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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Purpose of DVD is to model positive behavior for parents interacting with babies and young children. Shows a variety of caregiving arrangements -- father, grandmother, aunt, mother. Makes an effort to portray cultural and racial diversity.
Products & Purchases
Some might consider Sesame Street characters themselves to be products, and in that sense, this DVD introduces these products to children at an extremely young age.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that BEGINNING TOGETHER is expressly designed for children as young as six months. Both Common Sense Media and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise against allowing children younger than 2 to watch television and other screen media. Studies have raised concerns that early exposure to television could be detrimental to attention span and cognitive development.
That issue aside, Beginning Together is a high quality production teaching positive skills to parents of young children while presenting engaging images and characters that young children will enjoy watching. As you'd expect from Sesame Street, the DVD portrays a variety of family situations and makes an effort to be culturally diverse. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Overall, the material is up to the standards one would expect from Sesame Street -- great characters, educational lessons, fun music, and the occasional celebrity appearance. BEGINNING TOGETHER is the first DVD in the "Sesame Beginnings" series produced by Sesame Workshop in partnership with Zero to Three, an educational organization co-founded by famed pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton. The DVD is designed for babies 6 months and older. With this series, Sesame Workshop and Zero to Three flout the American Academy of Pediatrics' (and Common Sense Media's) recommendation that children under 2 avoid all screen media (TV, computers, DVDs, videos). This decision has prompted outcry from some child development experts, including Brazelton himself.
If you decide to hold off on this series until your child is 2, she will probably still find the material engaging despite the emphasis on younger children. But since much of the material is designed for the caregiver of a baby, viewers with kids past 2 will find the lessons less useful.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate