One of my favorite Twitter feeds these days is Los Feliz Day Care, a dead-on parody of uptight, ultra-P.C. parenting and educational tactics. Whether or not you’re a parent, you should seriously check it out — you will cackle daily. As the mother of a 5-year-old in Los Angeles, I can attest that these quips featuring unusual kid names (Gumbo, Ryker, Pezz), non-denominational holiday celebrations and gourmet, vegan lunchbox items aren’t too far off from reality.
So I reached out to the center’s top “child care provider” (TV writer Jason Shapiro) to see if he’d be interested in providing a list of some of his favorite movies to show the children at LFDC. He graciously picked five films to help grow your child’s mind. I feel more enlightened already.
Top Five Films to Grow Your Child’s Mind
I have chosen to include just documentaries because they are the only appropriate films to show a growing child. Documentaries show the world as it is, not through the lens of a corporate entity that is trying to sell you the latest product.
“Food, Inc.” (2009): There is nothing more important than what our friends (children) put into their bodies. Food is the lifeblood of learning and if you are fueling with hydrogenated oils, GMOs, hormone-filled meats and other garbage, you may tragically end up as the star of a reality television program. “Food, Inc.” is the most important film since “The Magnificent Ambersons.” (“Citizen Kane” was also good, but way too mainstream).
“Blackfish” (2013): Thinking of taking that family vacation to Sea World? If the answer is yes, consider yourself blacklisted from Los Feliz Day Care. “Blackfish” is an eye-opening film for children, and often disturbing, but it’s important not to sugarcoat the reality of whale captivity. They can deal with the residual feelings through tapping, acupuncture and talk therapy.
“Bully” (2012): Learning environments should always feel safe, and this film promotes that kind of emotional safety. LFDC has been a bully-free zone since April of 2012 and we can thank this film for a small part of that. Most of the credit should be given to Edie’s dads for creating the brilliant hashtag, #BullyBusting2k12. The only appropriate “bullying” that takes place at LFDC is bullying our neighbors into composting their garbage. Mother Gaia depends on us for this.
“Juno” (2007): OK, maybe “Juno” isn’t a documentary, but we’ll always make an exception for Diablo Cody. “Juno” teaches courage, responsibility, some of the hardships of growing up, and above all, quirk. New LFDC applicants must be at least a 6 out of 10 on the Anderson Quirk Scale, and this film is always required watching upon acceptance.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (2010): Food may be the lifeblood of learning, but art is the lifeblood of the food that is the lifeblood of learning. That makes perfect sense, yes? Art stimulates children’s minds and no film in recent memory stimulates our creativity more than “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Also, we’re not saying we know who Banksy is, but she may or may not have given a private street art seminar during our 2013 Festival of The Divine Female Arts Show.