Children’s TV Shows That Help With Cognitive Development
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents not permit television time for children younger than 2 years therefore only high-quality, age-appropriate programming as they get older.
A study published by JAMA reports modest but incremental improvements in cognitive development for children from 3 to 5 years when exposed to programming focused on such development. Jama concludes the following: “parents may appreciate and benefit from better guidance on the kinds of high-quality content.” It makes choosing the right TV service a valid decision for parents.
- Infants through pre-school need targeted development:
- Responsive adults
- Sounds and language
- Walk and separate from parent
- Explore and manipulate shapes and textures
- Structured guidance and support
Self-care, toilet training, vocabulary building, and basic school skills are benchmarks in any child’s development from infancy through pre-school.
TV as a tool
Again, there is no reason to trust television to educate infants through 2-years old. All the studies indicate the results are negative. But, in so far as visuals and sounds are positive lessons, you can use the TV for age and developmentally appropriate DVDs.
- Teletubbies Shapes, sounds, colors – all help develop vision and hearing. Still, the story and lessons are also relevant to age ability. Select the visuals that are not threatening in their movement or color and sounds that are tonal and not melodious. Something as apparently inane as Teletubbies delivers to these needs. It also has a slight narrative that children will grow into about the time that they are ready to move on.
- Super WHY! These interactive animated targets preschooler early literacy skills. It uses themes on friendship and teamwork to teach letters and word formation. Lively, colorful, and well-paced, it will captivate any two to three year old.
- Henry Hugglemonster Henry learns numbers, counting, and cognitive sequencing couched in stories about friends and family. It requires teamwork and problem-solving because characters often disagree and pout. They use sharing and compromise to restore the strong nuclear family.
- The Adventures of Chuck and Friends Chuck’s adventures are brightly and sprightly animated. Together with his friends, Chuck teaches lessons in friendship, taking care of you, and being responsible for mistakes. Like Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Train, and Toy Story, this series has an enormous commercial market tied in, and this is a counter-productive confusion for maturing young children.
- Sesame Street Of course, Sesame Street is the grandparent of commercial tie-ins. But, its core quality remains strong. For 40+ years, Sesame Street improves vocabulary, spelling, reading, and counting potential in children 3 to 5. In addition, it has had proven effect on socioeconomic marginalized children without regard to gender or parental education.
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
The classic Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood continues that soothing non-threatening role model voice. But the contemporary Fred Rogers Company has formed its version of Sesame Street’s Children’s Workshop to produce Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
This vividly animated series delivers the same social strategy to demonstrate maturing experiences, such as sadness, jealousy, disappointment, frustration, and celebration. Solutions come through friendship and family participation while sharing sounds, letters, and numbers. It is the perfect model for teaming with child to watch together and transition to drawing and reading.
All media critics and pediatric advisers believe that television produces no positive impact on children under 3-years of age. Moreover, exposing them to viewing not specifically targeted to that age group has demonstrably negative effects. For children between 3 and 5 years, the same experts discourage any TV watching unless:
- Parents watch the television with their children.
- Parents place limits per hour, per day, and per week.
- Parents turn off TV at study and meal time.
- Parents pick programming that is developmentally appropriate.
- Parents do not, under any circumstances, expose developing children to soap operas, news, talk shows, or targeted adult programming.
Stay current on help sources such as:
Any parent understands the temptation to let TV babysit. The time you leave them to the TV represents damage you will have to undo later. So, make wise choices early!
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