In an ideal world, our kids do not watch television or browse the web. But we have to face reality – television and computers are an intrinsic part of a typical kid’s life. Unfortunately, experts say too much television and computer time can cause obesity, and tendency towards violence. For babies and young kids, it can be detrimental to their development. It also takes away time from family time, outdoor activities and homework. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television for kids two and younger while two hours of quality programming is the recommended length for older kids.
Sadly, it has been a challenge finding children’s programs that are both fun and educational in local and cable television here in Manila. Thanks to the web, parents have access to programs that provide a fun and learning experience. Here are some recommendations to make the recommended two hours count. And if you want to reinforce the learning, there are DVDs and books that accompany these shows.
1. Sesame Street is the first preschool program in the United States that was based on research. The producers worked with educators and researchers to create a program that utilized television to prepare kids for school. With apologies to the AAP, my one year old and I enjoy watching my childhood favorites (C is for Cookie and Rubber Duckie) and the different versions of Sesame Street (India Arie, Lena Horne, Patti Labelle, Miles, and Ray Charles to name a few).
Elmo and his friends appeal to the preschool set, and parents will appreciate the tweaks of adult humor when they use celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker looking for “Big” or Feist singing “1234.” You Tube has a Sesame Street Channel. The website also has a section for grownups, games and even a playlist!