Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978
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What Makes a Good DVD?

DVDs, when carefully selected and properly used, are among the most enjoyable, low cost learning tools for children.

Good DVDs:
  • Entertain and teach
  • Stimulate imagination
  • Lead a child to reading

For many children, seeing a story on the screen is an incentive to reading it. Children's librarians report that a book televised one day is a book requested the next. For more on books and movies that encourage reading, try these Parents' Choice lists:

And follow these 5 easy steps to choose the best DVDs for your kids ...

  1. Select stories you liked as a kid.
    For example: Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, Little Red Riding Hood, Curious George. If you find more than one version look for first rate talent - an actor, musician, animator or film company whose work you know and admire.

  2. Choose by author.
    Writers your child or you may already know - Hans Christian Andersen, Maurice Sendak, Robert McCloskey, Beatrice Potter, Tomi Ungerer, Edward Lear - will seldom let you down.

  3. Consider movies you enjoyed as a child.

  4. Ask advice your child's teacher or librarian.

  5. Get Parents' Choice recommendations.
    Review the latest DVD winners or use the Product Finder to search for videos that would be most suitable to your child's age and interests.
  • If it's boring, it's bad.
  • If it blunts the imagination, it's worse.
  • If its purpose is to sell products, be wary of it.

Building a Video/DVD Library

Here are some question to ask yourself as you begin building a video library that will last:

  • Do the characters, music, plot and photography come together to make a lively production?
  • Does the theme promote values I believe in?
  • Does the content provoke thought?
  • Does it encourage questions?
  • Is the length suitable to my child's attention span?
  • Is the film based on the kind of story I want my child to read? Is it a story that may appeal to people of different ages?


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