DVDs That Help Teach Kids to Read

Can watching TV help kids learn to read? These DVDs encourage reading through teaching reading principles or by providing subtitles for kids to read along with a story. Some of the techniques employed by the reading programs can be highly effective in helping children learn and getting them excited about reading.

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Read-TV, Volume One: Do What You Love

Read-TV DVD Cover
Photo courtesy Read-TV

Read-TV: Do What You Love presents six stories which are creatively captioned in order to help children learn to read. The stories are first told aloud along with the captioning, and then the story is presented without the reading voice, so that children may read the words themselves.

The stories are filmed using real world footage of people and animals acting out the stories. Many times, the words are presented in a manner to help children derive the meaning. For example, the word "stripes" is written in stripes, and the word "big" is bigger than the other words in the captioning. The stories also contain rhyming and repetition, which also help children master reading.

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Meet the Sight Words

Meet the Sight Words
Photo © Preschool Prep

Meet the Sight Words uses colorful animation and repetition to familiarize children with common words that are useful for early readers. Some of these sight words do not follow general phonetical rules, so children will have a much easier time learning to read if these rule-breakers are memorized early on. Children will also learn other small and simple words which are encountered frequently when reading. Each DVD covers over 15 kindergarten sight words.

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Your Baby Can Read! - DVD Set

Your Baby Can Read
Photo © Penton Overseas

Your Baby Can Read! is an early language development system for infants and toddlers. Based on the research of Dr. Robert Titzer, the DVDs employ whole reading and some phonics to help babies learn language patterns during an optimal time when their brains are developing rapidly and are intensely focused on picking up language patterns.

Whether or not the program works for babies, the DVDs are great for kids who are learning to read. In each DVD, children are presented with large, clearly printed words. Animation guides children to read the words from left to right, and the word is spoken by a narrator. The DVD also shows pictures of the word, and the word is repeated, used in sentences, and otherwise demonstrated to children.

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Scholastic DVDs

Photo © Scholastic

Scholastic DVDs are animated adaptations of many of the most beloved story books. The DVDs are narrated using the exact words from the stories themselves, and even the animation in the DVDs usually matches that of the books. In addition, the DVDs offer read along versions of the stories, so children can read subtitles as the narrator tells the story. Parents and teachers can also encourage kids to read books by letting kids watch the story on DVD after they read it.

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Leap Frog DVDs

Leap Frog

Leap Frog DVDs are produced by the same company that makes the popular line of Leap Frog learning toys for children. The animated DVDs feature their signature frog characters, and teach a variety of early literacy and reading skills. The series features the following reading readiness DVDs:

Leap Frog - Letter Factory
Leap Frog - Talking Words Factory
Leap Frog - Talking Words Factory 2 - Code Word Caper
Leap Frog - Learn to Read at the Storybook Factory
Math Circus


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Emma's Extravagant Expedition

Emma the Embellished Elephant
Photo © Word Smart Productions
Emma's Extravagant Expedition

takes kids on a storybook adventure that will entertain and educate. With the goal of advanced vocabulary building in mind, a story is narrated to kids as they see the pages with the pictures and the text. The story incorporates words like malicious, benevolent, monotonous, simultaneous, and many more. The DVD also contains an exercise called the Vocabulary Builder, which uses multiple choice questions to help kids learn the meanings of a selection of vocabulary words from the story. (Ages 4-7, NR)