Guilt-Free TV Viewing for Kids
As parents, it’s easy to feel guilty when we resort to using TV to entertain or educate our kids. But are we being too hard on ourselves when we do that? The short answer is, “Yes.” But you need to make sure you’re doing more than just turning on the TV or computer, sitting your child down and leaving.
One parent suggests:
“I can say personally that when my preschooler asks a question I don’t know the answer to, bringing up a kid-friendly explanation on YouTube and watching it together and then discussing is a great way to integrate screen time effectively. One example is when my son asked what ocean waves are and how they form. I assumed it was the wind, but we watched a video on YouTube and both learned way more than my simple ‘it’s wind’ explanation.”
Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy’s Chief Academic Officer says that’s an ideal example of how to approach TV time for children. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, when considering television programs, online apps and streaming media for toddlers and preschoolers, it’s critically important to choose those with high-quality educational value. You need to do proper research and put in due diligence when it comes to choosing the correct programming. Almost as important as the content value, is using them together with your children. As in school, this is how toddlers and preschoolers learn best, by sharing the experience with a teacher, caregiver or parent. Co-viewing allows for the parent to engage in active learning by discussing what they see and constantly checking for understanding.”
Richard says when he’s caring for his two young grandchildren, he chooses programming driven by their interests. “For example, after picking vegetables from our garden with the kids, we go online and chose a “Blippi” video which shows the actual harvesting of crops on a farm. Blippi is a fun, energetic character known for his signature blue and orange outfit and his entertaining and educational videos at Blippi.com. Through his videos and online presence, he helps teach children everything from colors to letters, and much more.”
In addition to “Blippi,” Richard also offers the following recommendations for guilt-free viewing:
–PBS Kids – We’re honored to have PBS Kids as one of our Kiddie Academy content partners. They’re a great source of programming that parents can feel comfortable letting their children watch. Two of the shows our company financially supports are “Pinkalicious and Peteriffic” and “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.”
- Pinkalicious Pinkerton is a unique, one-of-a-kind character. Together with her friends and neighbors in Pinkville, Pinkalicious and her younger brother Peterrific get into all kinds of adventures. Based on Victoria Kann’s best-selling picture book series, the show models the power of teamwork and creative thinking to approach problems. Critical thinking skills are incredibly important to early learners and PBS television and online programs are great guilt-free resources.
- “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” is based on the children’s book series “Ordinary People Change the World” by author Brad Meltzer. The series introduces children to inspiring historical figures and the character virtues which helped them succeed. These types of programs align with critical stages of character building for early learners and supports their social and emotional needs.
–Storyline Online – This is an online resource of videos with celebrities reading well-known children’s books. Reading aloud to children has shown to improve reading, writing, communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude. This online program will inspire a lifelong love of reading.
Other fun and educational resources for children that get Richard’s seal of approval are TV staples, such as “Sesame Street,” “Curious George,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Peppa Pig,” “PAW Patrol” and “YouTube Kids.”
There are many other shows that mommy bloggers swear by. Some that appear regularly on their lists are:
• “You vs. Wild”
• “Wild Kratts”
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