Every child is different. So, there is no singular, right way to raise a child. Some parents elect against television for children. I am not one of those parents. I see television as an opportunistic learning tool. I screen my kids’ shows, weed out extra-whiny characters, and inane violence, and am left with educational springboards for future discussions and activities.
I am a work-at-home mother; my sons are three, and almost two years old. Their regular TV-time is just before nap, and just before bed, this is their wind-down time. Some exceptions are made on sick-days, family movie-nights, and holiday specials.
Here are our favorite, educational children’s shows:
PBS: Super Why and his friends solve personal dilemmas by “looking in a book” and associating the moral to their situation. This show engages my kids with interactive reading and alphabet activities, and also encourages them to identify with the stories.
PBS: Everyone’s favorite monkey is always exploring and learning more about the world around him. The calm, dulcet narrator likens this show to story-time, and since George began in literature, there are countless books available to expand our library. This show encourages my kids to build, draw, and get creative. George always inspires art-time!
Mickey Mouse Club House
Disney Junior: Mickey Mouse has changed over the years, and he is now much more engaging than I remember him. The Club House characters tackle group problems together. With their friend “Toodles” they find the right tools for the job. Since we started watching this show, my sons and I regularly discuss what “tools” can help us with everyday activities!
Sprout: We don’t watch The Wiggles; we throw Wiggles parties! This show entertains with educational material, and abundant song/dance! It is impossible to enjoy this show sitting down, keeping both the mind and body in motion!
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
PBS: This Mr. Roger’s spin-off is a staple in our house-not because we watch it constantly, but because we use its lessons daily. Daniel and his friends learn a relatable, childhood lesson in every episode, and they sing a song to remember it. We know all of the songs. These sweet, musical reminders really help calm my children when growing-up gets tough.
In our home, television is just another learning tool. With discussion, and activity-integration, I am happy with the age-appropriate shows my kids watch.