Inevitably you are going to let your child watch TV. In my house it is usually first think in the morning. Since I no longer get to sleep in, my little alarm clocks are in my room by 6:30 the latest. Sometimes I get to sleep a little longer because they want to snuggle. More recently they have to go to the bathroom right away and that means I go from dead asleep to functionable awake in 30 seconds. These morning I let each kid pick out a show and I get to have a cup of coffee and wake up. I am very aware of what I let me children watch. First, the show has to have some sort of lesson it is teaching my child. It can be anything from being a good friend to learning letters. After the show has met criteria number one it is extremely important that it does not annoy me. If this happens I gently refocus them on another show. I know this sounds selfish but if I have to watch the same show over and over again I don’t want to pull my hair out. So now that you know my requirements I will share the shows that I think are great for kids.
Currently my daughter is obsessed with My Little Pony. I am not even sure how she found out this show existed. Perhaps is is in little girls blood just like Star Wars is in every boy’s blood. Anyways, I found it on Netflix (we don’t have cable we just stream TV) and I was very unsure at first. I loved My Little Pony when I was little but I didn’t remember what the show was about. I watched a few of the different types of movies and shows that are out there and settled on the series, Friendship Magic. I was a bit skeptical because it seemed like fluff tv but the more I watch it the more I saw how the show focuses on each pony having their own identity and working together as a friendship team. The nice thing for adults if you are forced to watch my little pony is that the story continues from one episode to the next. Each episode has its own adventure but the friendships and lives of the ponies move forward.
Super Why has recently become my son’s favorite show. There are four characters that live in Storybrook Village that help change the story when someone’s in trouble. It covers letter recognition, sounding out words, context of words in a sentences, and identifying words. This show boarder line annoys me but my son, who has speech delay, is saying the letters along with the show. He actually was able to recognize letters I had no idea he knew. So I give this show a double thumbs up.
As parents we focus on reading and letters, but I believe a lot of us forget about science. Sid the Science Kid helps to fill that void in television for young children. Sid is a little kid that starts with a science problem at home, such as a melting popsicle, asks his parents why it happens and the parents give him a question in return and encourage him to talk about it at school. Sid then goes off to school where his class does an experiment on the very same question. After school Sid goes home and recaps what he learned. There are some catchy songs and great learning reinforcement. At first the kids we not very interested but now they enjoy it and have learned a lot from the show. My daughter, 4, will refer back to the show when we are doing other things. Since I am able to choose which episode we watch I try to find one that relates to something the kids are doing. This helps them with associating the what they learn from the show into our everyday lives.
I am always an advocate for reading and expending one’s knowledge so anytime my kids get really interested in a show we go to the library and check out books related to the show. Right now my almost 3 and 4 year old are listening to a pictureless book for bed time. Yes that’s right NO PICTURES. I read one chapter a night and before we start reading we discuss what happened prior in the book. They don’t always remember and my 2 year old will sometimes get up and go lay in his bed but they still ask for it every night. I don’t think TV is necessarily bad if you try to focus their TV watching on educational shows. These are just a few of the shows I feel that my kids really get the most out of but there are definitely more out there. What do you let your children watch and why?