Almost any activity you do - whether that's pointing at a picture, singing nursery rhymes or explaining what you're doing as you do it - is a valuable learning opportunity for a baby.
From the moment they are born, a baby will begin to soak up images, sounds and information from their environment, and so educational videos are an excellent way to teach them more about the world they live in.
Videos for babies often focus on high contrast patterns and shapes, as these are simple yet engaging. Parents understand that young children can become easily overwhelmed, as their developing brains have to process huge amounts of data and information - and so these simple, graphic videos that show moving pictures and patterns allow their brains to rest - relaxing into a more meditative state. Whilst these videos might look boring to us, they can be soothing and engaging to a baby's developing brain.
We have gathered a list of thirteen educational videos that have been specifically designed to stimulate, entertain and educate very young minds.
ABCs and 123s: Educational Content for Baby
Sparkabilities Babies, by Sparkabilities
Sparkabilities is one of the best resources for educational videos. The YouTube channel is dedicated to teaching babies and young children the building blocks of knowledge, such as their ABCs and 123s, as well as colours, shapes, music, reading and maths. The channel has lots of different playlists, which are split by age - and the videos for babies that are 0 - 12 months have been designed with lots of colour and sound effect that emphasise sensory play and learning. Sparkabilities Babies is a 23-minute video that combines simple, graphic shapes, with colourful patterns and real-life images and footage. There are also elements of sign language, as well as more complex visuals that show how a flat oval shape can be transformed into a face or how a drawing of a diamond shape can become a colourful 3D jewel.
Baby Sign Language Basics - My First Signs: See and Sign with Baby, by Baby Einstein
Babies learn to communicate at a very young age, and though it may take them longer to replicate what they have learned, they soak up information and begin to communicate from 6 months old. This playful video is a great way to help their development, as it introduces 20 common words and phrases in both spoken and sign language. Help your children to express themselves before they have fully mastered verbal communication with this amazing educational resource that features a puppet show and a range of real-world images. Designed to teach you and your baby new and powerful ways to interact and communicate together.
Story Books for Babies
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Illuminated Films
Your baby will be enchanted by the beautiful visuals that accompany this classic children's story. Illustrated in the same style as the book, there are lots of colours, shapes and patterns to keep baby entertained, whilst being an opportunity for sensory learning - and the calming voice-over makes it a brilliant choice for winding down before a nap. Other videos that are available on the Illuminated Films YouTube channel include The Mixed-Up Chameleon and The Very Quiet Cricket, all of which have the same soothing tone and captivating visuals.
Sensory Videos and Abstract Images
Hey Bear Sensory Rainbow Dance Party by Hey Bear Sensory
Hey Bear Sensory offers lots of brilliant sensory videos for babies. Designed especially for very young children, lots of the videos on the Hey Bear Sensory channel are made in black and white, or with very high-contrast imagery, as this is best suited to newborns and very young children whose sight is still developing. Each video is an opportunity for your baby to learn lots of new visual information, which encourages eye coordination and focus in the first, formative months of their lives.
Baby Sensory 1 Hour Dancing Dots, by Siris06 C
The content couldn't be more simple - just black and red dots bounce around on a white background. But simplicity is key - and lots of parents report that their baby is hypnotised by the dancing dots, ceasing to cry or even falling asleep to this hour-long video. There are shorter 5-minute and 10-minute versions, but if your baby enjoys the song and the dancing dots, then the longer version might be best.
Classical Music for Babies
Baby Sensory - Bach for Baby Brain Development, by CheriEbooks - Kids Learning
Combining classical music by J.S. Bach with high-contrast moving images, this video is a brilliant choice for very young viewers. The 13-minute long video has a soothing effect on parents and babies alike, and the simple, graphic images include numbers and patterns, as well as animals, flowers and other shapes that kids will find fascinating.
Other videos on the CheriEbooks - Kids Learning channel see high contrast imagery set to music by Bach, including colourful cats, dancing dinosaurs and other animals that move around the screen in time with the soothing classical music.
Baby Sensory - Colour Animation 4 - Spirals - Infant Visual Stimulation, by Tiny Adventures TV
Set to songs by Mozart, your baby will love watching the simple graphics moving across and around the screen. Designed to captivate a baby's attention, the content encourages visual and auditory development in young children - stimulating, soothing and entertaining all at once. Newborns cannot see as clearly as older children, and so this video is mostly in black, white and red - as well as other bright colours - so that even the youngest viewers can appreciate the music and images. Baby sensory videos are believed to help a child's brain and eye coordination get better, as well as increasing baby's curiosity, focus and memory.
Mozart for Babies Brain Development, by SS.Channel Eng
This beautiful video combines the music of Mozart with calming, blurry visuals that twinkle and sparkle. The three-hour-long video is a perfect choice for baby and parent - having a soothing effect on both - and the uninterrupted calm makes it suitable for nap time or winding down at the end of the day.
Baby Einstein Baby Mozart Music Festival - Full Episode
The video shows a selection of complex, satisfying scientific objects and images, like planets rotating, and gyroscopes moving and interlocking circles. Unlike the other uninterrupted visuals, this video has a more 'show and tell' focus - showing lots of different toys, animals and objects - to entertain rather than hypnotise young viewers.