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Education television shows for children

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Aaron Paker Aaron Paker 5 years, 10 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Allison

    As a parent or educator, what’s your take on children watching TV?  How much television is too much?  Also, what are some educational programs you recommend?


    I let my daughter watch about 1-2 hours most days (some days are no tv at all and some are a little more), she didn’t watch at all until she was 2, and we are pretty picky about what she does watch.  Her favorites that we really like to let her watch are Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid, and Super Why, she also gets to watch Dinosaur Train, Curious George, and Cat in the Hat, but she is less enthusiastic about them and they are not as educational as the others.  Once in a while she watches a Disney movie or Dora the Explorer or Kai Lan.  Often times when she is watching a movie we pause it after the first 45minutes to an hour and have her do some running around or playing with other toys before she finishes the movie (if we don’t she loses interest and wanders off to play other things anyway) or we start it before school and finish after school.


    I believe that TV programming, in moderation, is ok for for kids…and can actually be a learnin experience. Especially the shows that are given the E/I "educational and informative" rating. However, I’m a firm believer that TV is much more beneficial for kids when parents get involved, too. Watching a show with your child, asking them questions during the program, talking about the themes presented, etc. can really enrich the experience.

    Profile photo of Mary

    With my first, I was pretty strict about TV.  She didn’t really watch it until 18 months.  But by the time my 2nd came around, it was harder to regulate.  And while part of my reason for regulating wtih my oldest was the fact that there really wasn’t a need (she was in care full-time so I fed her and played with her every night for the 2 1/2 hours she was home before bed), she also wasn’t really interested.  But now, she watches TV about 30-60 minutes at night (tops – again based on available time) and more on the weekends (well not in the summer as we are outside almost all day).  She is also enjoys playing games on the computer.  Just a few weeks ago, at age 4, she was playing a game I thought was WAY over her head.  It required you to do basic math.  She was frustrated and while I initially thought it was silly to teach her how to add small numbers, I gave it a shot.  She was engaged for 30-minutes, always getting the math right.  I was shocked!  My 2 year old still has no interest in TV (sometimes I wish he did but he won’t sit still).

    As a mom with a child in care all day, I really don’t feel guilty about TV at night.  By the time we get home and eat dinner, there is only about 45-minutes before bath and if they want to sit in front of the TV, I’m okay with that.  They’ve been going all day and the down time is generally good for them.  Weekends I do try to limit TV time but it is harder in the winter when you just need something to distract them.  As for shows, I saw an article in a parent magazine that listed the top 10 shows.  Between the Lions was listed (my kids never got into), Little Bill (my kids love) and of course I can’t remember the others.  I really like Dora & Diego (as does my daughter) and she does pick up quite a bit of the Spanish (it’s reinforced at school).  There are a few shows I don’t like (Max & Ruby for example – I don’t like how Ruby treats Max) and I’m not a big fan of Arthur (not thirlled at the behavior they emulate on the show).

    I think the key is to watch the show a few times before allowing it to be part of the regular rotation.  Make sure you are comfortable with it as everyone has different opinions on what is educational TV.

    Profile photo of Macy

    There are so many options for children’s TV these days, but I am still a fan of the programming on PBS. I feel like the educational content just tends to be of higher quality on PBS than many other channels. It’s important for you as a parent to watch as well and get a sense of how educational the show is, even if you don’t watch ALL the time. You can get a pretty good sense of a show’s quality after only one or two episodes.

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