Until we went on holiday in October, N had never watched a film all the way through. He could just about sit still for the 30 minutes of a Tractor Ted dvd, and had managed to watch 40 minutes or so or Rio (and had never seen the end because he always wanted to start it again from the beginning). But a proper film, animated or otherwise was a no no.
Obviously I don’t want him to be a tv-head, never going outside, or playing off his own back with toys, boxes, crafts or the like, but it can be useful sometimes if I’m busy and just need to get something done or if he’s off nursery sick and I’m trying to work from home.
It seemed that the holiday was a turning point, with the excitement of having a shelf of DVDs to choose from. Very few were suitable in my view, as obviously a self-catering cottage is not going to cater solely for young children’s films. I tried to point him towards the 2 or 3 animated children’s films on the first afternoon that he was chilling out and asking to watch a film. But he wasn’t having any of that. No, it had to be Spiderman. Which is a 12 movie, and what I wouldn’t class as a film I’d really want my 3 year old to watch.
I put him off one day and he was happy with a bit of cbeebies, but the next day, the Spiderman dvd was shoved in front of my nose. The OH didn’t seem that bothered, so we all sat down to watch. N had a wander out halfway through to get a drink, but otherwise sat and watched the whole film. I couldn’t believe it. I did wander if it would spook him out a bit, or cause him to ask lots of questions that I wouldn’t be ready to answer given there’s quite a lot of violence in it. But nothing.
The next day I decided to buy some Disney films when I saw them on offer. Much more appropriate viewing for a 3 year old, and a chance for me to reminisce over the films I’ve seen as a child.
First of all, N didn’t fancy those. He wanted to watch another film from the cottage, Flushed Away. Ok, that worked, although after a while he got a bit bored of that. Maybe the addition of music would work.
So another day we tried Jungle Book. I think it’s a classic, and N obviously thinks so too. He was transfixed from the start. Baloo had him chuckling and even now, weeks later, he’ll start scratching his back on a door frame or the bath, or even someone’s leg (not sure I should encourage that one!). He loved King Louie and the monkeys, and even seemed quite taken with the girl at the end. Although I think Mowgli having long hair confused him a bit as he kept asking about ‘her’ and ‘she’.
So The Jungle Book was a success. Since coming home he’s not been as keen to watch movies as he was on holiday. Maybe having fewer toys or less food as a distraction helped? But he has finally managed to watch the whole of Rio so knows how it ends, and he keeps trying to get me to buy more DVDs from the displays in supermarkets. He does have a few more films on his pile – Peter Pan, Monsters Inc and Toy Story – but doesn’t seem too fussed about having them on. He still prefers the quick snappy Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit and Tractor Ted. Hopefully nearer Christmas we’ll be able to add some more to his collection…preferably not Frozen which he always picks up in the supermarket. I think nursery have brainwashed him with Frozen, but there’s no way I’ll hack having to listen to Let it Go all the time.
What films do your children love? What films would you recommend we look to add to our collection?