Great movies to sneeze and cough to

Bring the great outdoors inside to cheer up a sick kid.

While TV time is usually kept to a minimum, Diane decides to indulge her sick daughter with a selection of nature-themed documentaries

We’re not big TV watchers. Initially we skipped the glowing rectangular orb, because new studies about its damaging effects on children younger than three (which include attention problems, sleep disruptions and weight gains) coincided with Maia’s babyhood.

After she passed through the vulnerable toddler years we decided we didn’t want to use TV as a crutch to help us navigate childhood. I didn’t want to turn on the TV to block out her inquisitive questions or keep her occupied and out of my hair. Instead I wanted Maia to learn how to keep herself busy and use her imagination to entertain herself, without zoning out.

Now that she’s 8, we find Maia isn’t terribly interested in movies or TV. She’s much more likely to pick up a book or build herself an elaborate stuffed animal city than to ask for a movie. When she does watch TV, she’s pretty selective about what she sees. And if she’s on a play date and the movies come out, she tends to find a book or a toy to keep herself busy, unless the movie is really good.

Pretty much the only time Maia watches movies is when we do it together, as a family, for a treat.

Or when she’s sick.

I know she can read or play when she’s sniffing and sniveling, but there is something wonderfully indulgent about curling up with a blanket (and a hot lemon drink or ginger tea) and watching something you love. I’ve always leaned toward old movies when I’m sick, but for Maia we’ve hunted out beautiful nature documentaries. Our thought was she feels happiest when we’re out in the natural world, so why not bring that (rather than some Disney thing with a dead mother) into our home when she feels yucky.

So, to go along with last week’s post on cold remedies, here are our recommendations for…


Great movies to sneeze and cough to:


BBC Planet Earth: The Complete Series

Nature’s Most Amazing Events

Wild Pacific

Africa, The Serengeti

Alaska, Spirit of the Wild

Antarctica, An Adventure of a Different Nature

Ocean Oasis

Australia, Land Beyond Time

Coral Reef Adventure

Many of these are available from the Vancouver Public Library. We tend to borrow them first, and then if they are really well loved we’ll add them to birthday and Christmas wish lists. Makes it easy for the grandparents…

What are your thoughts on kids and TV?