Educational television choices for your toddler
So we have all read the studies right? Television is hurting our children, especially if watched before two years old. Television is the devil and turns our kids brains to mush. Studies findings include, stunted learning abilities, adhd and many other behavioral issues. I have even read studies showing television at a young age can cause depression in children.
Now as Americans, you can tell by all of the shows geared towards toddlers and even infants, we obviously are not heeding those studies results.
My son is two years old in a couple of days and I will be the first to admit, my son watches cartoons! Now he doesn't watch them all day of course or really for any long period of time, but I enjoy watching his face as his favorite characters come on the screen. His smile is always quick to follow. I do believe that maybe our children our too in touch with electronics so early, however this is the new world. Puppet shows and hunts in the woods are almost extinct, now replaced with children's lap tops and Weis. The average child will introduced to a computer of some sort by the age of three. So watching no television before 2 seems a bit impossible and impractical.
There are many great programs that can be picked up locally with a digital converter box and an antenae. My son basically only watches educational programs, i. e. PBS. They have some of the greatest little shows that teach everything from math, recognition, manners, sympathy and empathy. At almost two, he can recognize all his alphabet, count to 20 and many other strides that as a mother I am proud to report. I work with him alot, but the interactive television of Pbs, has helped immensely I know.
My conclusion would be these studies are flawed, I know one child can not change the findings. However I ask you how and in what manner television was introduced and watched. Obviously you can not expect television to teach your children, but I feel that they can be good tools in your child's learning. Think of the amount of flash cards and pictures you would need to create the sites, sounds and plot morals that are in one short educational show. To be honest, I was the parent who said she never would, but I am here to say television has not hurt nor stunted my child's growth and learning.
I would suggest watching what your child is watching and ask yourself what they are learning. If you can find no educational value, it may not be the cartoon for you. Watch what your child is watching with them, point out animals and objects and ask them to point them out. Talk about the colors, shapes, ask them to count. Make television interactive with your child, this is how they truly learn the best. Their minds are really sponges, make it fun to learn and you will instill a need for learning you can not pay for. Constantly talk to them and introduce new words. You will both be healthier and happier when you can break the word barrier.
- PBS: Public Broadcasting Service
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Okay this may seem that this should be a PBS is fabulous story, but really they have great educational programing that is by it self partially interactive.
Sesame Street- Long time favorite for a reason. This show combines all the learning you could hope for in one hour. Numbers, alphabet, manners, empathy and a whole lot more. It is broken up in to small segments for little minds to keep up with, but also has a running story for older children to solve.
Super Why-A cute little cartoon that brings all the traditional fairy tales to life with a spin. There is always a problem to solve and it focuses on manners and alphabet. Rhyming and singing the alphabet song are always favorites of my son.
Word World-Also a cartoon focused on alphabet and spelling. The neat thing about this cartoon is all the characters and scene are actually the words spelled out. Manners and friendship are also high on the list of learning.
Electric Company-The revamped version is great in so many ways. Although it is geared for children in school already, there is a lot to learn for little minds there too. The singing and constant change of skits, keeps the young mind intrigued. My son gets up and dances most of this show, so I will count this one as a little exercise too.
Also great shows to be found on your local Pbs is
Clifford the big red dog