We love Blippi! This charismatic YouTube personality has helped and engaged our son with his orange glasses and suspenders, his dance moves and entertaining educational topics. I have always been uneasy about allowing time for our son to immerse himself in digital media (iPad, AppleTV, PrimeVideo), but after seeing subjects, I find uninteresting, pop up, engage him and help his vocabulary and his confidence in engaging with others, my feelings have changed.
At 2 years old, my son did not have much to say and expressed limited vocabulary. My husband and I constantly talked to him, took him places and described everything we encountered. We started First Steps three months after his second birthday and have continued weekly speech therapy and biweekly occupation therapy. (Our therapists are awesome, BTW!) My son’s vocabulary has greatly expanded in the past 6 months. This was around the time he discovered Blippi and his Garbage Truck episode. My son’s therapists and our family have helped, but we also credit some of his vocabulary on Blippi. If you asked our son today what he wanted to watch on tv or his iPad, it would be Blippi and then he would lovingly SPELL it for you. B L I P P I, Blippi!
For those not using digital media with your toddler, you may have never heard of Blippi. He is identifiable by his bright orange glasses, suspenders and blue and orange beret. He has animated dance moves, makes funny noises and captures my son’s attention as no Mickey Mouse episode can.
We love watching Blippi explore playgrounds, trampoline parks, zoos, museums and especially exploring every type of truck or tractor imaginable. My son’s favorite episode is about garbage trucks. Blippi shows all these fun experiences and manages to teach his audience letters, numbers, colors and social responsibility, such as Recycling.
He has catchy jingles for favorites like, Firetrucks, Police Cars, Tractors and going to the Zoo. I have even learned little factoids during Blippi videos and as a parent who has the pleasure of listening to these videos and songs over and over; I do not find them overly annoying as other cartoon jingles. My son asks for Blippi Teeth when we brush our teeth and he ends up “brushing,” as a toddler does, almost the length of song, making our dentist very happy.
It was surprising to have our son one day tell me something was BROWN, when I had never heard him say the word, let alone how to use it correctly to identify something. I would love to take the credit for teaching him all his colors, letters and numbers, types of trucks and tractors, but I really have to credit our friend Blippi. Many of his videos describe, spell and display colors, letters and numbers. Every video ends with him spelling his name, thus our son’s ability to spell at an early age.
Our tv is not our babysitter, his iPad is not his only mode of teaching and interacting with the world. These devices have become an addition to our everyday life. We still read books at night, play outside, go to the library to check out movies, cd’s and enjoy storytime, but digital media does play into our everyday routine.
Blippi has been a connection point I have not been able to provide my son. We as parents want to be the provider of experiences for our kids. Sometimes, we cannot be the person that helps our kids make the connection to ideas or things. Blippi has been someone that my son gets excited to see and hear. His songs are what my son requests while we drive around town and we are the one’s blaring, “Firetruck,” as we drive by the fire station on the way to swim lessons. Our son was never one to attach himself to a stuffed animal or blanket, but his Blippi doll joins us more than any toy he owns.
We could not be prouder of the strides our son has taken in 6 months with his language skills. My belief is his exposure to videos like Blippi are helping. I never thought my child would be able to identify:
- his written name
- or spell Blippi by 2 ½ years.
I was not a big supporter of giving our son our old iPad for entertainment, but sometimes as parents, we just gotta do it! We parents occasionally need a break to do chores or cook dinner and for my family, we use digital media. Having content by creators like Blippi makes me feel more secure in allowing my son to watch videos. Good quality videos take him to other places, learn about people and help him associate with the world around him. Thank you Blippi!