Continuing the discussion of great movie gifts for kids and families, I'd like to highlight some of the best science-based DVDs and Blu-rays for kids. But first, don't forget to tune into your PBS station tomorrow for the Christmas special "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!" (check you local station for times).
The one-hour holiday special follows the Cat in the Hat, Nick, and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas. On the way, the Thingamajigger breaks down and they depend on a variety of animals - from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs - and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.
And, if your kids are in need of something to do, you can make a game that will be fun to play and reinforce the educational elements of the show. Print out a few pictures from the internet of Christmas animals: maybe a mouse in a Santa hat, a donkey, a lamb or other animals. Show kids the pictures, and talk to them about how these animals adapt to their environment. Ask them questions about what special characteristics each animal has that help it to find food, protect itself from predators, keep warm and more. You could also talk about animals that are carnivores or herbivores and some that are nocturnal. Young children will have a blast learning about animals with a Christmas spin.
I love shows like The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, because not only are they fun and educational for kids, they are also helpful for parents. Each episode of the show focuses on a different scientific principle, and that makes it easy for parents to think of related science projects for young kids that are simple and geared to their level of learning. With that in mind, DVDs based on these shows make excellent gifts for kids, and they can easily be paired with related books, toys and science kits to expand the learning and the fun. Here are some great titles featuring science shows for kids, along with gift ideas related to the shows.
(Photo © Disney/CB)