Sunday, May 06, 2007

Baby IQ Saved My Brain

I love Baby IQ.

I have no interest in using multimedia to boost my child's brainpower. I have no interest in doing anything to boost my child's brainpower, other than love her and engage her and encourage her to be engaged with the world around her. So, DVDs that purport to make my kid smarter? Bah. Not interested.

But Baby IQ is not that DVD. Sure, they bill themselves as educational. Sure, they market themselves to the same sort of aspiring-but-very-possibly-very-lazy competiparent that is Baby Einstein's target market. But they've done a couple of things differently - a couple of things that make all the difference:

1) They've put together a DVD that is lovely to watch and listen to. Zen, even. Gorgeous images, and the Londony Symphony orchestra. No harpsichord. No tinny canned piano. No musical abridgment for little ears. This is real music. This is good.

(I can't emphasize this enough. So much of what is produced musically for children makes my ears bleed. To have a CD or DVD that I can stick in our stereo system and enjoy with WonderBaby is huge. HUGE. I played this DVD over and over again, in place of some of our usual classical music CDs - we enjoyed the music together and named the images as they came on screen and it was pleasant and relaxing and no-one had to punch themselves in the ears at the end of it. Nice.)

2) The Baby IQ organization partners with other organizations - in particular, the UK's National Literacy Trust - to support literacy and early childhood learning.

3) Did I mention that the music is really, really good?

4) Oh, and WonderBaby enjoyed watching it for minutes at a time. Sweet, sweet minutes of a wonderfully still WonderBaby, directing her hoots and hollers to the screen. And! No dancing purple dinosaurs!

5) The music is really good.

Again - I don't care if this DVD boosts WonderBaby's brainpower. I don't expect it to, and frankly, I could stand for her brain to actually slow down a little bit. And, in any case, I don't fish out the DVDs for learnin' - I pull out the DVD's so that we can have a little distraction, a little respite from singing and dancing and playing jungle-gym on the dining room furniture. And Baby IQ does that job beautifully.

And that's all they promise, really - to make your baby smile while not causing your brain to dissolve and ooze out your ears onto your freshly-Swiffered floors. (Okay, so they only claim the 'make your baby smile' part. But isn't 'brain-won't-dissolve' part just as important? They should put that on their promotional literature. Because making my baby smile is the easy part.)

Check out more reviews of Baby IQ through the Parent Bloggers Network over the coming weeks, and check out the Baby IQ website to watch a demo of the DVD.

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