The answer is Yes. I have found that there are many great things about T.V. Now way back when I was a child, I don’t think the answer would be the same. I remember watching hours and hours of mindless television. My husband and I joke about how we were T.V. babies. We argue about who watched more shows and movies! But these days, I think that the cartoons of yesteryear are almost gone. There is usually a message to be learned in every show, almost! There are some who remain nameless, that I won’t let my kids watch.
Here is my list on great kids T.V. shows and how they are educational (my kids are little, so these are the shows we watch.):
Blue’s clues: Science, investigation, clues, classification
Dora: Spanish, Social Studies skills on Maps, Lots of math skills, like, first, next, last.
Diego: Animal facts, my son knows what a Tapier is and that a sloth is a really good swimmer.
Mickey Mouse: math skills, service, and it’s Mickey!
Little Einsteins: music, art, problem solving.
Higgley Town Heroes: Community Helpers.
Handy Manny: helping others, learning skills, problem solving.
Dragon Tales: values- sharing, friendliness, service, helping.
Actually, my kids love watching the Animal Planet, or almost anything on Discovery! We are now all watching “Planet Earth“. Lucy loves it!
PBS has a great website about children and media. It tells you how to help your child be influenced in a positive way with television. They encourage you to watch with your child and tell you ahead of time what the show is going to be about, so you can discuss it after. It is a great way to be involved with your child and television.
In an ideal world, we would be watching the television show with our child, helping to inforce the skills that are being taught. I try to do that, but let’s face it, T.V. is a great babysitter. I don’t know when I would take a shower, I know it’s too hard getting up before the kids! I know there are people out there who don’t even own T.V.’s, more power to them, but I like the television. I believe that it is helping to teach my child in a fun and exciting way. I do try to limit the amount of television they watch and leave the house to discover and learn too.
Now, if there is education in the T.V. shows I watch, that is a whole other blog. I don’t think American Idol counts as music education!