 

Leap: Letter Factory is based on the LeapFrog line of educational toys, and is available on both VHS and DVD. It features the friendly Leap frog family and both educates and entertains children in clever ways. Children learn to identify each letter of the alphabet and relate to its unique phonics sound through song and a clever storyline. Although only approximately 35 minutes long, this video packs a learning punch with valuable mini-lessons that are both memorable and effective! Graduates of Letter Factory can move to building short, simple words with the next title in the series, Leap Talking Words Factory. We are thrilled with this new title and hope to see more titles in the series from the company. [Buy LeapFrog: Letter Factory Leap Frog - Letter Factory (DVD) or in a set of 3 DVDs and flash cards:  LeapFrog: Learning DVD Set (3 DVD and flashcards set) at Amazon.com]

 

Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever! is a delightfully fun video that acquaints kids with each and every letter of the alphabet. Children will learn to identify letters, as well as associate words that begin with each letter as they follow 26 short stories. Huckle the Cat and his classmates are the host of this 30-minute video that has been around for over a decade, but still belongs on every family's VHS shelf. With this video, you won't get the production value that you may be accustomed to, but you will get an outstanding exploration of letters that kids will want to be part of time and time again. [Buy Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever! (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverSesame Street: Learning About Letters is a classic available on video and now on DVD. Children are invited on a trip through the alphabet with host, Big Bird. Big Bird shows Snuffy (and little viewers!) just how much fun each letter of the alphabet is. Short skits, educational vignettes, fun animations, and fabulous songs are featured. Plenty of audio and visual reinforcement of the ABC's makes this video stand apart, including the classic "C is for Cookie" Cookie Monster song. Lena Horne makes a special guest appearance. A must-own classic! [Buy Sesame Street - Learning About Letters (VHS) or Sesame Street - Learning About Letters (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

For kids who have mastered letter identification and who are now ready to learn letter sounds, Rock n Learn Letter Sounds makes a great choice. Though engaging, its content is repetitive and strongly academic, so it is probably not a good idea to have your preschooler watch the video all in one sitting. However, the catchy rhythms will do an excellent job at teaching beginning phonics skills. As well, children learn both upper- and lowercase letters in this excellent program. [Buy Rock 'N Learn Letter Sounds at Amazon.com]

 

coverFor the very young, an especially creative presentation of the letters of the alphabet can be found in So Smart! All About Letters. Designed for babies, but just as good for toddlers, this video brings letters to life, which is an especially effective approach for grabbing young children's attention and making letters more interesting. Each letter moves, dances, or wiggles, and transforms into a noun or verb that begins with that letter. Parents will need to be on hand to name the letters--the soundtrack for the video is only classical music. This is an excellent early learning tool. [Buy So Smart - Letters (VHS) or So Smart - Letters (DVD) at Amazon]

 

Younger preschoolers who benefit most from an uncomplicated, focused approach to learning to identify letters will do well with Pocket Snails Letter Adventure. This simple but charming video/DVD features snails that move along the countryside, encountering each letter of the alphabet. Both uppercase and lowercase letters are introduced. The approach is systematic and repetitive, and the visuals are charming. Alphabet recognition and alphabetic order are the video's focus. Phonics sounds do not complicate the educational agenda, making the video most appropriate for younger preschoolers who require time to digest the unique shapes of each letter. [Buy Pocket Snails: Letter Adventure

 

Top Video Picks for Learning Numbers and Counting 

 

Richard Scarry's Best Counting Video Ever! is a fabulous choice for teaching kids to identify numbers and to reinforce counting skills. Often parents will stop at 10 when they are teaching their preschooler to count. They might be surprised to learn that many young children can handle double-digit numbers as well. This video begins with the challenge of counting to 10, then goes a step further when the darling star of the video takes on the task of making it all the way to 20. Lily Bunny is endearing, and she encounters a full range of fun and famous Richard Scarry characters on her quest to find sets of objects for each number from 1-20. Lily feels triumphant indeed, and so will your preschooler! The songs are darling and educational, and each numeral is clearly shown on the screen. Plenty of counting practice and animations that kids will love add up to a must-have early learning video. [Buy Richard Scarry's Best Counting Video... (VHS) or Richard Scarry's Best Counting Video Ever! (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

coverSesame Street: Learning About Numbers is a classic available on video and now on DVD. The numbers 1 through 20 are reinforced through fabulous Sesame Street songs, vignettes, animations, and skits. Big Bird hosts, and the Count is featured (of course)! Although every Sesame Street episode includes vignettes featuring numbers, this one is devoted to such vignettes — parents will appreciate the attention numbers and counting get on this fabulous, must-own classic! [Buy Sesame Street - Learning About Numbers (VHS) or Sesame Street - Learning About Letters (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

Young learners who enjoy relaxed, slower-paced videos with simple animations will take well to Count with Maisy. This video features charming stories in which Maisy and friends count as they play. Anyone familiar with the Maisy book line written by Lucy Cousins will recognize the simple scenes in this video that is never intimidating in its presentation of early learning concepts. Counting comes about naturally in this outstanding video. [Buy Count with Maisy at Amazon.com for approximately $12.98 US]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 2001/Updated February 2004/June 2004
 

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