Being the father of a 5-year old girl, and a 3-year old boy, I’ve watched more than my fair share of Baby Einstein, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Maisy, Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, and Go, Diego, Go! videos over the last few years. Therefore, I somewhat have a feel for what works for the little ones with respect to video entertainment. However, when it came time to review the DVD “New York Yankees Baby,” I decided to go with the reaction of someone better suited for the task…specifically, my aforementioned kids.
First, allow me to scope out “New York Yankees Baby.” It’s a 30-minute DVD program, Yankees-themed, that’s broken into ten segments – nine “innings” of learning topics (such as “Let’s Go to the Ballpark!” or “Baseball Stuff” or “Baseball Colors & Shapes”) followed by an “Extra Inning!” of “Outtakes!” (from the production of the video). This DVD has everything that you would expect to see in an Infants/Toddlers video – plenty of songs/dancing and recognition/learning tools for things like counting, spelling, shapes and colors. Of course, it’s all accompanied by heaps of footage of Yankees gear, highlights, sights, etc.
Now, to the more important items here: Did my kids enjoy “New York Yankees Baby“?
Upon receipt of the DVD, we watched it all, together, for the first time ever.
My 5-year old daughter was glued to it – from start to finish. She especially liked the sections where the learnings were on the parts of the baseball field, baseball colors, shapes, spelling and counting. She enjoyed singing along with “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” – of course, that’s one of the first songs she ever learned…I made sure of that – and she laughed out loud during the “Outtakes!” section. When the DVD was over, her first reaction was “Can we watch that again?” (I told her that we would – another day as it was close to her bedtime.)
My 3-year old son was just as excited as his sister to watch it, at first. However, about halfway through he began to wonder off on to other things. At first, I was curious as to whether this reaction was due to lack of interest or perhaps the shortness of his attention span. Given his age, most would suspect that it could be the latter. Still, I’ve seen him sit through 90-minutes of watching Max & Ruby without ever leaving the room, so, I know that he can get locked into things – when he wants to be zoned-in. In any event, he came back to the room before we were done watching “New York Yankees Baby” – and he laughed just as hard as his sister during the “Outtakes!” section. Therefore, I suspected that maybe he just was wandering for the moment…as the DVD was not holding his interest.
At first blush, I took his reaction as a sign that perhaps this DVD was better suited for little ones closer to “sightly older than toddlers” (like my daughter) than for actual infants/toddlers. However, I soon learned otherwise.
After my kids and I watched “New York Yankees Baby” together on the family TV, (days later) I popped the DVD into my PC to watch it again – in order to prep for this review. While I had it on the PC, my son entered the room – and he started watching “New York Yankees Baby” with me – and he would not leave. He seemed just as glued to it as his sister did when she watched it the first time.
So, maybe his reaction that first time was just his mood at that moment? He certainly was interested to watch it when he unexpectedly found it playing on the PC.
Further, towards the end of our “PC” viewing of the DVD, his sister also walked into the room – to say “good-bye” as she (and my wife) was on her way to pre-school for the morning. When she saw what was on the PC-screen, she said “That’s the baseball DVD. Can we watch that again when I come home from school?” And, you could tell that she really wanted to stay and watch it (along with me and my son) – and was somewhat disappointed that we were watching it at a time where she had to leave the house. (She was probably thinking to herself “Hey, you promised me we could watch this again. Why are you watching this without me now?”)
I took this all as a good sign that “New York Yankees Baby” had the power of keeping kids interested during a repeat viewing. That’s a big thumbs-up when it comes to a kid’s endorsement of a video.
You probably get the idea by now: My kids, again, ages 3 and 5, did enjoy watching “New York Yankees Baby.” This DVD even got the “Can we watch it again?” seal of approval from my daughter. What more needs to be said?
Personally, I thought the narration during the DVD, done by George Steinbrenner, was not animated enough for kids. (Someone cartoonish – like John Sterling – would have been a better pick in my opinion.) But, my kids didn’t seem to mind at all. Between the music, dancing, baseball action, colors, counting and spelling, etc., there was enough to keep their interest.
There are two things in particular that I will remember about this “review” process.
When we watched it the first time, together, my son left the room before the “inning” where the DVD had the sing-a-long of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” And, actually, I stepped out of the room for a moment as well – to see what he was up to, elsewhere. It was at this time my wife said to me “You might want to get back in there and see this.” When I did get back to the TV, I found my 5-year old daughter in the room, by herself, singing along, out loud, to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” As a dad who’s a baseball nut, that was a cool moment.
Later, when I was watching the DVD with my 3-year old son, via the PC, I noted that he had the same reaction each time we saw a highlight of a Yankee making a great play or getting a big hit. It was one word, said with passion: Whoa! As a dad who’s a Yankees fanatic, in addition to being a baseball nut, that was music to my ears.
This all said, I would recommend “New York Yankees Baby” to any Yankees fan who has little kids. This DVD is entertaining for the little ones – and it’s not all fluff…as there are learning skills built into it (on spelling, counting, shapes, etc.) Further, for the parent who is a Yankees fan, “New York Yankees Baby” is a nice primer to introduce your kids into something that interests you as well.
Having your kids share interests with you, and vice versa, is a pretty important tool towards keeping the lines of communication open with your children – in my opinion. “New York Yankees Baby” lends towards building that shared interest. For that reason alone, picking up this DVD will be a good return on your investment.