Ethan has only recently started to get into watching YouTube. Previously he'd watched a few nursery rhyme type videos and seemed to enjoy them, but he'd never really sat down with my phone and used it himself to find videos to watch.
More recently however he's been really interested in browsing around YouTube himself. Anyone that reads my blog or follows us on social media will know that Ethan is totally and utterly airplane obsessed, so he loves looking up plane videos and really enjoys watching them.
Like the TV, things are done in moderation, including time spent watching YouTube videos. But I really love how unlike with the TV as such, kids can actually scroll using their finger between videos and choose what suits them. And I also love how much they can learn from the different videos available too.
Ethan already knows a lot of the old and new aircraft, it's something he's learnt with his Grandpop from going to airshows and reading through books. But watching videos with vintage aircraft helps to reinforce the different names of the planes, which is amazing. He knows more name of planes than I've ever known and people are shocked when they hear him talk about old planes that don't even fly anymore.
Another thing that Ethan likes to watch is educational rhyme type videos like those on ChuChuTV. I think these sorts of videos are amazing for teaching toddlers and pre schoolers. They teach them different animal names and what the names of baby animals are. They teach them the alphabet and how to count. They teach them the names of fruit and vegetables and the names of different colours. And the list goes on - there's so many different videos providing some sort of educational element, whilst being fun, enjoyable and watchable.
I guess the bright colours, the fun music and the different characters all play a part in keeping our little ones interest, but for us as parents, the best part is when our child comes up to us and shows us they can count to 20 better than they could before or that they are confident in knowing all of the names of baby animals.
I don't think that video should replace learning in other ways and learning from us as their parents at all, but I love that it's an extra, it's an aid and another way of learning. It's sort of TV time, but with an educational element.
Here's a clever video from ChuChuTV incorporating surprise eggs (which most of us parents with young children will know our kids love) with learning about baby wild animals and animals sounds that I think is a great example.You can find more just like it over at ChuChuTV Surprise.