Feb. 4th, 2017

naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Octonauts

Adorable, educational, adventurous, ocean-centric... great for the pre-school to early elementary school set. And the rabbit engineer who builds and repairs the submarines is a girl.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Backyardigans

Adorable without being insipid, and of course a backyard can become anywhere you can imagine. Good for the preschool to early elementary school set.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Kratts

Live-action and animated adventures, with great info about animals and ecology. Great for the elementary school set.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_McStuffins

Great for the preschool set... if the kid has watched this they have less anxiety about seeing doctors or dentists, and get good background toward understanding basic bodily processes, self-care and first aid.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_Rainbow

https://www.readingrainbow.com/

Excellent, excellent, excellent for kids as they learn to read. There's an annual cost of the app and it's totally, completely worth it.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
Nintendo Wii with Balance Board and the Wii Fit Plus disc, along with the Sports Resort disc... I've found them in good used condition at http://www.gamestop.com/ .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit_Plus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Sports_Resort

Great for improving balance and physical coordination. Especially good for times when the weather outside or the available yard space does not let the kids just go run around, or getting the whole crew to the park is too logistically complicated.

Grown-ups need to participate when the kids go into multiplayer game play, to assist if/when competition gets too confrontational... reminding everyone that we're all going for our Personal Bests is so important.

Make sure everyone understands the rules: wearing the safety wrist-strap for the wiimote is REQUIRED (otherwise the wiimote will go flying, possibly wrecking the television).

I've tried several other game discs for the Wii and have been unimpressed. The only ones we've had any success with, aside from the ones listed above, are ones from the Just Dance series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Dance_(video_game)
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
There's a whole series of these, and many of them are also available as audiobooks. They are pleasant, and teach all kinds of useful life lessons in an accessible way.

http://www.kidsbookseries.com/disney-fairies-chapter-books/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Fairies

I've found many of them decently priced used via Amazon Smile, and our local public library has some of them.

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