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Family | LOOK AND LISTEN

Tuning in to the ABCs of Fitness

May 01, 1997|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Silly Willy Moves Through the ABC's. Educational Activities Inc., 25 minutes, CD: $14.95; cassette: $11.95. (800) 645-3739. Created by educator Brenda Colgate, this delightful audio release for young children, produced by Tim Horrigan, is filled with knowledgeable, friendly content, a seamless mix of music, fitness activities and alphabet and phonics pointers. The upbeat songs by Norma Roberts, with easy-to-follow lyrics, include a "Dinosaur Disco Dance," "The Gorilla Gallop," "The Wiggle Walk" and 23 other tunes, crafted with imagination and careful adherence to the tenets of positive child development.

Kids Count Workout. Kids Count Entertainment Inc., 30 minutes, $14.99. Sears or (800) KIDS-345. This uplifting video serves kids a generous, involving helping of encouragement and affirmation. Filmed on a colorful stage at the Chicago Children's Museum, two adults lead kids of different ages in warmups, stretches, fun exercises, a cool-down and gentle, guided imagery relaxation, offering sincere, positive strokes all along the way. Mom and Dad, older siblings and preschoolers may want to make this upbeat workout a family affair.

Come Dance With Us, Vol. 1. Mirakids, 50 minutes, $19.95. (800) 383-8811. This mostly likable move-to-the-music video makes kids want to join in as they watch children in outdoor locations bop to a pop beat, acting out such traditional songs as "This Old Man" and "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" and original songs by the Bumblebeez children's rock group: "Cows on the Moon," "Monkey See, Monkey Do" and "Freddy the Frog," among them. The flaw here is an overdose of special effects--slow- and fast-motion, split screen, multiple images and blurry dissolves--that work against the film's good-natured simplicity.

Chicken Fat & the Youth Fitness Video. Chicken Fat Enterprises/Kimbo Educational, 25 minutes. $14.95. (800) 631-2187. This cheery, basic exercise video opens with black-and-white clips of John F. Kennedy's speech galvanizing a national physical fitness program for youth, and '60s kids working out. The live-action video revisits Meredith Willson's exercise song of the time, "Go, You Chicken Fat, Go," as New Jersey-based Scott Drayer leads a group of '90s kids through two cycles of jumping jacks, toe touches, arm circles, sit-ups and so on.

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