Fun Educational Videos for Toddlers/kids When Traveling.

Updated on January 21, 2009
B.H. asks from Rexburg, ID
18 answers

We are moving to MO in April and driving. It'll be about a 22 hour journey with our toddler. I was wondering what educational videos you have enjoyed for your kids. We will have a portable DVD player to hopefully keep him somewhat content. We have baby signing time and really enjoy that. I know they have Elmo's World, Veggie Tales, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues. I'm just not sure which ones are good and actually teach a lot. Thanks for the advice.

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M.V.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi B.:
If you have access to copy off the Tv like a DVR and a Dvd recorder then Between the lions is excellent for book reading. Also Sid the Science Kid PBS kids has a great assortment. My boys love Wiggles. I packed a file box with toys and snacks and books. Try a tv tray that you can put over their lap and my son at age 2 was doing legos in the dark. He loved it. The other video is Word World, excellent for learning. Oh yeah Leap frog is great too, Leap frog learning factory.

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K.H.

answers from Boise on

My kids ages 32 months and 18 months, love the Leap Frog DVDs. I give the first two in the series a big "thumps-up" for helping my little ones be well on their way to spelling and reading. The Word World shows on PBS are also good and available on DVD.

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T.L.

answers from Denver on

B.,

Before you buy anything, go to your local library and check out a variety of videos and let your little guy watch them over the next few months and see what he likes. No matter how educational they are, if he doesn't find them entertaining, they won't hold his attention. We have traveled across the country and to Canada several times with our kids. When our youngest was about a year and a half, the only thing that held his attention was Elmo. Now, he is a little older and he like Dora and Diego. Every kid is different. Drive as much as possible during sleep times and pack lots of healthy snacks. God bless you,
T.

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J.B.

answers from Provo on

My Toddler has watched Little Einsteins from the time she was a baby. The DVDs called Baby Einstein allow babies to recongize words with colors, shapes, & pictures. If you toddler is ready to talk and can understand words and instructions, Little Einstein DVD's are better as they ask the toddler to pat their hands on their lap throughout the movie... The movies are really cute.

Baby Einstein = baby not yet talking
Little Einsteins = toddler who can follow directions

VERY EDUCATIONAL and fun to watch!!!!

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

We traveled (on vacation) with a not quite 2yo a few years ago. We went from Salt Lake City UT to Rapid City SD (Mt Rushmore area) and we were worried about them being bored -we also had a 4 and 6 y.o. We brought our portable DVD plyer and few movies. But we really only needed it for the time we set up our tent. They were so amazed by the scenery going by (and it was Wyoming!) and the music we were playing and everything that they never really asked "are we there yet." The 2 y.o. also slept for a lot of the trip in the car. So he'll probably be ok for the driving.
For any other time, if you want to have a few videos, Sesame Street is great. I've also loved Veggie Tales - it teaches Bible Stories and values. There are a LOT of kids shows with eduacational content, but after a while it still becomes meaningless. So save the movies for when he won't be entertained by other stuff.

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H.B.

answers from Denver on

We have Scholastic Books on DVD and our 22 month old loves them. There are about 5 or 6 stories on each DVD and they have great true to text illustrations and sometimes famous people read them. We used a 40% off coupon and got a set of 10 at Borders for $60. Not all of the DVDs in the set are appropriate for toddlers, but they will grow into them. Some of our favorites are Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type and The Snowy Day. Good luck with the move. We also have done the cross country drive and found between books, snacks, stickers, games and dvds, you too can make it. (My mom also gave us something for Christmas that was perfect for the car; She found a baking sheet that fit across car car seat and then proceeded to get leap frog fridge toys. It worked great).

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J.B.

answers from Billings on

B.,
Our son (22 months old now) has always liked any of the Baby Einstein videos. Our favorites are Newton, Galileo and DaVinci but seriously he likes them all! I would suggest you cruise your local library and borrow a few DVDs to try out. You can then buy which ones you like.

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J.L.

answers from Pocatello on

There is a series of videos out there called Eyewitness videos that are done by DK books. They are based on the Eyewitness book series and they are 1/2 hour videos on different subjects like the ocean, volcanoes, skeletons, birds, dinosaurs, etc. My kids absolutely love the as have all of their cousins and friends who have seen them. Even my 2 year old is fascinated with them.

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J.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My little boy loves "Curious George", "Auto-B-Good", "The Big Garage", "Handy Manny", and "Clifford". My son never really got into Sesame Street or Elmo and is just now at age 3 1/2 getting into "Go Diego Go" and "Thomas the Tank Engine". I would wait on VeggieTales because they are really designed for slightly older children (ages 4/5 and up). Our library has all of these on DVD's I would try them out and see what he likes, because every kid is different. Good Luck!

