Suzy, age 4, is a huge fan of Sesame Street, and through television as a teacher, she happily counts and sings in Spanish with a smile on her face. James, age 6, enjoys watching nature and wildlife documentaries, and although he may not comprehend everything, he has picked up an incredible amount of knowledge about animals.
Preschoolers are naturally drawn to programs that promote education through novel and entertaining means, such as those starring a big yellow bird or a purple dinosaur. However, some forethought and preparation are needed to use television as a teaching tool rather than a babysitter. But how do you find that happy medium?
Is this good or bad?
Whether or not television is beneficial for children is a debate that has raged among parents and professionals for decades. No one knows for sure, but a child’s age plays a role in the effects they’ll feel (the American Academy of Pediatrics says kids under the age of 2 don’t need to watch any because of their stage of development). The amount of television, the types of shows watched, and whether or not your child watches alone are also important considerations.
Television has tremendous potential as a teaching medium if used properly. Sharing, cooperation, and even the use of one’s imagination and creativity can all be learned through this method. The children in these programs are exposed to new languages and cultures. In the long run, it can help kids develop a healthy love of learning by getting them interested in reading to exposing them to the performing arts.
Appropriateness for the Age Group
Consider your child’s age as a starting point for determining whether a particular TV show is appropriate for them. Keep him away from shows where the plot or emotions are too complex for him to grasp. He’ll be thrown off, and he might make some hasty assumptions.
Many shows are available that are both entertaining and instructive for kids. TV shows on public television, such as Sesame Street, WordGirl, Super Why!, and Barney & Friends, are excellent options. These programs inspire viewers to learn the alphabet, count to ten, work together, share, accept one another, and travel the world.
Sit down and share some screen time with your kid. Inquire of her, “Can we expect this to occur? I’m curious as to what you anticipate will occur. Consider some alternate methods that persona could have used to get the job done.” Compare and contrast the fantastic with the mundane.
You can also do a follow-up when watching shows with your kids. When watching certain shows, we pick up on subtle observations that we don’t always share. It’s a bad idea to do that. Short-term memory is where new information is stored until the child can make a connection to something she already knows or has experienced. Create that connection by discussing and summarizing the show with your child.
Diverse forms of media
Books can be used as a complementary resource to various courses. A simple book on Latin American culture or crafting can help you understand a television show about Mexican children weaving rugs. Find some picture books that have morals or themes similar to the show you saw on TV.
Think about adding some DVDs to your Netflix queue, or visit the library once more for free choices. Pick out videos that go along with the book, such as those that focus on animals, the alphabet, counting, and learning songs. Make sure your kid has access to the book so they can read along with the show.
Mix it up
Get some variety in the shows you watch. Watch documentaries about wild or aquatic animals, animal parenting, or programs about other countries or regions of the world in addition to educational programming for kids. The wide world outside your child’s immediate experience can be introduced to him through television. Check out some library books on the same or related subjects to continue your research after watching these shows.
You should limit your kid’s screen time to no more than 30–2 hours per day, no matter how good the content is. That means picking the best shows very, very carefully. It wouldn’t be unusual for a child to watch educational television for several additional hours. However, watching TV together shouldn’t take the place of doing things like reading aloud or playing outside.
Meaningful articles you might like: 8 Strategies to Encourage Children to Cooperate, Educate and Encourage Your Child to Reduce Screen Time, 6 Solutions To Your Kids and Teens Screen Time Woes