I confess. When YouTube started out, way back in 2005, I was not a fan. But then, my first experiences with it were watching videos of teenaged girls trying to convince their boyfriends that they didn't sleep around, and the same boyfriends singing pathetic (and poorly sung) love songs while accompanying themselves on guitar. I thought it was all just a bit...lame. I had no interest in watching the videos, and there was no way on God's green earth that I would ever be caught dead uploading any personal video of mine. I have since changed my tune.
No, there are no videos starring me...yet. But if I had something worth posting, I just might do it.
I do, however, watch videos constantly. I've become something of an addict. Want to know how a giraffe gives birth? There's a video. Want to sing along to La Bamba, but don't know the words (who really does...)?. There's a video. Want to see the trailer for a surprisingly good Canadian film with a local Maple Leaf-y hunk? Yup, you got it - there's a video.
But what has really sold me on the absolute necessity of YouTube is it's entertainment value for youngsters. While I'm cooking dinner or endlessly getting children dressed in and out of snowsuits, I can keep the kids from screaming at me with Baby Einstein videos. There's full good-quality episodes of Baby Beethoven, Baby Galileo and Baby MacDonald in convenient 9 minute segments. (I haven't been able to find others yet, so if you know any, link me up people.)
I can show the kids the theme songs to some of my favourite childhood shows, as well as the theme songs for their favourite superhero. I find the actual shows too scary for him yet, but my older son knows all the words to Spiderman. We watch trippy Beatles videos (I'm impressed with my son's memory for Yellow Submarine), and even trippier Fantasia segments. That's Disney's Fantasia, not American Idol..
And, since everyone gets a turn choosing something they'd like to watch, when it's 'Mummy's Turn', I choose to introduce them to famous classical pieces. There are great videos of Vivaldi's Four Seasons that just show a series of pictures for each season. It's like Baby Einstein for adults. We watch orchestras play Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. It's fun to watch the kids' amazed faces when I explain what the conductor does, and what each instrument is called. My preschooler - of course - always NEEDS to know where the drums are at all times.
And because I am who I am, we also watch segments of The Sound of Music and West Side Story. Sondheim's Into the Woods is a must, too. Oo! And the Muppets!! I've missed the Swedish Chef and his Chocolate Moose and now he's just a click away. And this video is a personal favourite for both me AND my preschooler:
You see? I am an addict. Seriously, I don't know how young parents survived before YouTube. Do YouTube? If so, what are your favourite picks? I'm always on the hunt for new material.
Picture credit: Canada.com