CORE Education Facebook  Twitter 
Log in

The Babies Movie

  • Public
Started by Justine Mason 20 Jun 2011 11:42pm () Replies (8)

Recently a colleague lent me the DVD of BABIES and I got a chance to watch it  the other day .
The movie was released last year and follows four babies from different corners of the world, one from Namibia, one from Japan, one from Mongolia and one from America, from the moment they are born until they are one year old.
You can view the trailer to the movie here.
"Babies" provides a lens into four different cultures and the child rearing practices of each.
I was captivated by it, and want to share some of my reflections with you.
As I watched I was really tuned into the the ways the "babies" interacted with the people, places and things in their environments.
So often we do not take the time, pay attention or slow down long enough to see the complexities of children's interactions with the world around them.
The movie really reinforced for me the importance of taking time to watch young children and wonder at  the different ways they explore the world.
What strategies do you use in your setting that enable you to slow down, pay attention and notice children's interactions with the people places and things in the environment?

It is interesting to reflect also, on the resources the children had available to them. Two of the children had resources to explore that are really familiar to me eg. toys, books, rattles, ride on toys etc. Two of the children had  their immediate environment and the things in it  as their resources eg, animals, earth, water, bones, insects, stones etc.  
It appeared to make no difference to the way the infants played, developed and explored the world around them.

What resources do you have available for infants and toddlers in your settings? Are they the familiar toys, books, ride on toys, etc? what is available in the natural environment?
I would love you to contribute your stories about the opportunities you provide for children to explore the resources that the environment provides?

Has anyone watched the movie? what are your thoughts and reflections?


  • helen.cartwright (View all users posts) 22 Jun 2011 6:36am ()

    Hi Justine - lots of centres are watching the movie as part of a team meeting night (it is an hour and a half and then reflecting afterwards). 

    I was reminded of people, places and things when I watched the movie.  People were so important to the children two of the children whilst the other children seemed to be surrounded by things. 

    I also wondered about the role of older siblings in shaping younger ones as I watched the realtionships of brothers and sisters unfold.  I also highly reccommend the movie. 



  • Glenda Albon (View all users posts) 23 Jun 2011 8:22pm ()

    I too found the movie clearly showed the importance of adults slowing down to 'watch, wait and wonder' at the incredible moments of learning that these babies were discovering by themselves.

    I was amazed how they were showing wonderful communication skills with their peers and siblings, particularly the little ones in Namibia. The banging of the stone on the rock as they clearly mimicked events they had observed of the adults around them, demonstrated just how much infants observe about their world, then test out their own theories about what is happening.

    The innate trust they showed towards their mothers immediately at birth was amazing. I was struck how different some of the cultural practices were. The baby from Namibia was carried everywhere, very close to his mother, or older sibling. The American baby, and the baby from Japan were placed in strollers, jolly jumper, car seats etc and were 'entertained' by the adults , toys and equipment around them. Where as the babies from Namibia and Mongolia were allowed to freely explore their world.

    I find it interesting to consider just how much the adults in children's lives influence learning opportunities for our children. If we allow them time and space for them to explore and investigate by touching, shaking, kicking, waving, rolling, seeing hearing, smelling, tasting and so on, their learning is multi-dimensional. If a child pats, kicks or licks an object at the same time as they hear a sound it might make, or movement away or towards them, they are structuring several interlinked synapses, (brain connections) at one time.  

     When they are 'entertained' they are more likely to learn about their world in single dimensions. The reality is though, they ARE still learning something.

      I think this movie would be a great tool to share with other teachers, as they consider the various cultural upbringings that children in their care have experienced. How much does this impact on how these children behave or respond to the various situations they are placed in while in our care? Do they like to be held when going to sleep, or do they prefer to be placed in a cot and go off to sleep by themselves? When eating kai, do they expect to be fed by an adult or do they show an internal drive to want to do it for themselves?
    Do they initiate interactions from their peers or wait to be 'entertained'?

    Any one way is not necessarily right or wrong, but we need to consider what the child has experienced and what they predict will be happening next.

  • Kirsten Henderson (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2011 11:58pm ()

    Hi Justine

    Where can I access this movie?

    I would really love to know


  • Justine Mason (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2011 3:28am ()

    Kia ora Kirsten, great to see you here!

    What a good question, I know you can purchase the video on Amazon for between $20 and $30.

    I have not seen it for sale in stores, but then I havent been looking lately as I havent plucked up the courage to go to a shopping mall in Christchurch since February (LOL).

    Good luck, I'd love you to post your thoughts once you have accessed a copy and watched it.

  • Tara Fagan (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2011 3:54am ()


    It has been great following this discussion and I have heard so much about the movie but still not seen it.  This week, I ordered my own copy from Amazon at a cost of USD10.49.

    From the comments shared here, it certainly sounds as though I will enjoy watching it.

  • Tara Fagan (View all users posts) 11 Jul 2011 5:43am ()


    I watched the movie over the weekend.  WOW - what an insight, and what a great movie, I smiled throughout. 

    Despite the different ways of raising babies, all babies grew and learnt.  I couldn't help reflect that at times, our western way seemed 'artificial' as we used things - jolly jumpers, strollers, seats etc while people and natural resources were more evident in other cultures.   For me, it highlighted that there is not one right way but a multitude, and it did make me question just how do 'we' cater to all these different ways of raising babies.


  • Justine Mason (View all users posts) 14 Sep 2011 11:49am ()

    kia ora again

    itunes now have the BABIES movie available for $9.99

Join this group to contribute to discussions.