As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toddler TV Time

inspired by All About MEme Monday @ MommyBrain

Allowing young children to watch television is a bit of a controversial subject, and there's been all kinds of research done to provide evidence of the TV's impact on toddler learning, social growth, and attention spans.

Some parents firmly believe that no television should be "consumed," while others leave the TV on morning-noon-and-night. Still others fall somewhere in between ... I fall "somewhere in between" but I also have the perspective that what my toddler watches should be valuable - as much as possible. It's not just about quantity; it's more so about quality.

I will also honestly tell you that sometimes a 20-minute DVD saves my sanity, and I could care less if she's learned something while watching it. How's that for a reality check? :)

Here are some of the toddler media I consider to be quality:

  1. Eebee's Adventures - one of the first shows NHV ever watched when she was about 9 months old. It features real babies/toddlers engaged in hands-on learning with things like balls and ramps, containers and scoops, and everyday objects. The philosophy behind this program is that learning is taking place every day and every waking moment. It reminds parents to capitalize on the "little things" that teach big ideas. The parent section of their website is one of the best I've seen.
  2. Super Why - there's a real-life problem that mirrors a storybook problem; the literacy components include displaying story text at the bottom of the screen, choosing a word from a list, looking for super letters, using context clues, and spelling. There's also a website for parents (and teachers) with additional literacy activities.
  3. Sid the Science Kid - this show is to science and thinking skills as Super Why is to literacy; a new science concept is first introduced in the home, and then carried to school; I most appreciate the questioning skills that are modeled. There's also a website for parents (and teachers) with activities to expand the episode's focus.

A few other thoughts on this topic - articles I found and read online:

What TV programs does your toddler watch/love/learn from?


Mama Ruck said...

My wee one gets a sprinkle of various shows like Thomas the Train, Seasme Street, Mama Mirabelle, Cailou and Jack's Big Music Show. I have found that he connects to certain episodes. So I find them appropriate I record them. We watch the same episodes over and over instead of taking a chance with content to complex for a toddler.

Chi-town momma said...

We pretty much only watch Sesame Street here. While there is a lot of great material on the show, and B considers the characters his buddies, it is a little disheartening that the show is also responsible for the introduction of the word MINE into his limited vocabulary. Not sure how to removed a word from a toddler's vocab, but that is one I could do without!

mrs.alderman said...

We like it all!! Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Curious George, and Thomas the Train are our favorites. I can't stand Sid but I think Super Why is pretty cute. So is Word Girl :) I secretly wish I had super word powers!!!

Deb said...

Lots of Thomas and Sesame Street here. Our prime TV times are before breakfast and after dinner. If they're on a roll playing with just their toys during the day, I try to keep the tube off, even if I want to watch something. It's much more powerful as a reward/bribe/distraction if it's not on all the time. They do watch way more than recommended, but I don't think their viewing habits are unhealthy.

William and Findlay said...!

William read his first sentences a month before he turned three (and is a pretty solid reader now, at 3 1/2), thx to (and his persistent personality and our willingness/happiness to help him). We love it!

EmmaLouWho said...

Anna watches the Signing Time DVDs and that's pretty much it. She does signs now that I've never taught her, so I feel pretty confident that she's definitely learning from them.