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My babies LOVE Little Einstein's. They like it better than Baby Einstein. They teach a ton about music, which I think is great since I am a piano teacher. Dora is fun and teaches Spanish. We also love Backyardigans (it is one even mom and dad will like) it has the cutest music!

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S.L.

answers from Boise on

Our favorites are the Leap Frog videos. Start out with the Letter Factory. Not that just having those videos will guarantee anything, but my oldest son loved the movie and liked to watch it a lot, even after he knew all his letters and sounds. But what shocked me is that his baby brother learned all his letters and sounds by the time he was 19 months, just by watching that video!
Leap Frog has a whole series of videos that my kids like, and they're truly educational, not just hand puppets "dancing" to inane music (sorry, I don't like the Baby Einstein garbage)
My parents live in Missouri, so I've made that trip with babies/toddlers several times. I have an iPod with video, but we only pulled that out when we absolutely had to. Books, songs, and toys were a great way to use the travel time to interact instead of just zoning out the kids. Although believe me, I know that you can't do it for the whole trip!
We have a See 'N Say with animal sounds that plays the Farmer in the Dell and Old McDonald. It's a favorite toy for trips, and we sing along with Old McDonald. Another fave is an activity cube from Big Lots. There are six different hings to play with, and no parts to get lost!
One advantage is that your son is young enough to sleep for a good portion of the trip.
And our favorite thing to take along when our trip will be continuing into the night is a GLOW STICK! Don't get the little skinny ones if your son is prone to putting things in his mouth. My son bit right through one and got the stuff inside (it's non-toxic, but still!) all over his face and blanket. And then he had no glow stick and was sad. Get the big fat ones!

(by the way, Between the Lions and Sid the Science Kid are just now getting interesting to my 4 year old. They were way over his head before, even though he's been reading small words since he was 3. I'd skip on those.)

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M.H.

answers from Grand Junction on

I have twin boys who are 5 and a little boy who is 2 and they love the BOZ movies. I order them on line from the MOPS Shop (Mothers of Preschoolers) website. They are educational, a tad religious and basically have a lot of really good lessons like manners, donating items, cleaning your room, eating veggies, bathing, things that make normal things fun. I have used these videos a lot and I like that they are (3) 15 minute videos so they can watch them in short or long intravals. Hope you find something that works for you and good luck on your drive.

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M.O.

answers from Denver on

With my daughter we use "Your Baby Can read" and yes, the goal is reading long before Kindergarden. Yes it does work! My daughter has only been watching them a few weeks and she already recognizing words like dog and cat and baby. Anyways, I really suggest you invest in it. The videos kep their attention and are really interactive.

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J.M.

answers from Denver on

We love the signing time videos, some of our favorites are Vol. 8 The Great Outdoors, Vol. 11 My Neighborhood, Vol. 5 ABC's, Series TWO Vol. 7 My Favorite Sports and Vol. 9 Zoo Train. They are similar to the Baby Signing Time videos but for ages 1-8 or so.

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B.

answers from Boise on

Hi B., Baby Einstein would be great for that age, as well as Elmo's world (he talks about a different subject with each episode- informative)- Veggie Tales is great, but I think when they're a little older- like 2 1/2 or 3 on up. Those are my thoughts! Have a great drive!

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L.L.

answers from Billings on

Signing Time has LOTS of videos available for purchase from their website (www.signingtimekids.org)--not just the baby sign one you mentioned (or is that Baby Signs and not Signing Time?). I have every episode DVR-ed and we own a couple DVDs, Julia loves them. They also have CDs of the signing time songs which are great on our long car trips. I love Signing Time and its Julia's favorite show. I think it teaches more than signs too, since they talk about reading, and friens, and sharing, and stuff.

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A.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Redbox!!! You can rent them here and return them there or anywhere on your trip. Just go online and check it out. You can have a new movie @ every stop for $1. We came to UT from MO and the trip was sooo long. We stopped @ every children's museum and park we could. Good luck!

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T.T.

answers from Denver on

All of those are actually very good. My kids love them and have learned a lot from them. In fact, my son's preschool teacher was impressed at how much Spanish he knew. We don't speak any Spanish in our house, so he learned it all from watching Dora and Diego! Baby Einstein is another good series of videos. My son could name all nine planets, knew all his shapes and colors by 18 months thanks to those. And Veggie Tales teach good morals like telling the truth and being kind to others.