A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, while this program is pleasant and nicely presented, it's definitely meant to appeal to babies under the 24-month mark, and -- like the American Academy of Pediatrics -- Common Sense Media doesn't recommend movies or television for children under 2. Parents who do decide to show this to their youngest will note that babies love the bright colors in this multi-hued feast. Brilliant colors ooze and pop across the screen, accompanied by one of the best classical music soundtracks for babies. Research suggests that classical music stimulates spatial understanding, a must for math and science. Classical music seems also to promote emotional health. But maybe you should just stick with CDs for now. Toddlers will come away with something concrete: color names and rules for color mixing.
What's the story?
BABYSCAPES: CELEBRATION OF COLOR begins with a fireworks display choreographed to Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto #3." Six scenes follow. In each scene, computer-animated shapes of a single color (blue, red, yellow, green, purple, or orange) move across the screen. Some of the scenes are abstract; some contain the shapes of plants and animals. For example, the blue scene begins abstractly, as three-dimensional shapes fall out of the sky. The shapes change into animals: first birds flying in V-formation, then fish swimming in a school. The transformation delights the eye and makes a clever point about spatial relations. The soundtrack contains works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, and Boccherini.
Is it any good?
BabyScapes recommends Celebration of Color for children eight months and older, but babies will likely enjoy this colorful video even earlier than that. Infants can see color six weeks from birth and prefer it to blacks, whites, and dull tones. The strength of this video is the computer animation. Except for the yellow scene, when the color is ugly and the scene weird, the images are enthralling and colors rich and vibrant. The blue and green scenes are the best. The beautiful, varied music guarantees the video's appeal.
Unlike its predecessor, Baby's Smart Start, Celebration of Color will work for toddlers, too. No toddler will sit and watch the entire video, but the color explosions will grab children's attention. Parents can use these moments to name the colors. They can also direct their child's attention to the beginning of the last three scenes, when green, purple, and orange are made from blue, red, and yellow.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the vibrant colors in this program, and search inside and outdoors for items of the same colors.
Talk about the different pieces of music in the program and the different emotions they evoked. Did parts of the music sound happy? Sad? Did it make you want to dance or sit down and have a quiet moment?
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