I know, I know, everyone else has been watching stuff on YouTube for years, if not uploading everything from home video clips of their baby gurgling to abstruse original short films about gurgling babies exploding in outer space in multiple dimensions. Our Internet connection speed at home was so slow, though, that it would take ten minutes to download a three-minute video, each time we wanted to see it. So I never bothered exploring YouTube.
A couple of weeks ago, however, we increased our DSL bandwith and now I can click on a video and watch it instantly. Magic! This opens up a whole new French-speaking universe for Griffin and moi.
Here's my newest discovery which makes both of us happy: I can find animated comptines (nursery rhymes) in French, some of which are even bearable to watch repeatedly! The ones I like best (so far) are called "clipounets" and draw from the karaoke tradition by highlighting the lyrics word by word as they are sung. Griffin asks for "L'araignee Gypsie" over and over, singing along (and sounding so gosh durn cute).
The accompanying blurb directs us YouTubers to the clipounets website ("le site musical des touts-petits"), which seems extremely well-organized, even suggesting minimum viewing ages for the different songs (according to their level of sophistication? or perhaps the number of violent acts depicted in the nursery rhymes, some of which are unusually cruel and bloody?). The website also appears to offer stories and other materials to listen to.
I say "seems to" and "appears to" because apparently you have to subscribe in order to listen to everything on the site, not just the few teasers they have posted to YouTube. At seven euros a month for the subscription, it had better fold my laundry and do the dishes while it plays songs for my kid!
(Since it apparently doesn't, I haven't subscribed, natch.)
Over at Bilingual for Fun, they offered these words of wisdom about using YouTube when raising children with more than one language, making the point that anything that increases kids' motivation to see and hear other speakers is a good thing. (They also link to their playlists of videos for kids in other languages--thanks!)
Any other suggestions for using YouTube with our young'uns? And surely someone can direct us to more videos in French appropriate for toddlers like Griffin! Gurgle gurgle gurgle.